Gianni Voerzios La Serra 2003

The 2003 vintage was difficult throughout Europe. Scorching hot weather meant at best early drinking wines without much distinction or elegance and at worst harsh tannic ones (or cooked – depending on the producer or district) that didn’t pack the fruit to back the tannins up.

Arguably some producers did make a better job than others and I therefore find it interesting to see how the 2003s are coming a long nine years on. I can’t say that I see many 2003s these days but I do got one or two bottles left in my possession. One of those is Gianni Voerzios lovely Barolo La Serra.

Gianni is the less famous of the two brothers Voerzio (the other one is Roberto who’s wines got a cult following and play in a completely different price-league). Gianni Voerzios Barolo La Serra must be one of the best bargains in whole of Piedmont. In Sweden his single vineyard wines usually sells for what you pay for generic Barolos from big companies like Fontanafredda (that is for less than €30).

I know that some wine tasters (at least here in Sweden) think that his wines are a bit heavy on the oak. I’m usually not a big fan of new wood but I must confess that I have never found La Serra to be particularly over oaked in any way.

So how is the Barolo La Serra 2003 coming along? Real fine if you ask me! This is still quite a tannic wine that needs some time in a decanter to soften up the hard edges. But the fruit is luckily still there. On the nose it got all the tell tale signs of nebbiolo with cherries, roses, cocoa powder, maybe a whiff of tar and tobacco. In the mouth it is medium bodied and mixes fresh and dried cherry flavors with chocolate/cocoa powder and tobacco. And, of course, it got that mouth drying aftertaste that is quintessential barolo.

I think I might leave my other 2003 nebbiolos to rest for a couple of more years!

(Last year I opened a La Serra 2000 – you can read about that wine here!)

Mature Barolo – funky, cool and awesome!

Barolo is cool, awesome and funky. But mature Barolo is even cooler, more awesome and funkier!!! Probably because you so seldom get to drink the stuff!

Okey – I admit! I am a bit of a Barolo/Nebbiolo fan but my cellar is not big (have a sneak peak here!) and the range of mature Barolos at the swedish wine an spirit monopoly Systembolaget is not great (and to be honest a bit too expensive for me).

So when I got the chance to pitch my Giovanni Voerzio 2000 against a Prunotto Barolo 2000 (courtesy of my sister-in-law’s husband Michael Helldén) I didn’t hesitate. The planned La Spinetta Barbera tasting had to wait for another day (all things good to those who wait!).

Young Barolo used to be a palatekiller. If you ever tasted a young Barolo from the good old days when extreme skin contact and no destemming was the rule – you know what I mean. The tannins were so hard and firm that it felt like your teeth would fall off/out when you tasted it. It took decades for the wines to mellow (if they ever did) and nebbiolo was just for nebbiolo afficionados and no one else!

Today most Barolos are still massive but more modern in style. The wines are fruitier, more balanced and got more ripe tannins. Some producers use new oak – and on the whole the wines are better and more clean and consumer friendly than they ever been. That probably also means that they no longer hold as long in the cellar as they used to!?

What are your experiences and opinons on that? Comment below.

Here are my tasting notes!

Gianni Voerzio Barolo La Serra 2000
Orange-brick colour showing some age!
Quite developed nose with nuts, chocolate, buttered cookies, leather, roses and herbs. A bit aromatic/perfumed.
Medium bodied, silky and mellow on the palate with notes of red berries, dried fruits, herbs and leather. Concentrated but mellow and mature. Long finish! Definitely mature. Drink now!

Prunotto Barolo 2000
Deeper brick/orange and brown.
Developed nose with mint, herbs, farmyard notes and nuts. Almost portlike and a hint of steak.
Mediumbodied concentrated taste with notes of tobacco, herbs/spices, chocolate and oak. More pronounced tannins but the taste is silky and mature in texture. Long impressive finish. Mature but could probably take another 2-5 years in the cellar.

Me doin’ my thang with two 11 year old Barolos!