Italy is renowned for its vast array of indigenous and imported grapes. For as many grape varietals that grow on the Italian peninsula, there are even more wines crafted from them. Today, in this “Trifecta” tasting of sorts, I am spot lighting three top tier wines from three successive vintages. Which will come out on top? What will they say about their respective vintages? Andiamo….
We’re beginning with the 2007 vintage and a wine that was recently featured during one of my Zoom calls.
The 2007 Terralsole Brunello Riserva is in a wonderful place right now. In the glass, it presents as a deep garnet color with the classic iodine rim. Provenance here is impeccable as the wine arrived directly from the estate’s cellar. Even still, at 13 years of age, the color is impressive.
Intense aromas of toasted spice, ripe cherry, dried tobacco and mocha create the nose. It’s captivating. On the palate, the wine is juicy and fresh. Elegant but full bodied, the wine displays sweet tobacco notes with chocolate covered cherry. The tannins are powdery and although fully integrated, still provide wonderful structure. Delicious! 95 points.
Cristina Oddero once told me: “A great wine is made from three great elements: territory, grapes and people.”
It’s a simple philosophy that 5 generations of the Oddero family have firmly lived by. Since 1978, this wonderful family have been farming approximately 35 hectares of vineyards in Piedmont. However, of that total, only 16 are devoted to Nebbiolo for Barolo and many of those plots are in the best vineyards in Piedmont. Such is the case with today’s subject wine.
I last reviewed this wine in 2017. While I still love this wine, perhaps it has lost a bit of its “punch” since then.
The 2008 Oddero Barolo Riserva Bussia “Mondoca” lies within the “Bussia” geography not far from the village of Dardi. Its soil is rich in sandstone with natural, residual elements from marine waters. At the highest point of the vineyard, the soil is white, dusty, and poor in nutrients which encourages the Nebbiolo vines to dig deep for sustenance. Mondoca is one of the warmest vineyards in Barolo.
In the glass, the wine is dark crimson color with violet reflections. The perfumed nose features aromas of dried tobacco, dried flowers, cherry and tobacco leaf. Persistent on the palate with flavors of rustic cherry, savory leather and dried fennel seed. Dusty tannins mark a smooth, supple texture. Aged 3 years in 30 hectoliter barrels, the wine is then aged for an additional two years in bottle in order to obtain Riserva status. Although you can hold this, based upon my previous tasting, I’m inclined to drink in the near term. 94 points. Find this wine.
Finally, the last wine in this little trifecta is anything but little. Is there anything else Sassicaia needs to prove? This wine is 11 years old and while you could do no damage in holding it, I believe it to be outstanding right now.
The 2009 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia is miraculous. In the glass, it’s a deep purple with violet reflections that gently fade to burnt siena at the rim of the bowl. The nose is explosive. Aromas of black berry, black cherry, fresh tobacco, worn cedar, spices, toast and herbs are seamless and harmonic. Elegant, graceful and powerful on the palate, this exudes loads of ripe black fruit, mineral, coffee, pipe tobacco and finishes with hints of mint. It’s a “sit up and take notice” type of wine and is one of the best bottles I’ve had in 2020. 98 points Find this wine.
This wine was paired with crusty bread, new olive oil, grilled NY strips and broccoli rabe. A happy, happy place!