2001 Elio Grasso, Barolo, Gavarini, Vigna Chiniera (RT94) Bought on release and stored in my cellar since, the 2001 Vigna Chiniera shows tertiary maturity on this night, as notes of dried plum, soaring aromatic cedar, pine resin, a potpourri of dried roses and white flowers, hints of white truffle and a powerful mineral laden finish create a mesmerizing bouquet. The palate demonstrates the classic weightlessness of mature Barolo, with fall-harvest dried fruit, refreshing acidity and significantly integrated tannins bringing up the close. This is a beautiful, mature Barolo, but begs the question why this bottling was in its completely mature stage while its vintage brother Vigna Case Mate remains fresh and vibrantly young. Likely a simple case of bottle variation. Based on this bottle I suggest Drink now-2031, but other bottles may show younger like the Case Mate that followed.
2001 Elio Grasso, Barolo, Ginestra, Vigna Case Mate (RT95) Also bought on release and stored in the cellars of Mount Nebbiolo since, here the aromatic delivery is convincingly fresh, youthful, and just now turning the corner into early tertiary maturity. The bouquet delivers a blend of Marasca cherry, red raspberry compote, cranberry, notes of wild herbs and a fist-full of crushed limestone. Did I mention this showed young for being 21 years of age? Impressively so. The palate coats the mouth with delicious, ripe fruit, refreshing acidity and finishes with sweet, ripe tannins. This is a beautiful expression of Monforte d’Alba mineral-driven Barolo and has its best drinking ahead. Better than any of the previous bottles I’ve opened of this vintage Case Mate. Drink 2024-2036+