There is hardly a more enlightening way to taste wine than at the side of the winemaker who shepherded it into the world. So whenever the opportunity arises to taste in that manner I do everything I can to take part. A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to taste alongside a couple of Italian winemakers. One of them Gianmarco Ghisolfi was there presenting his family wines made in Piedmont. By and large he poured some lovely selections, but my favorite was his 2006 vintage of Barolo, which I’ll look at today. The Atttilio Ghisolfi 2006 Barolo Bussia “Bricco Visette” was produced from fruit sourced at estate vineyards with between 20 and 50 years of age on them. This offering is 100% Nebbiolo. Fermentation took place using native yeasts. 70% of the wine was aged in large French oak barriques with the remaining 30% being aged in smaller French oak barrels; in both cases they spent 30 months in oak. 10 months of bottle aging in a temperature controlled environment followed. 470 cases of this wine were produced in the 2006 vintage and it has a suggested retail price of $79.99.
Rose petal aromas leap from the glass of this 2006 Barolo along with hints of smoke. From the first sip your palate is enveloped by concentrated red fruit flavors accompanied by oodles of spice. This wine is impeccably structured and balanced with a long, dry finish which shows off bits of earth and beckons you back to the glass again and again for sip after sip. This is a harmonious wine made to enjoy with substantial foods. It’s the kind of wine you’ll want to share with a friend over a leisurely meal so you can experience it’s evolution in your glass. In short this wine has the complexity, depth, length and age worthy characteristics that are expected of excellent Barolo.
In listening to Gianmarco he made it clear that one of the goals with his wines, the Barolos in particular is to make traditional offerings. Barolo has a long and storied history; as well a claim to being one of the very best and most age-worthy expressions of wine emanating from Italy. Having tasted several vintages and expressions of Barolo he makes, they’re achieving their goal of making classic, age-worthy Barolo. Their wines are delicious now but most will improve with age. In the case of the 2006 Bricco Visette I expect it to be even more beautiful in 15-20 years than it is today. If you’re looking to lay down some Barolo for a special occasion, here’s one you should strongly consider.