The delicious Barolo 2005s


This post should carry a health-warning: It is very very long. However, the delicious 2005 Barolos are deserving of every letter, space and punctuation mark. They showed fantastically well at our portfolio tasting, impressing even the most novice of Italian tasters.

The 2005 vintage is a delicious follow up to the powerful and structured 2004s. We were loved their succulent fruit quality, fine tannins and upfront plushness. It is a vintage where the terroir displayed tremendous clarity and precision. Due to their tender tannins and feminine complexity, growers compare them to the classically styled 1998 – a vintage that James Suckling of Wine Spectator has recently heralded as more refined than the grand 1996 now 10+ years on. 2005’s attractive upfront fruit quality is also reminiscent of the easily appealing 1999 vintage.

Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker’s Italian critic, described them as, ‘far better than I expected’ while ‘the top wines are gorgeous’. But, we thoroughly enjoyed the less expensive wines as well. They are just as enjoyable and will be early drinking – a particular benefit for those who have 2004s that are slowly ageing in their cellars. Many wine lovers will also enjoy 2005’s lower alcohol levels (1% on average) which make them particularly balanced and moreish.

These wines will be shipped in early autumn.

Luigi Pira, Serralunga d’Alba
The Pira family only began bottling their own wine in 1995 after years of selling their grapes to other producers. Today, they have 8 hectares in Serralunga d’Alba, one of the 5 main Barolo villages. Its soil is composed of compact sandstone and clay which produces particularly powerful and long-lived wines.

A quiet, reflective soul, Giampaolo Pira makes the wine, and his philosophy lies between traditional and modern. He values the expression of terroir and purity, but he also feels that a certain degree of new oak can benefit his concentrated and complex wines.

His 2005s were impressive. They display all of Serralunga’s power and concentration but remain velvety, mouthfilling and juicy. A Goedhuis exclusivity.

Barolo 2005
£230.00 per 12 IB

Giampaolo’s straight Barolo is produced from the lower slopes of Marenca and Margheria. His 2005 is an impressive wine that delivers loads of sweet cherry and plum fruit and a velvety mouthfeel from the initial attack to its long length. Finishes on subtle savoury notes. This is one big bang for your buck. 2012 – 2020+

Barolo Margheria 2005
£325.00 per 12 IB

Margheria is the most approachable of Giampaolo’s single vineyard wines. His 2005 has a complex and lifted nose which leads to an impressive and refined palate of red morello cherry, sweet plum fruit and zesty crab apple. Noteworthy in its precision and focus. Aged in 2500L casks to retain its innate varietal (and terroir) characteristics. 2012 – 2022+

Barolo Marenca 2005
£395.00 per 12 bottles IB / £80.00 per single magnum IB

A more masculine wine, the 2005 Marenca offers a rich, penetrating and velvety palate. A slight salty tang adds lift and freshness. Finishes on ripe cherry, sweet vanilla and dark chocolate. Though a bit brooding in its youth, it has a curvaceous side that should emerge nicely with age.
Bottles: 2014 – 2026+ Magnums: 2016 – 2028+

Barolo Vigna Rionda 2005
£290.00 per 12 bottles IB / £110.00 per single magnum IB

This wine is aged in small French barrels of which 90% are new. Displaying a nose of spicy cinnamon, clove and vanilla, its palate opens up to a chewy yet succulent fruit core that offers lots of sweetness and depth. Its sheer concentration and power is nothing less than impressive. Its uplifting acidity carries it through to its tremendous length.
Bottles: 2014 – 2026+ Magnums: 2016 – 2028+

Fratelli Revello, La Morra
The impressive Revello cellars are located in Annunziata just under the picturesque village of La Morra. Originally grape growers, the Revello family’s vineyards lie is some of the most prestigious sites of La Morra including Conca and Rocche dell’Annunziata. Carlo and Enzo decided to begin producing their family’s own wine in the early 1990s. Learning from such masters as Elio Altare, they favoured a more modern approach creating wines with upfront, fleshy fruit that were aged in new barrels and casks.

Now with a few more years under their belt, they have backed away from the higher percentage of new oak in order for La Morra’s purity and feminity to shine through. This was no more apparent than in their 2005s which were absolutely delicious. Carlo compares the vintage with their 1998s, which based on the Conca we drank at dinner, are just divine. Their less expensive Barolos were absolute coquettes and almost ready to drink now while their grander cuvées showed impressive complexity and ageability. A Goedhuis exclusivity.

Barbera d’Alba 2007
£95.00 per 12 IB

The 2007 vintage was similar to 2006 – nicely balanced with lots of pure fruit. We love Barbera that is varietally driven and delicious so we were delighted to taste their 2007. On the nose, it displays enticing notes of blood orange, raspberry and a sliver of bitter chocolate. No hard edges in sight just pure delicious fruit and touch of minerality to lend a bit of poise. We could drink a lot of this. 2009 – 2014

Langhe Nebbiolo 2006
£140.00 per 12 IB

Carlo thinks that 2006 could be even better than 2001 (his favourite Barolo vintage in recent years) just for its sheer power. We do not buy Langhe very often as we tend to go for the big Barolo guns, but we were so impressed with the quality of the Revellos’ 2006 that we could not help ourselves (a recent tasting of his 2001 further convinced us). Beautifully aromatic with notes of cinnamon, blood orange, cherry and rose petal. Everything is in balance. A ‘mini’ Barolo through-and-through which displays all the deliciousness of the domaine’s grander wines but at a more affordable price. 2010 – 2017

Barolo 2005
£245.00 per 12 IB

A big hit at our portfolio tasting, the Revellos’ straight Barolo is a true flirt. Aromas of raspberry, cherry and roses open up to a gentle sweet core and finely tuned tannins and uplifting freshness. Though it could be practically drunk straight away, another year will allow further complexity and aromatics to surface. 2010 – 2018

Barolo Vigna Gattera 2005
£290.00 per 12 IB

Their Vigna Gattera is similar in its femininity to their straight Barolo, but with more plushness and concentration. Notes of cinnamon, crab apple and quince lead to an elegant palate that is fleshed out by refined and silky tannins. A well-paced and balanced wine that flows smoothly. 2011 – 2020

Barolo Giachini 2005
£335.00 per 12 IB

A bigger more feisty wine than Gattera displaying a punchy fruit core of red bramble fruit, zesty pink grapefruit, vanilla and dried roses. Its palate is more muscley and dense which leads to a notably long length and fine, chewy tannins. 2013 – 2022

Barolo Conca 2005
£375.00 per 12 IB

Often the most opulent of the Revellos’ Barolos due to its slightly warmer microclimate. Conca’s wines also tend to be silky smooth due to a good slathering of limestone. The 2005 is a deceptively powerful wine that mesmerizes the palate with its sweet laciness before it leads to an impressive kick of structure. Like a ballet dancer with a black belt in kung fu! 2013 – 2022

Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata 2005 (very limited)
£265.00 per 6 IB

Carlo’s top vineyard, the 2005 offers a deep ruby colour and an aromatic palate of ripe fig, crunchy cherry, and gently roasted coffee. Fantastically layered, its exceptional fruit concentration wraps up the wine’s impressive tannins in ample velvet and ripeness. One impressive wine. Only 1000 bottles have been produced. 2014 – 2022

Fratelli Cavallotto, Castiglione Falletto
The Cavallotto family are fifth generation Barolo growers. They began producing wine in the 1940s from Bricco Boschis, a sweeping vineyard site that is located outside the ancient perched village of Castiglione Falletto. Traditionalists through-and-through, they use only large Slovenian oak casks for ageing. As a result, their wines are wonderfully pure, poised and fantastically complex – notably Burgundian in style in fact.

In recent years, they have won over wine critics notably Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker’s Italian sidekick, who wrote in December 2007, “I can’t think of too many estates whose wines have given me as much pleasure in recent years as those of the Cavallotto family. With each passing vintage the wines seem to grow leaps and bounds…” We could not agree more. Their wines are worth seeking out.

Barolo Bricco Boschis 2005
£355.00 per 12 IB

Bricco Boschis is the Cavallotto’s flagship Barolo which is always an impressive wine. Ripe in dark and flavours, the 2005 displays an elegant, velvety palate of concentrated black cherry flavours, brown sugar and blood orange. A refined finish leads to a savoury finish. 2012 – 2024+

Barolo Riserva Vignolo 2003
£239.00 per 6 IB

Vignolo is usually the more open of their two Riservas when young offering plump red fruits and an easy-to-like personality. The 2003 does not disappoint with its pretty and poised palate and tender mouthfeel. Its telltale Nebbiolo tannins kick in on the finish but they are gently rounded out by the wine’s concentration and succulent fruit and savoury flavours. 2011 – 2024+

Barolo Riserva San Giuseppe 2003
£239.00 per 6 IB

The San Giuseppe vineyard produces serious wines that are ageworthy and noble. Rich with heady aromas of dried cherry, truffle and leather, this full-bodied wine expands profusely on the palate with its ripe, mouthfilling tannins and underlying freshness. Its pronounced richness leads to an impressively long finish. 2011 – 2026+