I've been looking at the BdM and Barolo in my cellar and trying to decide what to open. I'd love to do this as a poll, but it doesn't seem to be possible here.

For both Brunello and Barolo, of current century vintages (2000 to present), which normale and which riserva are approachable now and in what order would you open these vintages?

I figure some of it will be producer-dependent, so if you have opinions in that area, let's hear them.

Original Post

I drank all my 2001s [Brunello] unfortunately, but they should still be drinking beautifully with the exception of the big boy riservas from Biondi Santi, Soldera, etc.  

I recently opened a 2007 Querce Bettina Riserva, and it was delicious - more much more ready than the 2006.

Last edited by doubled

Agree with DoubleD on this regarding Brunello. '01s seem to be drinking well.
All of the 04's i've tasted seem to be holding back a notch or 2 imo. '06's need time but the '07's are drinking. 

mangiare posted:

Agree with DoubleD on this regarding Brunello. '01s seem to be drinking well.
All of the 04's i've tasted seem to be holding back a notch or 2 imo. '06's need time but the '07's are drinking. 

Just the '07 normale? I would think the riservas still need time, no?

I will gladly drink a Brunello almost anytime, but I am still holding most of my 2001s and younger, at least from top producers and good vintages. This is based on my experiences drinking a 1988 Altesino Montosoli, several pre-1990 Il Poggiones and Lisinis, plus a variety of Costanti, Salvioni, and Livio Sassettis from the 1990s. Not one was past prime...and in fact most were just wonderful. So while some younger vintages may drink decently now, I have confidence in what they will be with a bit more age, and I am holding 2001s, 2004s, 2006s, 2010s, and 2013s.

I am, however, drinking selectively from so-called off vintages now. I find 2008 is a great vintage to drink now, for example.

Last edited by shavez

Re: Barolo

2000 - Drank these a while back and for the most part think this vintage has seen it's best days.  The very best may still be good/improve.  Opening a 2000 Rinaldi Brunate Le Coste shortly to see.

2001 - Drinking really well.

2003 - Gone

2004 - Some drinking well but has a long way to go.

2005 - Most have seen best days, but some Riserva or better examples may still shine.  2005 Aldo Conterno GranBussia and 2005 Oddero Vigna Rionda were both singing. 

2006 - Waiting

2007 - Seen best days - hot vintage that drank well early.  May be exceptions.

2008 - Great classic vintage.  Some normale may be ready but generally the 08s need time imo.  A 2008 Azelia Margheria over Christmas was very good but YOUNG.   2008 Massolino Vigna Rionda last August was tasty but infanticide. 

2009 - Another warm, ripe vintage.  I enjoyed them early for the most part.  The better examples will still have time.

2010 - Normale and lower end wines drinking fine.  Waiting on everything else.

2011 - Starting into drinking window but still early.  I'm testing the odd bottle but not rushing into the 11s.  Cappellano Rupestris difficult to resist.

2012 - Early drinking, lighter, elegant vintage.  Have been dipping into these.  Cappellano Rupsestris - wonderful and difficult to resist as well (not quite the 11 but delicious).

2013 - Big tannins still show prominently.  Lower end or normale may be coming around.  I think this one depends on whether you like/tolerate tannin.  I opened a 2013 Chiara Boschis Mosconi a week ago and quite enjoyed it despite the mouth gripping tannin and its youth.  The remaining bottles of Mosconi will sleep for a long time.

2014 - Heterogenous vintage due to the variable whether, especially the hail, and the ability of producers to manage all the challenges in the vineyards.  Some 14s are excellent but need time. 

1990's:  Am really liking 1999's and still enjoying 1996's.  Have pretty much moved on from 1997 and 1998.  

Vincentric, thanks for the detailed report. Based on this, I have a number of bottle I need to open. I only have one 2003 left but quite a few middling 2005s that I'll start to check in on.

My Brunello are now all 2004 or more recent, and my only 2007 is the Fuligni Riserva which I'll continue to hold.

I’m trying to decide whether to attack my 2006 Brunelli aggressively but I feel like my remaining 2004s are hitting stride. Several months ago I had the 2004 Uccelliera Riserva and that was remarkable. I still have a 2004 Madonna del Piano and a 2004 Soldera Riserva...the latter of which I’m sure can last easily into the middle of next decade though I’m curious if anyone has any experience/perspective on that.

In my recent experience, pre-1990 are going to be bottle by bottle. Barolo '96 and '99 still drinking well and 2001 and 2004 approachable. '06, '08, '10, '13 and the best '14s need more time. The odd vintages ('05, '07, '09, '11) mainly warmer years are drinking but no rush, same with 2012.

Brunello '88, '90, '95, '99 drinking beautifully, though there may be some bottle variation at this age. The best vintages from 2001 and earlier are hitting their sweet spots, but '06 still not ready. The '11s and '12s are drinking the best among younger vintages and the '14s should come around early. Biondi-Santi Riservas will need more time. A 1983 at the Wine Experience was drinking well.

Concerning Brunello, in my experience, 2001, 2004, & 2006 can be consumed now or held depending on producer. After 2010, these are the best vintages of the 2000's, IMO.  I really like most of the '04's and '06's I have had; often more impressed than not. 2003 & 2005 were hot vintages so most should be consumed by now, if not sooner than later. I find variation in 2007, '08, & '09 so hard to generalize, also less experience with these vintages. 2011's can be consumed now as it is, relatively, a very easy drinking vintage with 2012's not far behind- i.e. some '12's can be enjoyed now but be selective. 2010's are stellar and the best should be held, but many of the more modern styles can be enjoyed now with great pleasure.

Concening Barolo, like Burgundy, I am afraid to delve into this region due to prohibitive cost. I want to, but still only dip a toe- mostly at tastings. Over the last few years my tastes are evolving more towards the style Barolo's offer. Makes me nervous as it could get me into trouble down the road.

The best drinking brunelli today for my taste are as follows:

1980 Riserva 


1985 (Best of all right now IMO)




1995 (second best right now with plenty of time to go)



2004 some producers


I am holding 2006 and 2010. 

Only a few top ‘97s are still drinking well, as well as some ‘98s. 

BTW. Gkapoor shared a ‘55 Biondi Santi Riserva with KSCO2 and me several years ago. It was ethereal but needed a couple hours of air to really show its true potential. 

This week I blind tasted a few somms with 2006 Barbi Riserva. 

Tannins were pretty high. High enough some called Barolo.

Good bet to hold onto any 06 Brunello Riserva's... 

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