Mission Codename Picotener
Well, our beloved Operatives, we COULD just say “a great 93-pointer ‘15 Barolo under $30” and leave it at that.
And that would be the - easy way out - before we sit back and take a long lunch, while this small stash depletes right before our eyes. Yet this super special discovery deserves more. A whole lot more, so let us explore this beauty in-depth…
First of all, the history. We’re talking founded in 1878 kind of history here. Mussolini wasn’t even born then! It’s the oldest winery around that still runs, with ideal 19th-century cellars that are the envy of all Piedmont, boasting a facility with two floors underground, promoting the use of gravity in winemaking long before that concept was cool.
Then there’s pedigree. How about ownership shared with the legendary Vietti, a benchmark producer of some of the very best of Piedmont. The precision winemaking along with infinite resources channeled to the singular purpose of putting only the finest of harvests into each bottle are some of the shared values between them.
That pizzazz comes with recognition. While Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate missed reviewing this wine, they recently published a raving profile “Located in Canale in Roero, this property is owned by Kyle J. Krause Gentile—the same American Krause family that purchased the Vietti winery a few years back. This family is passionate about the Langhe and its wines, and they have a keen eye when it comes to acquisitions. They have added many gorgeous sites to their portfolio of vineyards. The interesting theme in these wines from Enrico Serafino is the use of the Picotener grape, a subvariety of Nebbiolo.”
Garnet and crimson dance in the glass as radiant ruby shimmers surround the rim. Raspberry chocolate ganache and spice enhance the multilayered dark berry bouquet as a head-spinning impression fills the glass. Ultrafine smooth tannins, blackberry, boysenberry, fig, espresso, cardamom, and licorice join in on the palate. A pure beam of fruit lingers long and plush on the finish, with striking purity, balance, and finesse. For an optimal pairing experience, go earthy. If a weekday, opt for dried wild mushrooms, seek truffles for a weekend feast.
This is a thoroughbred inside out, that can be had for a song today. With a markdown over 40% bringing it under $30 where not a single Barolo or Barbaresco worth a damn can be found, this borders insanity on the deal scale.
So back that truck up, FAST!
93 Points – James Suckling
“This has an attractive array of raspberry and red-cherry aromas, as well as a swathe of fresh roses and light spices. The palate is juicy and pure with a very neat delivery of fine tannins, carrying bright red fruit in fresh, approachable mode. Drink or hold.”
92 Points – Wine Spectator
“A polished red, displaying tobacco, eucalyptus and muted cherry flavors, backed by a dense matrix of tannins. All the components are here, but this needs a few years to integrate and mellow. Best from 2021 through 2033.”
91 Points – Jeb Dunnuck
“From a hot vintage, the 2015 Barolo Monclivio nevertheless has notable elegance as well as terrific balance. Brought up in larger oak casks for 22 months, this medium ruby-hued Barolo offers lots of spiced red fruits as well as notes of licorice, dried earth, and a touch of savory herbs. Medium-bodied, nicely balanced, and textured, it’s incredibly well done and a satisfying, balanced 2015 to enjoy over the coming 15 years or so. Drink 2020-2035.”
What the Winery Says
2015 'Monclivio' Barolo DOCG
- Paolo Giacosa
- 100% Nebbiolo
- Castiglione Falletto, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba
- Clay and limestone
- 270-450 meters above sea level
- Vine age
- 20-35 years
- 8,000 kg/hectare
- Total acidity
- 6 g/L
- Total extract
- 32 g/L
- Residual sugar
- 0 g/L
- 24 months
- 225-liter barriques and larger barrels