Tag Archives: Giacomo Conterno

Glorious Italians – Barolo, Brunello and Amarone

The single most fun wine event for me so far this year, as well as the most excessive (i.e., 26 wines amongst 10 people), was a mid-week dinner featuring a host of mature Italian wines—Barolos, Brunellos and Amarones—along with some tasty white Burgundies as starters. Continue reading

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My Top 15 Wines in 2011

So what were my top wines of the year? Out of over 6,750 wines tasted, I rated 15 at 97 points or higher. This year’s list is much more geographically spread out than last year’s, but does reveal my continuing obsession with old Barolos, which comprise five of my top 15 wines. After Barolo comes Burgundy, with three wines—two whites and one red. The remaining seven wines are one each from Bordeaux, California, Champagne, the Rhone, Sauternes, Spain and Port. Mmmm, sounds like a delicious lineup for a dinner. Continue reading

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50-year-old Wines at the 5th Floor to Celebrate a 5th Decade

We celebrated Sandy’s fifth decade at the Fifth Floor with a special menu that Executive Chef David Bazirgan came up with to pair with our wines. The food was creative and outstanding. Our wines were very good overall, and nothing was corked or faulty. As 1961 was not only a good year for people, but also an excellent year in Bordeaux, Barolo and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it was a treat to have a bottle of that vintage from each of those appellations, all of which were in remarkably good shape. In short, it was a memorable night, and a great celebration. Continue reading

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Bipin Desai Old Barolo & Barbaresco Tasting: 1947-1978

I had mixed feelings about the organization of the day’s tasting–in terms of flights, and the lack of opening and decanting some of these older wines before they were poured–but there were some incredible wines in this tasting, many of which, eventually, showed quite well. The greatest wines in this tasting for me, that I rated 96 points or higher, were the ’64 Giacomo Conterno Barolo (WOTD), ’52 Bartolo Macarello Barolo Reserva Cannubi, ’78 Giacosa Barolo Pugnane di Castiglone Falletto, ’64 Giacosa Barbaresca Riserva Santo Stefano and the ’67 Giacomo Conterno Barolo. Continue reading

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Magnificent 1960s Barolo: Giacomo Conterno, Bartolo Mascarello, Rinaldi, Cappellano, Oddero

This was a very memorable old Barolo tasting, for a number of reasons. It was my first opportunity to meet and hear from John Gilman, publisher of the View from the Cellar Newsletter, who has become quite an expert on older Barolos in general, and a number of the producers represented in this tasting in particular. Rare Wine Co.’s Mannie Berk, who collected all the wines we tasted at this event, is also one of the great experts on older Barolo, and it’s always great to get his perspective on wines like these, both as an aficionado and as a wine merchant. This was, of course, a special opportunity to taste through bottles of old Barolo that Mannie Berk had carefully selected over many years (some he acquired as long as 15 years ago) from private collections and restaurant cellars in Europe, so that we knew the provenance and the storage are about as good as one can find for Barolos of this age. Most of all, though, it was a chance to compare and contrast Barolos from five excellent traditional producers, across three of the best vintages of sixties, which included one of the great vintages of all time, 1964. What made it all the more memorable, and quite surprising given my prior experience with old Barolo tastings, is that none of our bottles were clunkers or faulty in any way, and all 18 of them (including the two blind ringers Mannie added, and our closing Barolo Chinato) were very tasty wines, that I would have been happy to enjoy and linger over on their own. Continue reading

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