2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

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Where Will 2016 Rank?

Best Vintage In Decades
7
19%
Best Vintage This Decade
5
14%
Better than 2010, not 2013
1
3%
Better than 2013, not 2010
11
31%
Not better than 2010 or 2013
12
33%
 
Total votes: 36

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Sh@n A
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2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#1 Post by Sh@n A » November 12th, 2019, 10:47 am

Would love to hear what folks are thinking about the 2016 Barolo vintage. I have heard some cautious commentary on 2016, including some comments on WB. By "cautious", I don't mean negative... just that 2016 may not be as legendary as folks thought it could have been a year ago. I'm wondering if perhaps 2016 pricing won't jump up as much as previously expected (given what I perceive to be not insignificant increases for 2015, other recent/good vintages being readily available, and a potentially decent 2019 not too far away), which would be more justified if the wines won't be as long-lived as say 2010 or 2013. I have not tasted any 2016s... so am just curious what people are thinking for those who have / or talk to those who have.

Would love to hear thoughts on ageability/structure, vintage comparisons, general thoughts on value/pricing. I slapped on a poll as well, although I wonder how many are qualified to vote (I am not)
Last edited by Sh@n A on November 12th, 2019, 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#2 Post by Lorenzo F » November 12th, 2019, 12:54 pm

According to many producers is the perfect vintage .l' annata del contadino. The farmers year .
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#3 Post by Greg K » November 12th, 2019, 12:57 pm

I think it's a very classic vintage, but it's not quite 2013 in terms of ageability and power. I do think producers when speaking a bit more freely admit that while very good, it's not an "all time" vintage.

As far as the poll, hard to vote. It's certainly one of the two best vintages of the decade.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#4 Post by Sh@n A » November 12th, 2019, 1:04 pm

Added two more poll options
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#5 Post by Markus S » November 12th, 2019, 4:37 pm

Since this is the one to sell, I suspect it is 'very fine indeed'.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#6 Post by Greg K » November 12th, 2019, 7:28 pm

Markus S wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 4:37 pm
Since this is the one to sell, I suspect it is 'very fine indeed'.
I don't think the producers are posting on this thread.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#7 Post by Jeremy Holmes » November 12th, 2019, 8:15 pm

I've only tasted the '16 Vietti Crus and they are splendid. The general thoughts from the producers I have spoken with is that it is a classic and near perfect vintage.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#8 Post by John Morris » November 12th, 2019, 9:18 pm

It's kind of premature to ask for opinions since the wines are still a year away from release. How many people have any basis for an opinion?
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#9 Post by Jason T » November 12th, 2019, 9:38 pm

John Morris wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 9:18 pm
It's kind of premature to ask for opinions since the wines are still a year away from release. How many people have any basis for an opinion?
We now need a basis to form an opinion? I thought this was Winberserkers! newhere [berserker.gif]
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#10 Post by R. Frankel » November 12th, 2019, 9:54 pm

I’ve been tasting the base Nebbiolos. They are consistently excellent (eg. Bartolo Mascarello, Bruno Giacosa, Fratelli Alessandria, PdB, Ca Nova) If they are good indicators, then yes this will be a very good vintage. Better than 2010 or 2013? I certainly can’t say. Ask again in 10 or 20 years.

Does it matter if it’s ‘better’ than other ‘best’ vintages? If you are up for long aging then this will be a vintage to buy deeply. And if trends are indicative prices will be up but will look positively cheap compared to the next bunch of ‘best’ vintages.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#11 Post by Lorenzo F » November 13th, 2019, 1:05 am

For what I tried , 2015 has more power , 2016 more finesse and balance .
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#12 Post by Tim Heaton » November 13th, 2019, 3:04 am

I have been following this vintage since 2017, with dozens of tastings from Barbaresco in the north, to Monforte in the south; winegrowers are quite happy.

Recent tasting was during the first two weeks of October; I'll return again from 27 nov until 2 Dec., for a few more data points.

Plans include buying my annual favorites, and some others that have some really beautiful wines, as well.

2018 will be a vintage that I'll probably go twice as deep as i usually do; get your requests in early.

Sunny for a change in Firenze just now, hoping it's the same when I arrive in Roma in 75 more minutes; forecast there is rain during each of my 6 days, but after the non-stop rain of the past two weeks in Toscana, it's all good.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#13 Post by Tom Taylor » November 13th, 2019, 3:27 am

Tim Heaton wrote:
November 13th, 2019, 3:04 am
I have been following this vintage since 2017, with dozens of tastings from Barbaresco in the north, to Monforte in the south; winegrowers are quite happy.

Recent tasting was during the first two weeks of October; I'll return again from 27 nov until 2 Dec., for a few more data points.

Plans include buying my annual favorites, and some others that have some really beautiful wines, as well.

2018 will be a vintage that I'll probably go twice as deep as i usually do; get your requests in early.

Sunny for a change in Firenze just now, hoping it's the same when I arrive in Roma in 75 more minutes; forecast there is rain during each of my 6 days, but after the non-stop rain of the past two weeks in Toscana, it's all good.

2018 is a vintage you will twice as deep on, or did you mean 2016 Tim?
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#14 Post by Tim Heaton » November 13th, 2019, 3:29 am

2018, Tom
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#15 Post by Tom Taylor » November 13th, 2019, 3:39 am

So you see more potential with 2018 than 2016 Tim?
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#16 Post by Greg K » November 13th, 2019, 3:45 am

John Morris wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 9:18 pm
It's kind of premature to ask for opinions since the wines are still a year away from release. How many people have any basis for an opinion?
I was in Barolo a few weeks ago, so basing my thoughts on tasting the 16s from a number of producers there and discussions with them.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#17 Post by Tim Heaton » November 13th, 2019, 10:19 am

John Morris wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 9:18 pm
It's kind of premature to ask for opinions since the wines are still a year away from release. How many people have any basis for an opinion?
io

but, to answer your question, not many
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#18 Post by John Morris » November 13th, 2019, 12:34 pm

You and Greg have a basis. But you are the exceptions.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#19 Post by Sh@n A » November 13th, 2019, 12:41 pm

Won't the pundits be providing vintage reports in 2-3 months, with retail offers ~6 months away?
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#20 Post by Greg K » November 13th, 2019, 12:52 pm

John Morris wrote:
November 13th, 2019, 12:34 pm
You and Greg have a basis. But you are the exceptions.
And my views should be taken with......let's say a large grain of salt :)
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#21 Post by John W Osgood » November 14th, 2019, 8:50 am

2016 is certainly very promising and in the classic style. Don't sleep on the 2015s though, outstanding wines!
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#22 Post by Rob M » November 25th, 2019, 9:56 am

Bumping as I've been able to taste a few 2016s and later in Piedmont thus far. Punchline for me is that based on the Vietti and Margherita Otto 2016s, I think there are going to be some real showstopper wines from the vintage, and it is clearly much more interesting than 2015 and what 2017 appears to be based on a few data points.

(1) At Vietti I was able to taste the 2016 Castiglione, Brunate, Lazzarito, and Ravera. They were all very good wines in my opinion, with the Brunate and Ravera in particular showing very beautifully, while the Lazzarito was a very dark, dense wine and not showing much aromatically right now. The 2016 Castiglione is very good as well and going to be a steal at its price point. But the Brunate and Ravera were showstoppers. The Brunate in particular struck me, perhaps because it came first of the Crus and was a clear cut above anything that came prior....very perfumed nose with red cherries and floral aromas, and then explosive on the palate but yet seamless and with fine tannins. It is so elegant yet so rich on the palate. The 2016 Castiglione was served next to the 2015 version, and to me there is a noticeable difference where the 2016 is more gracious and perfumed and the 2015 felt a bit clunky in comparison.

I also encountered my first 2017 Nebbiolo at Vietti, the Perbacco, and I did not think it showed that well. It showed obvious signs of the heat of the vintage, with very drying, harsh tannins on the finish, that I have come to quickly realize appears to be a theme for the vintage.

(2) At Margherita Otto (Alan Manley's new winery) he graciously let us taste the 2016-2018 Barolo. They are not apples to apples due to some vineyard changes throughout the period as he's expanded. His 2016 spent an extended time in stainless steel for logistical reasons and appears a bit embyronic, perhaps as a result, and it is not showing much aromatically, but it is very dense and powerful on the palate with a long finish and once the aromatics open up it should be a beautiful wine. His 2017 was much more perfumed and showed much better than the Vietti Perbacco from earlier, but still retains some of the sharp tannins at the back end. His 2018 was the finest of the three in my view and is competing with the Vietti Brunate for my favorite wine of the trip thus far...gorgeous red fruit perfume, seamless from start to finish on the palate. I can't wait to taste that wine again.

(3) At Bartolo we tasted the 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo...a pretty nice perfume, but sort of the same harsh tannins as the other 17s.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#23 Post by Tim Heaton » November 26th, 2019, 2:55 pm

Tom Taylor wrote:
November 13th, 2019, 3:39 am
So you see more potential with 2018 than 2016 Tim?
for my palate, yes
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#24 Post by Lorenzo F » June 5th, 2020, 1:13 pm

Anybody tried anything new ? How is it looking ?
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#25 Post by Rob M » June 5th, 2020, 1:47 pm

Lorenzo F wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:13 pm
Anybody tried anything new ? How is it looking ?
Hey Lorenzo - I've had a few bottles over the past month or so. I've posted the notes on CT but not here. Some of the highlights -

I think both 2016s from Elio Grasso are phenomenal. Given the price level, I think these two are must buys. In 2016 the two wines show distinctly different, with the Gavarini Chiniera having a red fruit profile and a ton of energy and the Casa Mate showing a dark fruit profile and a bit more creaminess in texture.

The 2016 Vajra Bricco delle Viole - I haven't been able to taste it in the U.S. as it hasn't arrived physically yet, at least in NYC, but I tasted it at the winery right before COVID kicked off and I thought it was very good. Probably the most impressive showing of a young BdV that I've experienced, edging the 2013. Again, a clear buy at the price it will hit at. The Coste Rose was also nice, a very pretty wine. I did not try the Ravera.

The Vietti 2016s are all good including the base Castiglione, but the Rocche di Castiglione is my favorite. I thought it had the most textural elegance of the lineup and also a sort of exotic fruit and aromatic profile that made it more interesting than the rest. The '16 Vietti Rocche is my wine of the vintage thus far albeit still small sample size.

The Giuseppe Rinaldi 2016s are very good, but very different, and I feel there has been a further style shift in the Brunate towards elegance over power. I found the Brunate to have its signature aromatics and fruit profile but the tannins were incredibly fine in texture and it drank more like a Burgundy than a young Barolo. I could see some thinking it is too elegant and drinkable to age like a classic Barolo - but I thought it was terrific. The Tre Tine I thought was a bit more of a classic Barolo in terms of texture, still very elegant in the grand scheme of things but not quite as extreme as the Brunate. I would say the '16 Rinaldi Brunate is my #2 of the vintage thus far behind the Vietti Rocche. The Tre Tine, I am happy to have some but it is hard to justify the U.S. price in my opinion vs. the Elio Grasso or Vajra above.

The Oddero Rocche di Castiglione 2016 was a very deep and muscular, savory wine. I found it enjoyable but it comes across as from a very different era than the Vietti Rocche noted above. I've yet to try the Brunate which has gotten the most praise of the lineup.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#26 Post by Sh@n A » June 5th, 2020, 2:00 pm

Rob, I love your notes, keep them coming!
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#27 Post by Lorenzo F » June 5th, 2020, 2:03 pm

Rob M wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:47 pm
Lorenzo F wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:13 pm
Anybody tried anything new ? How is it looking ?
Hey Lorenzo - I've had a few bottles over the past month or so. I've posted the notes on CT but not here. Some of the highlights -

I think both 2016s from Elio Grasso are phenomenal. Given the price level, I think these two are must buys. In 2016 the two wines show distinctly different, with the Gavarini Chiniera having a red fruit profile and a ton of energy and the Casa Mate showing a dark fruit profile and a bit more creaminess in texture.

The 2016 Vajra Bricco delle Viole - I haven't been able to taste it in the U.S. as it hasn't arrived physically yet, at least in NYC, but I tasted it at the winery right before COVID kicked off and I thought it was very good. Probably the most impressive showing of a young BdV that I've experienced, edging the 2013. Again, a clear buy at the price it will hit at. The Coste Rose was also nice, a very pretty wine. I did not try the Ravera.

The Vietti 2016s are all good including the base Castiglione, but the Rocche di Castiglione is my favorite. I thought it had the most textural elegance of the lineup and also a sort of exotic fruit and aromatic profile that made it more interesting than the rest. The '16 Vietti Rocche is my wine of the vintage thus far albeit still small sample size.

The Giuseppe Rinaldi 2016s are very good, but very different, and I feel there has been a further style shift in the Brunate towards elegance over power. I found the Brunate to have its signature aromatics and fruit profile but the tannins were incredibly fine in texture and it drank more like a Burgundy than a young Barolo. I could see some thinking it is too elegant and drinkable to age like a classic Barolo - but I thought it was terrific. The Tre Tine I thought was a bit more of a classic Barolo in terms of texture, still very elegant in the grand scheme of things but not quite as extreme as the Brunate. I would say the '16 Rinaldi Brunate is my #2 of the vintage thus far behind the Vietti Rocche. The Tre Tine, I am happy to have some but it is hard to justify the U.S. price in my opinion vs. the Elio Grasso or Vajra above.

The Oddero Rocche di Castiglione 2016 was a very deep and muscular, savory wine. I found it enjoyable but it comes across as from a very different era than the Vietti Rocche noted above. I've yet to try the Brunate which has gotten the most praise of the lineup.
Thank you rob, I still didn't have the guts to open any of mine . But sooo tempted !!
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#28 Post by Rob M » June 5th, 2020, 5:23 pm

Lorenzo while it obviously depends on personal preference, I’ve yet to open a 2016 Barolo that wasn’t a pleasure to drink and where I felt like I’ve learned something about the wine. They’re very balanced wines and in many cases the tannins are quite elegant.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#29 Post by Oliver McCrum » June 5th, 2020, 10:47 pm

Greg K wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 7:28 pm
Markus S wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 4:37 pm
Since this is the one to sell, I suspect it is 'very fine indeed'.
I don't think the producers are posting on this thread.
No, but the shill importers might.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#30 Post by AndreasB » June 5th, 2020, 11:30 pm

Rob M wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:47 pm
Lorenzo F wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:13 pm
Anybody tried anything new ? How is it looking ?
Hey Lorenzo - I've had a few bottles over the past month or so. I've posted the notes on CT but not here. Some of the highlights -

I think both 2016s from Elio Grasso are phenomenal. Given the price level, I think these two are must buys. In 2016 the two wines show distinctly different, with the Gavarini Chiniera having a red fruit profile and a ton of energy and the Casa Mate showing a dark fruit profile and a bit more creaminess in texture.

The 2016 Vajra Bricco delle Viole - I haven't been able to taste it in the U.S. as it hasn't arrived physically yet, at least in NYC, but I tasted it at the winery right before COVID kicked off and I thought it was very good. Probably the most impressive showing of a young BdV that I've experienced, edging the 2013. Again, a clear buy at the price it will hit at. The Coste Rose was also nice, a very pretty wine. I did not try the Ravera.

The Vietti 2016s are all good including the base Castiglione, but the Rocche di Castiglione is my favorite. I thought it had the most textural elegance of the lineup and also a sort of exotic fruit and aromatic profile that made it more interesting than the rest. The '16 Vietti Rocche is my wine of the vintage thus far albeit still small sample size.

The Giuseppe Rinaldi 2016s are very good, but very different, and I feel there has been a further style shift in the Brunate towards elegance over power. I found the Brunate to have its signature aromatics and fruit profile but the tannins were incredibly fine in texture and it drank more like a Burgundy than a young Barolo. I could see some thinking it is too elegant and drinkable to age like a classic Barolo - but I thought it was terrific. The Tre Tine I thought was a bit more of a classic Barolo in terms of texture, still very elegant in the grand scheme of things but not quite as extreme as the Brunate. I would say the '16 Rinaldi Brunate is my #2 of the vintage thus far behind the Vietti Rocche. The Tre Tine, I am happy to have some but it is hard to justify the U.S. price in my opinion vs. the Elio Grasso or Vajra above.

The Oddero Rocche di Castiglione 2016 was a very deep and muscular, savory wine. I found it enjoyable but it comes across as from a very different era than the Vietti Rocche noted above. I've yet to try the Brunate which has gotten the most praise of the lineup.
My only problem with Elio Grasso is that it has become more expensive than other wineries I also enjoy such as Brovia, F. Alessandria and F. Rinaldi. I haven't tasted these yet so it might be that Elio Grasso justifies its price tag, but a recent 2014 barolo didn't convince me at least. A bit the same for Vietti as I think the prices of their Crus are a hard one to swallow. They are more expensive than Burlotto and B. Mascarello, which settles it for me. I however still buy the base Castiglione.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#31 Post by Rob M » June 6th, 2020, 7:09 am

AndreasB wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 11:30 pm
Rob M wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:47 pm
Lorenzo F wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:13 pm
Anybody tried anything new ? How is it looking ?
Hey Lorenzo - I've had a few bottles over the past month or so. I've posted the notes on CT but not here. Some of the highlights -

I think both 2016s from Elio Grasso are phenomenal. Given the price level, I think these two are must buys. In 2016 the two wines show distinctly different, with the Gavarini Chiniera having a red fruit profile and a ton of energy and the Casa Mate showing a dark fruit profile and a bit more creaminess in texture.

The 2016 Vajra Bricco delle Viole - I haven't been able to taste it in the U.S. as it hasn't arrived physically yet, at least in NYC, but I tasted it at the winery right before COVID kicked off and I thought it was very good. Probably the most impressive showing of a young BdV that I've experienced, edging the 2013. Again, a clear buy at the price it will hit at. The Coste Rose was also nice, a very pretty wine. I did not try the Ravera.

The Vietti 2016s are all good including the base Castiglione, but the Rocche di Castiglione is my favorite. I thought it had the most textural elegance of the lineup and also a sort of exotic fruit and aromatic profile that made it more interesting than the rest. The '16 Vietti Rocche is my wine of the vintage thus far albeit still small sample size.

The Giuseppe Rinaldi 2016s are very good, but very different, and I feel there has been a further style shift in the Brunate towards elegance over power. I found the Brunate to have its signature aromatics and fruit profile but the tannins were incredibly fine in texture and it drank more like a Burgundy than a young Barolo. I could see some thinking it is too elegant and drinkable to age like a classic Barolo - but I thought it was terrific. The Tre Tine I thought was a bit more of a classic Barolo in terms of texture, still very elegant in the grand scheme of things but not quite as extreme as the Brunate. I would say the '16 Rinaldi Brunate is my #2 of the vintage thus far behind the Vietti Rocche. The Tre Tine, I am happy to have some but it is hard to justify the U.S. price in my opinion vs. the Elio Grasso or Vajra above.

The Oddero Rocche di Castiglione 2016 was a very deep and muscular, savory wine. I found it enjoyable but it comes across as from a very different era than the Vietti Rocche noted above. I've yet to try the Brunate which has gotten the most praise of the lineup.
My only problem with Elio Grasso is that it has become more expensive than other wineries I also enjoy such as Brovia, F. Alessandria and F. Rinaldi. I haven't tasted these yet so it might be that Elio Grasso justifies its price tag, but a recent 2014 barolo didn't convince me at least. A bit the same for Vietti as I think the prices of their Crus are a hard one to swallow. They are more expensive than Burlotto and B. Mascarello, which settles it for me. I however still buy the base Castiglione.
Not sure what market you are in but Elio Grasso seems to be cheaper than Brovia, maybe a bit above F. Alessandria ($5-10/btl), ~$20/btl or so higher than F. Rinaldi. The wines increased in price with the 2015/2016 vintages and they're now ~$80-90 USD wines vs. ~$70 before. Vajras pricing has also jumped a bit now with the BdV looking to be closer to $80/btl in 2016 than $60-65 as you could find it in prior vintages, but in all these cases I think the pricing remains very low relative to quality. As for Vietti - here in the U.S. market the Vietti 2016 single vineyards could be found for about $175 if you shopped carefully, with the Rocche being the hardest to find given the production quantity - B. Mascarello is $200+ except in the most lucky of circumstances and Burlotto Monvigliero '16 is also likely to be more expensive than Vietti on the open market, but TBD. I realize the winery pricing on Vietti is high whereas it is low for Burlotto & Bartolo, so if you can buy direct from the winery the math is very different. I prefer the B. Mascarello style vs Vietti although that has narrowed - the '16 Vietti are very classic in profile just with maybe an above average sense of concentration - and I feel a more emotional connection with the Mascarello wines, but I must say the Vietti single vineyards based on quality deserves every bit of their price in my opinion.

2014 is clearly a vintage where some got lucky and weren't exposed to damaging hail etc and produced great classic wines, and some vineyards suffered. Grasso is clearly in the camp whose vineyards suffered in 2014, and as Brovia did they produced a single blended Barolo. I thought it was an OK effort given the circumstances but it is the weakest Barolo from Grasso I have tasted. Both the Elio Grasso & Brovia Unio 2014 to me were very lean wines lacking depth of fruit, more savory in flavor profile.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#32 Post by Greg K » June 6th, 2020, 7:40 am

Thanks for the notes Rob.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#33 Post by AndreasB » June 6th, 2020, 12:31 pm

Rob M wrote:
June 6th, 2020, 7:09 am
AndreasB wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 11:30 pm
Rob M wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 1:47 pm


Hey Lorenzo - I've had a few bottles over the past month or so. I've posted the notes on CT but not here. Some of the highlights -

I think both 2016s from Elio Grasso are phenomenal. Given the price level, I think these two are must buys. In 2016 the two wines show distinctly different, with the Gavarini Chiniera having a red fruit profile and a ton of energy and the Casa Mate showing a dark fruit profile and a bit more creaminess in texture.

The 2016 Vajra Bricco delle Viole - I haven't been able to taste it in the U.S. as it hasn't arrived physically yet, at least in NYC, but I tasted it at the winery right before COVID kicked off and I thought it was very good. Probably the most impressive showing of a young BdV that I've experienced, edging the 2013. Again, a clear buy at the price it will hit at. The Coste Rose was also nice, a very pretty wine. I did not try the Ravera.

The Vietti 2016s are all good including the base Castiglione, but the Rocche di Castiglione is my favorite. I thought it had the most textural elegance of the lineup and also a sort of exotic fruit and aromatic profile that made it more interesting than the rest. The '16 Vietti Rocche is my wine of the vintage thus far albeit still small sample size.

The Giuseppe Rinaldi 2016s are very good, but very different, and I feel there has been a further style shift in the Brunate towards elegance over power. I found the Brunate to have its signature aromatics and fruit profile but the tannins were incredibly fine in texture and it drank more like a Burgundy than a young Barolo. I could see some thinking it is too elegant and drinkable to age like a classic Barolo - but I thought it was terrific. The Tre Tine I thought was a bit more of a classic Barolo in terms of texture, still very elegant in the grand scheme of things but not quite as extreme as the Brunate. I would say the '16 Rinaldi Brunate is my #2 of the vintage thus far behind the Vietti Rocche. The Tre Tine, I am happy to have some but it is hard to justify the U.S. price in my opinion vs. the Elio Grasso or Vajra above.

The Oddero Rocche di Castiglione 2016 was a very deep and muscular, savory wine. I found it enjoyable but it comes across as from a very different era than the Vietti Rocche noted above. I've yet to try the Brunate which has gotten the most praise of the lineup.
My only problem with Elio Grasso is that it has become more expensive than other wineries I also enjoy such as Brovia, F. Alessandria and F. Rinaldi. I haven't tasted these yet so it might be that Elio Grasso justifies its price tag, but a recent 2014 barolo didn't convince me at least. A bit the same for Vietti as I think the prices of their Crus are a hard one to swallow. They are more expensive than Burlotto and B. Mascarello, which settles it for me. I however still buy the base Castiglione.
Not sure what market you are in but Elio Grasso seems to be cheaper than Brovia, maybe a bit above F. Alessandria ($5-10/btl), ~$20/btl or so higher than F. Rinaldi. The wines increased in price with the 2015/2016 vintages and they're now ~$80-90 USD wines vs. ~$70 before. Vajras pricing has also jumped a bit now with the BdV looking to be closer to $80/btl in 2016 than $60-65 as you could find it in prior vintages, but in all these cases I think the pricing remains very low relative to quality. As for Vietti - here in the U.S. market the Vietti 2016 single vineyards could be found for about $175 if you shopped carefully, with the Rocche being the hardest to find given the production quantity - B. Mascarello is $200+ except in the most lucky of circumstances and Burlotto Monvigliero '16 is also likely to be more expensive than Vietti on the open market, but TBD. I realize the winery pricing on Vietti is high whereas it is low for Burlotto & Bartolo, so if you can buy direct from the winery the math is very different. I prefer the B. Mascarello style vs Vietti although that has narrowed - the '16 Vietti are very classic in profile just with maybe an above average sense of concentration - and I feel a more emotional connection with the Mascarello wines, but I must say the Vietti single vineyards based on quality deserves every bit of their price in my opinion.

2014 is clearly a vintage where some got lucky and weren't exposed to damaging hail etc and produced great classic wines, and some vineyards suffered. Grasso is clearly in the camp whose vineyards suffered in 2014, and as Brovia did they produced a single blended Barolo. I thought it was an OK effort given the circumstances but it is the weakest Barolo from Grasso I have tasted. Both the Elio Grasso & Brovia Unio 2014 to me were very lean wines lacking depth of fruit, more savory in flavor profile.
At least in Europe where I buy wine it seems Brovia are a bit cheaper than Grasso. F. Alessandria Monvigliero comes in at least 20 euroes cheaper than the Grasso Cru's and F. Rinaldi is almost half price. I completely agree with you that that with regards to Mascarello and Burlotto that their winery prices are extreme low, so it really depends on where you source it from. 175 $ is a pretty good deal for Vietti Crus but at least in my area Vietti has also taken a jump in prices after Gallonis 2016 ratings.
But all in all I agree that they are still relative values compared to burgundy. That is also why I find it increasingly difficult to buy village burgundy, when I can drink G. Rinaldi Langhe, F. Rinaldi Barolo, Principiano Barolo and the like for same price.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#34 Post by David_K » June 6th, 2020, 1:42 pm

Is Vietti's pricing vis a vis other excellent addresses such as Grasso, Brovia, Vajra etc. justified? Vietti crus are nearly double.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#35 Post by Pat Burton » June 6th, 2020, 2:01 pm

Yes, vietti pricing has really sky rocketed here.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#36 Post by Kris Patten » June 6th, 2020, 2:21 pm

We just got our container with 2016 Elio Grasso's on it, looking forward to trying them soon. Wholesale should range from $57-60 a bottle, in 6-packs.

Garagiste offered them for a moment today at $69, disappeared in a flash.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#37 Post by Rob M » June 6th, 2020, 3:42 pm

David_K wrote:
June 6th, 2020, 1:42 pm
Is Vietti's pricing vis a vis other excellent addresses such as Grasso, Brovia, Vajra etc. justified? Vietti crus are nearly double.
It's obviously a personal evaluation. For me, the Vietti Rocche in particular in 2016 is an edge above the Elio Grasso wines. 2x as good? No, but all wine pricing is diminishing returns past the $75-100 point in my opinion. I would rank the Vietti Brunate below the Grasso wines in '16 personally so while it's a beautiful wine I think that is not the best QPR. I've yet to taste full bottles of the Vajra wines in a home setting to compare apples to apples. It's also hard to compare different vineyards and say one is clearly better than the other, because they can be so different. The fruit expression of Vietti Rocche is very different than Grasso Gavarini or especially a Vajra BdV.

Scarcity clearly plays a role there in pricing. The Vietti Ravera is 7K bottles but the Rocche is 3.7K 750ml bottles and that's similar for the Brunate and Lazzarito. 3.7K bottles is not a lot for a wine distributed globally, you figure Bartolo is making +/- 15K bottles per year in comparison I believe (although the key difference is a much higher % of those remain in Italy).

To me, in the context of global wine pricing, every one of the wines discussed in this thread remains a bargain including the Vietti, and it seems inevitable prices will rise. Especially in the context that some of these wines, i.e. the Rinaldi Brunate especially, to me the Vietti Rocche to a bit lesser extent, are so finessed at a young age - while there's an argument i've heard that Barolo pricing may be limited because the wines lack the early appeal of Burgundy, I'd say the G. Rinaldi Brunate in '16 is every bit as enjoyable young as any grand cru Burgundy I've tasted that could cost 2x what I paid for the Rinaldi (at U.S. pricing).
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#38 Post by Lorenzo F » July 17th, 2020, 2:54 pm

Just to keep this thread alive ...in case of new tastings😁
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#39 Post by Sh@n A » July 17th, 2020, 3:33 pm

We need a new poll after tastings. As of poll date, 65% said not better than 2010/13
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#40 Post by F.Daner » September 18th, 2020, 3:51 am

Overall I'd say the vintage is looking great. I've only tasted 4 normale/base Barolo. All good 2 outstanding: Cordero Monfallatto and Vietti Castiglione. I'm trying the regular Burlotto this weekend. Based on how good the 15 was I have high hopes.

The broader critic sentiments I'm sure have affected demand and thus pricing as well.
Sh@n A wrote:
July 17th, 2020, 3:33 pm
We need a new poll after tastings. As of poll date, 65% said not better than 2010/13
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#41 Post by Gregory Dal Piaz » September 18th, 2020, 7:37 am

I have tasted few released wines, but many samples over the past 2 plus years. The vintage always struck me as special, but for its elegance and finesse. It's an exceptional vintage, but how much better can it be than any other vintage? Different yes, but once one is at the level of 2010, 2013, and dare I say it even 2015, it gets very difficult to proclaim that one vintage is better. I mean why are we buying these wines? To win competitions or to have something truly enjoyable, unique, and representative of terroir to drink?

The Barolo landscape has changed of course, and that means for pricing as well as quality. Many so called second tier producers are nipping on the heels of the top tiers guys these days, and often for a fraction of the price. In that respect there is an almost eternal improvement in quality, as the quality of supply increases. I'm sure inexpensive 2015 and 2016 barolo has never been better.

This is probably the last vintage that i truly stock up on, it's that good, and I expect it may have a notably smaller shut down window than other, larger scaled vintages; another advantage. We can all sit down in 20 years and decide which producer did better in which vintage of the decade, for our palates, but today i would suggest you buy the producers that appeal to your palate. The wines will be good, perhaps even grand.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#42 Post by David_K » September 18th, 2020, 7:42 am

Gregory Dal Piaz wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 7:37 am
I have tasted few released wines, but many samples over the past 2 plus years. The vintage always struck me as special, but for its elegance and finesse. It's an exceptional vintage, but how much better can it be than any other vintage? Different yes, but once one is at the level of 2010, 2013, and dare I say it even 2015, it gets very difficult to proclaim that one vintage is better. I mean why are we buying these wines? To win competitions or to have something truly enjoyable, unique, and representative of terroir to drink?

The Barolo landscape has changed of course, and that means for pricing as well as quality. Many so called second tier producers are nipping on the heels of the top tiers guys these days, and often for a fraction of the price. In that respect there is an almost eternal improvement in quality, as the quality of supply increases. I'm sure inexpensive 2015 and 2016 barolo has never been better.

This is probably the last vintage that i truly stock up on, it's that good, and I expect it may have a notably smaller shut down window than other, larger scaled vintages; another advantage. We can all sit down in 20 years and decide which producer did better in which vintage of the decade, for our palates, but today i would suggest you buy the producers that appeal to your palate. The wines will be good, perhaps even grand.
Thanks for your thoughts. I take it there won't be a report on your website this year? I have found those very useful in the past. Any standouts from 2016 in your mind?
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#43 Post by Gregory Dal Piaz » September 18th, 2020, 7:52 am

Hi David,

Thank you for the kind words. No report on 2016s, sadly. Since i generally do not keep detailed notes on barrel samples, there was very little to go on.

The top wines of the vintage will be predictable. G Conterno, B Mascarello, Vietti, Burlotto, G Rinaldi. I can't say I'm buying any of those, at least not at the prices I've seen so far.

My money is going to the second tier:

Brovia
Massolino
Oddero
Fratelli Alessandria
Cogno
F Rinaldi
Vajra


Trediberri is worth taking a look at as well and I did buy Vietti's Castiglione, which along with the Barolo Classicos from Oddero, Brovia, Vajra, and Massolino is one of the top values in barolo today.
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Re: 2016 Barolo Vintage - How Is It Looking?

#44 Post by Lorenzo F » September 18th, 2020, 3:13 pm

2016 is a superior vintage to 2015 . 2014 loads of pleasant surprises from new comers : conterno giacosa and massolino.
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