2011 Fenocchio Barolo Bussia Riserva 90 Di
$162.95 btl / $488.85 cs (case of 3 x 750ml)
Claudio Fenocchio, a fifth generation winemaker, once had a dream as a young winemaker to make the finest wines in all of Barolo. Today, he is not only one of the very few making Barolo in the traditional way, but his wines are so incredibly popular that his cru Barolos sell out well before they are released. We had to place our order over a year ago for this riserva offered today. Last January’s offer for this wine sold out in 30 minutes, and this time we have brought in more cases, but there are still limited quantities and we expect this to sell out very quickly.
Claudio’s 2011 Barolo “90 di” Riserva is a masterpiece made the way his grandfather used to. It is complex and rich with a bouquet offering fruit and floral fragrances and strong warm spiced scents. An elegant and velvety wine, it is characterized by its completeness, balance and well known longevity. The robust palate offers cherry marinated in spirits, licorice, peppercorn and dried herb framed in firm velvety tannins. Grapes are carefully selected from Claudio’s four Barolo crus (Bussia, Cannubi, Villero and Castellare) and macerated for fully 90 days on the skins and aged for 5 years prior to release. 2011 was a hotter vintage compared to 2010 and Barolos have slightly less acidity, a bit more alcohol, sweeter tannins and overall a more approachable in their early years.
Barolo, always made with 100% Nebbiolo, is arguably the most famous DOCG produced in northern Italy. The “Barolo Wars” have pretty much come to an end, as only a handful of winemakers, such as Claudio, have gone back to a more traditional way of producing Barolos to better reflect Italian heritage – fermenting wine on the skins for 30 or more days, fermenting naturally without added yeasts as well as aging in large Slovenian oak boti.
Traditionalists have resisted the lure of new oak and French grape varieties and make wines much the way their fathers and grandfathers did.
Whichever word you want to use; minimalist, traditionalist, non-interventionist, the important fact is that Claudio’s wines exhibit a level of terroir clarity that is only found in the top echelon of producers. His total production annually across all his wines is only 3,000 cases.
Price: Case of 3 at $488.85 ($162.95 per bottle)
Drink: Now or over the next 20 years
Service: Best served at 14-16 °C. Decant 3 hours before serving
Varietal/Body: Nebbiolo, Full body
Wine Enthusiast, 93 points, September 2017
Merano Wine Festival: The Wine Hunter Award 2017 “Gold”
Guida Vitae Associazione Italiana Sommelier: 4 Viti
Food Pairing: Braised beef, game, grilled steak fillets, truffles, risotto with porcini, mild chesses such as robiolo, grana padano and ‘toma’-style cheeses