I don’t have all that many of these downstairs, but enough to get an idea, and my source who has guided my purchasing (www.barolobrunello.com) knows what he is talking about. Didn’t really expect them to be ready for prime drinking but there’s one way to find out.
2013 Fratelli Alessandria Barolo ‘Monvigliero’. A producer I have had good success with. Light red fruit nose, floral hints. Powerful attack, bright and balanced. Some red fruit character. Has body and power, tannins, nice structure but what I do not find is great depth of fruit or particular length.
2013 Elvio Cogno Barolo ‘Ravera’. Quiet, clean nose very neutral, barely an aroma really. Clean, floral in the mouth, darker profile than the Alessandria. Road tar and more road tar in the finish, good length. But, meh.
2013 Tiziano Grasso Barolo ‘La Briccolina’. Clean, quiet nose, hint of red fruit, menthol, light spice. Spicy and floral in the mouth, broad and tannic. Dark, tarry finish. I can already feel this evolving toward autumnal things, away from fruit, as nebbiolo frequently does fairly early to my dismay. The wines keep their structure but lose their fruit. This one is pretty good today, probably the most pleasurable of the three, but I fear I will like it less in future.
I am still, TBH, on the fence with Barolo. All the outward signs are positive: small artisans still making agricultural products (rather than luxury goods) from a noble, ageworthy varietal that does well without new oak. But somehow I should like them more than I usually do. Maybe these are in some ‘closed phase’ – a notion of which I am generally deeply skeptical – or just too young and will blossom with time. Or maybe these wines just don’t really click for me. Stay tuned.