This is a SINGING(!) duo of Cavallotto Barolo Riservas with the crackling purity of a summer thunderstorm: One Bricco Boschis San Giuseppe Riserva and one Vignolo Riserva.
The 2000 vintage produced Barolos of great ripeness and exuberance. While the initial critical acclaim was by all counts exaggerated, the best Barolos of 2000 are proving to have great intensity of fruit, complexity and structure. Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker's Piedmont ambassador, has given both of these wines exceptional praise. (See below for full reviews.)
Cavallotto farms two very serious vineyards in the small town of Castiglione Falletto. Bricco Boschis sits just north of the famous Monprivato (one of the greatest sites in all of the Piedmont) and produces muscular wines of incredible balance. Pure fruit wrapped by a firm muscle. The San Giuseppe Riserva comes from a special, old-vine section of this vineyard and the electricity is more pronounced in this Barolo. It is more expressive, with a complexity of fruit that overshadows the regular Bricco Boschis bottling. It is also tremendously age-worthy. Not as elegant as Mascarello's Monprivato, the 2000 Bricco Boschis San Giuseppe Riserva is rather a brooding, dark fruit and mineral-laden Barolo of serious density. In this way it is perhaps closer in lineage to Conterno's monster from Serralunga's Cascina Francia. With a big decant this can be some fun to drink now though it really should have another 5+ years of sleep to come into its top form.
The Vignolo vineyard sits just down the hill from Monprivato - with Codana separating the two. The 2000 Vignolo Riserva reveals the more tender side of Barolo: Beautifully perfumed and supple with a sweet red fruit that is suave and generous though it's also focused. This is much more typical of the great Barolos of Castiglione Falletto - known for their balance of fruit and perfume with grip and finesse. Galloni has a great line in his enthusiastic review: "...notable harmony and a gorgeous sense of inner purity that is inescapably seductive."
Barolo is finally getting the recognition it deserves and if you've been buying over the years you've seen prices creep up to (and well beyond) the $100 mark for the best wines. We have been able to off you a way to "turn back the clock" and buy serious Barolo at seriously low prices.
While people who have been collecting Cavallottos for the last 20+ years will need no encouragement to stock up by the case-load, those of you who have had only flirtatious encounters with traditional Barolo or have only heard rumors - this is an offer not to miss. Given the pricing we are now offering, these two Cavallottos represent perhaps one of our greatest Piedmont values we've offered all year. (And we've had a lot of goodies!)
"Time has always marched to a different beat at Cavallotto."
So writes Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker's Piedmont Ambassador. He continues: "up until recently the estate was off the radar screens of all but the most devout Barolo aficionados." Yes, the Giant (secrets) of the Piedmont are falling, which means their prices are rising. One after the other: Giacosa, Conterno, Bartolo Mascarello and now Giuseppe Mascarello. All of these producers are becoming full blown stars with rising prices! Traditional in style but international in repute.
Though the estate has been around for a long time, they did not begin using the "Bricco Boschis" name until the late 1960s. Historically this vineyard was divided into three sub-plots: Punta Marcello, Colle Sud Ovest and Vigna San Giuseppe. As Galloni writes, "Vigna San Giuseppe is the heart of the vineyard and yields structured, age-worthy Barolos. Many of the vines are quite old and therefore the exact nature of the clones that are planted is not entirely known. Cavallotto believes that these old clones are just as important as the differences in soils in terms of explaining the unique qualities of the individual parcels." This is a tremendously age-worthy Barolo.
Wine Advocate: "The 2000 San Giuseppe proves to be on another level. Thoroughly convincing, it displays a balsamic nose of spices, menthol and licorice, followed by deep layers of dark fruit and tar, with a backward, structured personality and potent tannins. This should start to be expressive around age 12- 15 after which it will offer a long window of highly enjoyable drinking."
A year and a half later, Galloni tasted it again, bumped up the score, and wrote the following: "The 2000 Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe is not especially easy to assess at this adolescent stage. Today it is a dark, strapping Barolo loaded with sweet dark fruit, leather and mineral flavors. The wine's track record leads me to believe the 2000 will almost certainly develop into another splendid Vigna San Giuseppe."
The Vignolo vineyard is also in Castiglione Falletto. Just down the slope from Monprivato and Codana, Vignolo is less structured than the Bricco Boschis San Giuseppe. This is a more feminine wine, more in line with the elegant, floral Barolos of Castiglione Falletto.
Wine Advocate: "The 2000 Barolo Riserva Vignolo perfectly captures the essence of this site as well as the vintage. A delicate, feminine Barolo, it offers perfumed aromatics and a core of generous, soft-textured fruit with notable harmony and a gorgeous sense of inner purity that is inescapably seductive."