I will not even look at Barolo and Barbaresco until they are 10 years old. I look at them but put them aside to age for at least another 5 to 10 years. That’s why I like to buy older Barolos and Barbarescos — so I will not have to wait too long to drink them.
Franco Bengazi, owner of the Wine Emporium, an importer and distributor of mostly Italian wine, told me he had a friend who had older vintages of Barolo and Barbaresco to sell.
I went to visit his friend. He had Barolo and Barbaresco from the 1960’s and ’70’s, stored in cardboard cases that fell apart when we tried to open them. The wines were from the Rivetto winery and I bought a number of them.
Though we had never met in person, Alessandro Rivetto is my Facebook friend. When he saw on Facebook my pictures of the Rivetto wines from his families winery, he wrote to me and said that next time he was in NYC we should get together. I said I would open some of the older vintages for him.
That was a few years ago and a number of things have changed since then. I drank all of the wines I had bought and Alessandro left his family’s winery and went out on his own. He inherited part of the family vineyards and now has three partners. Alessandro produces two different lines of wine, the Alessandro Rivetto line and the Ipoli line. His original family winery is still in business under the name of Rivetto.
Lorenzo Baricca, wine director of Tarallucci E Vino Restaurant in NYC knew of my interest in these wines and my contact with Alessandro. When he scheduled a dinner featuring Alessandro’s wines, Lorenzo invited me to join them and I met Alessandro at last. We tasted the wines from the Alessandro Rivetto line.
Langhe Arneis “ Matire”2013 DOC 100% Arneis
The harvest is manual. The must and the skins are in contact at cold temperatures for about 30 hours after which the fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Maceration lasts for five days. The wine is aged in stainless steel. This is an Arneis with some body, fruity with hints of citrus and good acidity.
Barbaresco 2010 DOCG made from 100% Nebbiolo. Manual harvest. Stemmer pressing and cold maceration for 2 days after which fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Maceration lasts for 20 days. The wine remains in oak casks for 18 months and in bottle for 6 months before release. This is a balanced wine has hints of cherries and violets with touches of tea and rose petals.
Barolo Serralunga d’Alba 2009 DOCG made from 100% Nebbiolo. Manual harvest. There is stemmer pressing and cold maceration for 2 days. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Maceration lasts for 20 days. The wine is aged for more than 3 years in oak casks. The wine remains in the bottle for 10 months before release. It is a wine with hints of blackberries and violets with a touch of tea and spice.
Barolo “Lazzarito”2009 DOCG 100% Nebbiolo Manual harvest then stemmer crushing and maceration. Fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless tanks. The maceration lasts for 37/42 days. Aging is in oak casks for more then 3 years and in bottle for 18 months before release. This is a wine with hints of leather, spice, licorice and a very long finish. It is a Barolo that will age for many years.
The executive chef at Tarallucci E Vino, Andrew Welch, did a great job of matching the food with the wines.