The most beautiful moments are spontaneous and natural. The most beautiful places are simple, authentic, and full of emotion. My thanks to Martins for having the idea of reviving Conte Vassallo’s late 19th century home. Inside its walls, we threw together a tasting before the first day of harvest.
We started with a one-liter bottle of Barolo Stravecchio 1964. We were impressed by the short cork. It was about 2 cm long, but it held perfectly – not like corks today. I think it’s safe to say that the quality of the cork is more important than the size. A whole wine with excellent acidity, lively, rare meat, strong sensations. Very exciting.
The ‘80s did not thrill me. Barolo 1982 had cork problems that left a bad smell of varnish and Barolo 1985 did not have a clean smell, even if the tannins were well crafted. Both reflect the dark times my company has experienced.
Barolo Leon 1999, a mix of Serralunga and La Morra. Clean, whole, wonderfully soft yet present tannins. A perfect year, a wine of great precision. The best tasted today.
Barbaresco 1999, similar to the barolo from the same year with less intensity and more simplicity.
Barbaresco 2006, difficult to judge due to the strong reduction in smell. I’ll taste it tomorrow and we’ll see…
Barolo Leon 2004, a year of great level. Classic, precise. Fine and elegant tannins. I’d still wait a year or two for the best tasting.
Barolo Leon 2003, a surprising fragrance. Amazing how it stayed fresh and acidic in a boiling hot year where people often taste cooked wines. Pleasing tannins, broad in the mouth. Ready to drink with help from a fresh and enveloping fruity smell.
A good test for my wines, being able to slowly understand evolved nuances and appreciate the wonders of nebbiolo more.