1952 Borgogno Help

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Max S.
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1952 Borgogno Help

#1 Post by Max S. »

I bought a 1952 Borgogno for my mom's birthday from Lopa (thanks Scott!). It's been standing up for about a week and will open tomorrow with plans to decant and then drink over hours or when it hits its stride.

My question is, are there any small bites or preferably cheeses worth pairing when we open the bottle? Normal Barolo pairings? Or is something this old better on its own?

Edit: from my follow up post below for posterity, thanks everyone!
Max S. wrote: February 20th, 2022, 5:31 pm Played out well, thank you all again for the advice.

Opened the bottle with a normal corkscrew, top 2/3 broke and pulled out. Used an ah so on the last 1/3, but it was pushing the remainder into the bottle. Ended up coming in at an angle with the corkscrew and pulling the remaining 1/3 out slowly. Success!

Poured about 2.5-3 full glasses into a decanter before starting to see sediment. Ultimately got another half glass or so with a bit of sediment before whipping out some coffee filters (should've gotten cheese cloth ahead of time) - drank that towards the end of the night. As noted the sediment was ultra fine. It looked like whispy clouds snaking towards the mouth of the bottle.

Wine was in the decanter for about 5 minutes before pouring, we all tried it right then. It was nice, but a little muted and maybe acid heavy, so ended up sipping over an hour or so. Probably about 20-30 minutes in it was showing some beautiful cherry - definitely stood out as I was expecting much more tertiary flavors. I can't believe this was a red cap, or original release that hadn't been topped up per Ken V. Really nice balance and acidity. Incredibly smooth. About an hour in it started to show something like baking spice. The color was a limpid red, reminded me of a dull strawberry.

I'd say not in its prime, but still drinking very well and worth every last penny plus some for the experience. 10/10 would do again (for any special occasion I could justify it).
Last edited by Max S. on February 20th, 2022, 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#2 Post by cjsavino »

Should move to wine talk
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#3 Post by James Guthri3 »

Max S. wrote: February 18th, 2022, 6:58 am I bought a 1952 Borgogno for my mom's birthday from Lopa (thanks Scott!). It's been standing up for about a week and will open tomorrow with plans to decant and then drink over hours or when it hits its stride.

My question is, are there any small bites or preferably cheeses worth pairing when we open the bottle? Normal Barolo pairings? Or is something this old better on its own?
Agree with Chris - you will get a lot more eyeballs on this in Wine Talk.

I opened a 1947 for my dad's birthday a few years ago and we drank most of it on its own to just enjoy and savor the experience of trying a wine that old (which fortunately was in great shape, despite pouring a very interesting light pink color). I think you could pair it with a light bite or two if you wanted to, but I wouldn't go with the classic meal pairings as that would overwhelm the subtleties of the wine.

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#4 Post by Max S. »

Todd F r e n c h wrote: February 17th, 2022, 7:40 pm
Todd, help, I made a mistake.

Thanks James and Chris
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#5 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Moved
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#6 Post by Eric White »

personally, I find these old Barolos really shine with braised dishes, such as braised rabbit, short ribs, that sort of thing. Not small bites, I know, but that's my suggestion :)

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#7 Post by John Morris »

Yes, braised meat or a simple pasta (e.g., butter and herbs). The sad truth is that cheese does not do old wines any favors.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#8 Post by Ian Sutton »

Eric White wrote: February 18th, 2022, 3:21 pm personally, I find these old Barolos really shine with braised dishes, such as braised rabbit, short ribs, that sort of thing. Not small bites, I know, but that's my suggestion :)
and that could include pasta tossed in said meaty goodness.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#9 Post by S teve R edenbaugh »

Agnolotti del plin in Brodo...with rabbit. Simple and absolutely stunning...

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#10 Post by Andrew Bair »

I had the 1952 Borgogno a few years ago, and while I can't remember what I ate with it, it had held up exceptionally well.

The one I remember more about was the 1964 Borgogno, which I had with a pasta dish with a wild mushroom (chanterelle and other varieties) sauce. The mushrooms really complimented the earth/tar/truffle flavors of the Barolo quite well.

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#11 Post by Theodore Anderson »

I had a '57 recently, it was ready to go right away and evolved nicely for several hours. It was good with every food I paired it with - an effortlessly pleasurable wine.

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#12 Post by Jeremy Holmes »

A slow braise works well with old Barolo.

I would never pair any cheese with red wine. In general dry whites are much better, or a botrytis with a blue cheese. Never red.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#13 Post by Eric White »

S teve R edenbaugh wrote: February 18th, 2022, 3:47 pm Agnolotti del plin in Brodo...with rabbit. Simple and absolutely stunning...
that sounds perfect, and could even qualify for the "small bites" requirement

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#14 Post by Max S. »

Thanks for all the advice I think we're just going to have some bread and olive oil before/with the wine.

The next question is, I have 2x zalto burg and 2x grassl Cru- will these glasses work? I have some bdx style glasses too, but not at the same level.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#15 Post by Ken V »

We're missing the most important piece of information. Is the top of the capsule red or black?

Original releases are wines that were released not long after the vintage. Typically (at least through the 1990 vintage), original releases have a red top to the capsule.

Library releases should have an all black capsule and a decant declaration on the back label, that is a statement of the date that the wine was decanted, topped off, and recorked for sale.

The library releases can seem very young for the vintage. I would consider slow-o for both, but esp. the library release.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#16 Post by Max S. »

OG baby!
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#17 Post by M. Meer »

I think you could do prosciutto and a bit of parmigiano or a velouté (mushroom or cauliflower) to start with your wine and bread. If you want to hedge your bet, some champagne if you find it's not to your liking.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#18 Post by Michae1 P0wers »

Max S. wrote: February 18th, 2022, 6:58 am I bought a 1952 Borgogno for my mom's birthday from Lopa (thanks Scott!). It's been standing up for about a week and will open tomorrow with plans to decant and then drink over hours or when it hits its stride.

My question is, are there any small bites or preferably cheeses worth pairing when we open the bottle? Normal Barolo pairings? Or is something this old better on its own?
It sounds like you are set on the idea of having this without an entree, and I could see that if you are having several tasters and don't want the wine to get lost, but I'd agree with those suggesting a pasta with a meat sauce or braised meat dish. Maybe even create a small plate to really work with those flavors. Personally I don't think bread and oil will do it justice. It won't hurt it, but I think there's room for improvement.

Scott does really well with sourcing these old Barolos. Served a '64 Barale purchased from him last summer, along with a lot of other great wines, and I thought it was great. I'm typically not wild on the buy now, receive whenever model, but I make an exception for Lopa.

Whatever you decide for service, good luck with the wine, hope it's really special!

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#19 Post by Max S. »

Michae1 P0wers wrote: February 18th, 2022, 8:17 pm
It sounds like you are set on the idea of having this without an entree, and I could see that if you are having several tasters and don't want the wine to get lost, but I'd agree with those suggesting a pasta with a meat sauce or braised meat dish. Maybe even create a small plate to really work with those flavors. Personally I don't think bread and oil will do it justice. It won't hurt it, but I think there's room for improvement.

Scott does really well with sourcing these old Barolos. Served a '64 Barale purchased from him last summer, along with a lot of other great wines, and I thought it was great. I'm typically not wild on the buy now, receive whenever model, but I make an exception for Lopa.

Whatever you decide for service, good luck with the wine, hope it's really special!
Thanks Michael! The reason for not doing an entree is there was a specific request for NY strip steak that doesn't really fit the wine from my understanding. I did want to have something to eat so they aren't drinking on an empty stomach, but also don't want to overwhelm the vino.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#20 Post by Michae1 P0wers »

Max S. wrote: February 18th, 2022, 8:20 pm
Michae1 P0wers wrote: February 18th, 2022, 8:17 pm
It sounds like you are set on the idea of having this without an entree, and I could see that if you are having several tasters and don't want the wine to get lost, but I'd agree with those suggesting a pasta with a meat sauce or braised meat dish. Maybe even create a small plate to really work with those flavors. Personally I don't think bread and oil will do it justice. It won't hurt it, but I think there's room for improvement.

Scott does really well with sourcing these old Barolos. Served a '64 Barale purchased from him last summer, along with a lot of other great wines, and I thought it was great. I'm typically not wild on the buy now, receive whenever model, but I make an exception for Lopa.

Whatever you decide for service, good luck with the wine, hope it's really special!
Thanks Michael! The reason for not doing an entree is there was a specific request for NY strip steak that doesn't really fit the wine from my understanding. I did want to have something to eat so they aren't drinking on an empty stomach, but also don't want to overwhelm the vino.
Interestingly, at the dinner I mentioned I had a NY Strip, and believe at least one other had the same. It was a really excellent steak and served quite rare. I thought it paired really well. The steak was quite lean, so it didn't overpower the wine. I actually think a leaner steak works well, but not sure how acceptable that opinion is. I do think you would have a lot of latitude on a small bite or two which would compliment the wine well though.

Let us know how it all works out.

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#21 Post by Eric Lundblad »

Max S. wrote: February 18th, 2022, 8:20 pm
Michae1 P0wers wrote: February 18th, 2022, 8:17 pm
It sounds like you are set on the idea of having this without an entree, and I could see that if you are having several tasters and don't want the wine to get lost, but I'd agree with those suggesting a pasta with a meat sauce or braised meat dish. Maybe even create a small plate to really work with those flavors. Personally I don't think bread and oil will do it justice. It won't hurt it, but I think there's room for improvement.

Scott does really well with sourcing these old Barolos. Served a '64 Barale purchased from him last summer, along with a lot of other great wines, and I thought it was great. I'm typically not wild on the buy now, receive whenever model, but I make an exception for Lopa.

Whatever you decide for service, good luck with the wine, hope it's really special!
Thanks Michael! The reason for not doing an entree is there was a specific request for NY strip steak that doesn't really fit the wine from my understanding. I did want to have something to eat so they aren't drinking on an empty stomach, but also don't want to overwhelm the vino.
A Porcini & Parmesan Risotto would be perfect and works well as a small bite.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#22 Post by Charles Taylor »

Max S. wrote: February 18th, 2022, 6:58 am I bought a 1952 Borgogno for my mom's birthday from Lopa (thanks Scott!). It's been standing up for about a week and will open tomorrow with plans to decant and then drink over hours or when it hits its stride.

My question is, are there any small bites or preferably cheeses worth pairing when we open the bottle? Normal Barolo pairings? Or is something this old better on its own?


A classic pairing with old Barolo is Parmigiano Reggiano and warm walnuts. Those old Borgogno Barolos are wonderful.
Last edited by Charles Taylor on February 19th, 2022, 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#23 Post by Jonathan Jetter »

I had a '47 not too long ago. I thought it was lovely on its own, really just wanted to take in the nuance of a wine that old.

I think any cured meats would work well (My friends who shared the '47 were snacking on prosciutto....), or something mushroom-y.

I also think a steak would work fine, FWIW.

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#24 Post by Warren Taranow »

I agree with all of the pairing recs above. I've typically served my old Borgognos with a truffle dish.

Here's my unsolicited wine prep comment, which you probably already know as it's been posted before. I stand them up for more than a week, but you don't have that option, so a week it is. I decant them carefully over a candle or a light many hours before serving. I stop pouring as soon as I see the sediment. Sometimes, I'll leave 1/4 of the bottle, as IMO it's better to have 3/4 of a bottle of clear old nebbiolo than a full serving of cloudy. The sediment in old nebbiolo is nasty and can ruin the experience. I then rinse the bottle with water, then distilled water, then try to shake out the water, then refill the bottle with the decanted wine. That way, if you have to travel, you don't have to worry about shaking up the nasty sediment.

I have several of the 52's, as well as many others from the 50's, 60's 70' and 80's. I hope yours shows well; I've yet to open a 1952. Happy Birthday to your Mom!

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#25 Post by Max S. »

Ultimately I've decided to open the bottle when they get here, about 30 minutes before dinner. Pour into decanter and then into glasses about 15 minutes before dinner. That way we can try before dinner, and then sip it during (we're having NY Strip with mushrooms). Will update you all on how it goes. Definitely wish I'd prepared more in advance, but I'm hoping a week of settling will be okay.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#26 Post by Max S. »

Played out well, thank you all again for the advice.

Opened the bottle with a normal corkscrew, top 2/3 broke and pulled out. Used an ah so on the last 1/3, but it was pushing the remainder into the bottle. Ended up coming in at an angle with the corkscrew and pulling the remaining 1/3 out slowly. Success!

Poured about 2.5-3 full glasses into a decanter before starting to see sediment. Ultimately got another half glass or so with a bit of sediment before whipping out some coffee filters (should've gotten cheese cloth ahead of time) - drank that towards the end of the night. As noted the sediment was ultra fine. It looked like whispy clouds snaking towards the mouth of the bottle.

Wine was in the decanter for about 5 minutes before pouring, we all tried it right then. It was nice, but a little muted and maybe acid heavy, so ended up sipping over an hour or so. Probably about 20-30 minutes in it was showing some beautiful cherry - definitely stood out as I was expecting much more tertiary flavors. I can't believe this was a red cap, or original release that hadn't been topped up per Ken V. Really nice balance and acidity. Incredibly smooth. About an hour in it started to show something like baking spice. The color was a limpid red, reminded me of a dull strawberry.

I'd say not in its prime, but still drinking very well and worth every last penny plus some for the experience. 10/10 would do again (for any special occasion I could justify it).
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#27 Post by Warren Taranow »

Max,

Well done, it sounds like a fantastic experience. Good job with the old cork too. The waiters’ corkscrew and the Ah so work symbiotically if you start with the worm then put the ah so around it; a homemade Durand.
I’ve found the old Nebbiolos are unique in that the sediment negatively impacts the wine and is too fine to filter. Also, these wines tolerate and even require a lot of air, which would kill most other old wines.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#28 Post by Claus Jeppesen »

John Morris wrote: February 18th, 2022, 3:32 pm Yes, braised meat or a simple pasta (e.g., butter and herbs). The sad truth is that cheese does not do old wines any favors.
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#29 Post by Claus Jeppesen »

It was apparantly a "Regulare" vintage
https://langhe.net/en/1775/barolo-wine- ... 1951-1989/
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#30 Post by Warren Taranow »

Claus Jeppesen wrote: February 21st, 2022, 9:48 am It was apparantly a "Regulare" vintage
https://langhe.net/en/1775/barolo-wine- ... 1951-1989/
Claus,

That's a great link; thanks. Here's another covering Angelo Gaja's take on '58-'11.

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#31 Post by Max S. »

I actually emailed Borgogno and they passed me on to this site covering Barolo vintages in general: https://www.enotecadelbarolo.it/il-baro ... -migliori/
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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#32 Post by S teve R edenbaugh »

Actually want to bump this...Scott at Lopa just emailed another Borgogno Riserve offering...1947, 1958, 1961, and 1964...If I could figure out how to repost the email, I would...I'm a tech idiot.
Last edited by S teve R edenbaugh on February 23rd, 2022, 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1952 Borgogno Help

#33 Post by Max S. »

Lopa Wine wrote: Giacomo Borgogno, Barolo Riserva (red capsules)
1948/1957/1961/1964
My first Borgogno offer in over two years and I'm super excited about this batch. Four classic years and four of the best examples ever made from the estate. As always, these are original “red capsule” bottles which mean that they are on the original corks and haven't been recorked/refilled at any point. They are the more sought after wines and the only ones I will bring in from Borgogno. This is from a really beautiful collection out of Europe and I'm told a very meticulous collector. These older lots are always fun but I'm particularly pumped about this batch with their condition and price of entry. Pricing is extremely fair, these are the same prices I was working off two years ago and well under market rates now (let alone for the condition these bottles are in). I've had lots of great feedback from all four years and plenty of great bottles between the latter trio myself (I've yet to taste the '47). It's always fun hearing when these relatively humble wines best the top producers in tastings which seems to happen more frequently than one would expect. I prefer to stick with the great, storied vintages going this far back with older Barolo and these are the famous years. Good quantities available today considering the numbers they are normally found in. To order simply reply to this email.

Cheers,

Scott
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