By The Glass
By Sherwin A. Lao
2015: AN EXCELLENT VINTAGE
In 2015, the Langhe in Piedmont experienced its hottest July since 1880 which could have dramatically affected the quality of the wine. But fortuitous circumstances not only saved the vines but also helped push the quality of the 2015 such that it is one of the most anticipated vintages of the region of late.
The windy conditions of July and August gave the vines much needed relief from the heat. The higher sloped Barolo region benefited more from the winds in aiding the proper ripening of the nebbiolo grapes. The wet winter at the start of the year resulted in plenty of reservoir water which came in handy in combating the dry and hot summer.
The nebbiolo was harvested in the last week of September, with yields from vineyards falling by as much as double-digit percentages from normal yields. Quality, however, was considered unanimously as from very good to exceptional.
BLIND-TASTED AND RATED
Of the 288 wines featured at the Nebbiolo Prima, 163 were from the Barolo 2015 vintage and 32 were from the Barolo Riserva 2013 vintage. Some of the best Barolos I have tasted in my past three visits to Nebbiolo Prima came from this batch. At Nebbiolo Prima 2019, wines from the Barolo communes of Verduno, Monforte d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, and even smaller ones with one or two wineries like Rodi and Diano d’Alba, were extremely impressive. I gave 65 of the 163 Barolo 2015 scores of 90 points and above — this represents 39.9% of all Barolo wines tasted. While for Barolo Riserva 2013, I gave nine of the 32 wines 90 points, 28.1% of the total Riservas tasted.
Rank # 21-37: 91 points
29. Le Cecche Barolo DOCG 2015 Bricco San Pietro