(2022) A Cru vineyard Barolo from a warm vintage, this was aged six months in barrique before being transferred to 2,000-litre Slavonian oak casks for a further 24 months prior to bottling. The soft ruby core moves to brick on a broad rim, and the nose is mellow and developed, a little truffle and rose perfume over ripe autumnal hedgerow berries. Tobacco and a touch of Sandalwood underpin. In the mouth the wine flatters with creamy and soft mature fruits, but then a bit of the steely core is revealed, with very firm tannins and plenty of juicy acidity to enliven the more giving fruit of the mid-palate. A tough one to judge, but I think this still feels youthful and as though there is the balance there for considerable ageing potential.
(2022) Justerini & Brooks has worked with the Scavino family for thirty years, the company run today by sisters Enrica and Elisa Scavino. This is one of the 'modernist' estates of Barolo, using smaller French oak barriques in the cellar, but also concentrated on improving vineyard practises. Pale to medium soft ruby in colour, there's a delicately and exotically spiced plum compote character here, the Barolo 'tar and roses' description fits well, but elegant and discreet. In the mouth it is fresh and direct. Oak is very under-played, this being driven by a lean, firm fruit focus and pert acids, the grip of tannins adding to the slightly austere feeling of the wine.
(2022) From a vineyard that sits 290 metres above sea level and faces south to south-west on limestone soils. Aged for 18 months in large, old wooden cask. Beautiful perfume touching florals and kirsch, crisp tannins and acids, a fulsome creaminess and real fruit sweetness before a delicious, bitter herbal tang in the finish. Superb.
(2022) A Cru Barolo from this family estate, aged for over two years in large Slavonian oak casks. A firm, graphite and polished wood character here beneath taut, youthful black fruit, it is immediately concentrated and serious, but there's a floral, violet lift too in this young wine. The palate is equally polished and tight, the black fruit sinewy and dense, the very fine, authoritative tannins and acid balance suggesting cellaring will see this blossom over a decade or more.
(2022) Musso produces its Barbaresco from its 10 hectares of family vineyards. Pale to medium Ruby in colour, the nose has crushed red berries, like cranberries and redcurrants, with floral tones and a certain peppery quality. In the mouth a fine, mineral-etched, dry and savoury character, the hint of juicy red fruit sweetness swept up in orangey acidity, that pepper again, and firm tannins adding a bit of sinewy grip.
(2020) Well, this is just delicious and already drinking well, though undoubtedly with many years ahead of it. Quite pale and touched by amber on the rim, there's great fragrance here, old roses and tar, classic Barolo, plenty of fruit, pencil-shaving and spices too in a complex but alluring picture. In the mouth so soft already, the initial impression at least with that supple, fleshy fruit, but the firmness of the structure here begins to impact, telling you there's a serious side to this, lovely cherry acidity and bit of sinew to the tannins, finishing on fruit spice and structural grip. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2012) Made from old vines (some 50 years old) grown at around 350 metres altitude, this is aged in small barrels, but those are second fill, so its effect on the nose is to add a savoury, cedary touch to the sinewy, graphite and cherry fruit. It is not so seductively perfumed as the Palladino below, but nuances of game and something floral are in there, and it has a sense of structure and seriousness about it. On the palate its authority is obvious: it's a very dry wine, all dry tannins and concentration, but it has a leanness and a gravel and spice savouriness at its core. The acidity is lovely - a fresh bit of cherry skin - and the long, spicy finish is both harmonious and intense.
(2012) What an alluring nose, brimming with gamy and perfumed scents mingling roses, dried blood and tobacco, a briary note and touch of iron giving a bit of serious character too. In the mouth it is equally complex and pleasurable: there's a sweet, concentrated fruit richness at the core of this, of black cherry and intense raspberry compote, but the gravelly, dusty tannins, support of nicely judged oak (this spends two years in French oak barriques) and plenty of sour cherry acidity gives lovely food-matching structure too. Fairly lean in the finish, but that adds to the feeling of precision.
(2007) Fine Wines stores only. Very tight, powerful, fresh and liquoricy black fruit quality, with small floral notes and a bright mineral background. On the palate there is a surprising fleshiness, with a full, sweet, quite rich black fruit quality and a charry oak quality adding weight and a savoury structure. This wine becomes quite chocolaty, but the acidity stays focused in a harmonious and beautiful Nebbiolo.