Saturday, November 22, 2008

2001 Elio Altare, Barolo Arborina, Piemonte, Italy

I actually tasted this wine about 2 weeks ago @ my good friend Claus Lysters big tasting event. Arborina didn’t do well at that tasting, but there where so many wines there and I have recently read some positive vibes about it – so why not take a test drive. The opening of the wine was horrible. The 4 hours of Decanting in the massive Riedel Ultra decanter didn’t help one bit and the wine was so alcoholic that I nearly couldn’t drink it. I have recently become overly allergic to alcohol wines – I simply can’t stand them anymore and registrar it as a fault every time I smell a “rat” ;-). I rested half of the wine for day 2. Ahhh – so much better, with forest, black fruits, black cherries, plum and dried spices. Now – plum is a note that I dislike – it reminds me of alcohol, and it kills the purity. The taste was a bit funny – smooth and warm on one side, and on the other side, with this Barolo overload of dry extract. I analyze it this way; way too young still – bottle evolvement constantly on the rise (positive), but I am so much missing purity, elegance and backbone acidity. I remain concerned if this wine will ever hit my preference, but time will tell.

Glasses: I shifted between Riedel Sommeliers Burgundy Grand Cru and Zalto Burgundy. One day one I chose Riedel – Zalto was simply making the wine seem even more alcohol and even stronger on the palate. Riedel – with the “acidity barriers” toned down the alcohol, but impossible to tone down the monster entirely. One day 2 – the plum and black fruits was smooth and delicate in the Riedel glass, but totally missing the lovely dried spices. In Zalto you got the spices and an overall better Barolo expression. In general you have to focus a lot more in Riedel on day 2 – where Zalto delivers immediately. The taste was however marginal better in Riedel.

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