Pair of Benchmark 1999 Barolos

April 4, 2020

A status check on two of the benchmark bottlings of the profound 1999 Barolo vintage. This impressive mini-tasting to help mellow the Corona Virus stay at home order in Colorado.

1999 Bruno Giacosa, Barolo, Le Rocche del Falletto (RT 98) SO’d for the day and showing a bit of sediment so I poured ever-so slowly, but directly from the bottle since I was savoring this alone. Clearly in its early prime drinking window, its world class status makes a convincing statement balancing finesse and power. Its light garnet hue gives way to soaring aromatics built on black cherry, rose petal, marzipan and an abundance of spice. The palate is sublime and magnificent, showing the magical touch of Bruno Giacosa with perfect balance of fruit, acidity and super ripe, sweet tannin. This was crafted during Bruno Giacosa’s peak and continues to be what I consider his greatest classico (non riserva) bottling ever. An emotionally moving experience that brings an ear to ear grin on my face and keeps drinking better with each sip. Drink now-2034+

1999 Giacomo Conterno, Barolo Riserva, Monfortino (RT 99) Also SO’d for the day, there was less sediment in this bottle, making serving a far easier task. This behemoth has rounded out and the tannins have integrated and softened as it turns the corner of age 20. A juxt opposed style from Giacosa’s Le Rocche del Falletto, here the scale is intimidatingly massive, a requisite example of the “iron fist in a velvet glove” characterization. It hovers with weightlessness. The aromatics are bruising and masculine with dark notes of black stone fruit, sous bois, goudron and hints of anise. The palate is formidable, rich and decadent, showing a lushness that few Nebbiolo can ever achieve. A benchmark Barolo that with a few more years of cellaring should reach perfection. In two words: mind blowing! Drink now-2039+