Tom Hyland’s notes on 2005 Barolo

VinoWire contributor Tom Hyland recently returned from Italy where he attended the 2009 Alba Wine Exhibition. The following are some of his notes on the 2005 vintage of Barolo. Check out Tom’s post on things he likes about Italy.

After sampling more than 150 Barolos from the 2005 vintage, it is clear that this is a successful vintage, though not a great one as with 2004. This may hurt the sales of these wines as they are released in the upcoming months, but consumers can find some wonderful wines if they choose the right producers.

It is hardly a surprise that the “Brunate” bottling from Marcarini in La Serra is a great success, the red cherry and cedar aromas combined with subtle oak and excellent depth of fruit make this traditional bottling a standout. Also from Brunate, the Oddero bottling is one of their finest with notes of orange peel and truffles (Maria Cristina Oddero, pictured left, photo by Tom Hyland). Also from La Morra, look for the “Gattera” from Gianfranco Bovio, the “Conca” from Mauro Molino and the “Rocche dell’Annunziata” from Rocche Costamagna.

Unfortunately the wines overall from La Morra are a bit inconsistent, this was not a powerful vintage, so perhaps this is to be expected. But too often the La Morra 2005 Barolos were a bit lacking in fruit and a bit overoaked. Thankfully, there are enough very good examples — as those listed above — to keep La Morra fans happy.

The most consistent offerings from 2005 originated from Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte d’Alba. As these are communes with thin soils that yiedl firm tannins, these are the best bets for this year. Look for the “Parafada” and “Margheria” from Massolino, the “Colarej” from Gemma, the “La Rosa” from Fontanafredda and the “Leon” from Cascina Luisin. One of my favorite wines of all the 2005 Barolos I tasted was the “Gabutti” from Giovanni Sordo in Serralunga. Offering notes of cedar, red cherry and red roses and fnishing wiht silky tannins, this is a wine of great finesse. It will not live as long as that wine from 2001 or 2004, but this is a classic Barolo!

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