The view from La Morra to the south-east, towards Barolo and Monforte

Old Nebbiolo, part 2

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One of the great revelations about old Nebbiolo is how consistently good it is. I admit that my perspective was formed by the frustrations of chasing the tail of the Burgundy peacock for years: hugely gratifying if you catch it, but not statistically likely, and now punishingly expensive. On the Nebbiolo side, there is an important second tier of producers whose wines may not perform at the levels of the greatest Barolo or Barbaresco, but that also cost a LOT less. When I’ve been lucky enough to compare the wines side-by-side, across price strata, I (and fellow guests) often remark that the less expensive bottle would be a great treat if we were drinking it by itself (without having to stand up to the Giacosa, for instance). Thus you will regularly catch me banging on about the very high quality of old Ceretto, for instance, and today I want to point out Oddero and Prunotto. Over the past 10 years I’ve been able to taste many fine examples of their wines, and they represent great value. These are bottles that you can have complete confidence in to deliver an experience of classic, traditional Nebbiolo. Jamie Wolff

 

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Prunotto 1964 Barolo

Lovely nose of caramel, wet earth, tar, roses, rainwater and old barrel spice. The color is an octave lighter than the Produttori. Elegant and juicy with vivid cherry fruit and a speherical sense on the palate. Great concentration and gritty tannins. Lovely acidity. Long finish. Totally mature wine. LF

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Rinaldi, Giuseppe 2011 Barolo Tre Tine

Formerly labeled Cannubi San Lorenzo - Ravera, this is close to same blend / same wine. Early on (from barrel in 2014) the Tre Tine seemed closer in style to Brunate than usual, sharing a dark core of ripe fruit, and very ripe tannin. A year later there was more obvious difference, with the elegance of Cannubi beginning to shine. Out of about 120 Barolos, this is one of the very best 2011s we've tasted. Jamie Wolff

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Oddero, Fratelli 1964 Barolo

Oddero is one of just a handful of producers who made excellent wine in the past and who continue to do so now. Admittedly our opinion of their current vintages is biased, since we admire Oddero's fidelity to Barolo made in the traditional manner. Anyway, the old wines are great, and we're happy to have old vintages whenever we can.

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