Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2005 Borgogno Francesco Brunate Barolo (La Morra, Piedmont)

My visit to Borgogno Francesco in 2009 remains one of my most memorable winery visits. I wrote about it in detail in a post back then - (Link). It was one of those experiences that beautifully brought together family, vineyard, and wine.

Having bought a couple of bottles of their 2005 Barolo for the cellar (I wanted to buy a case, but of course you can only bring back a few bottles into Australia), I’ve often wondered whether the wine when opened would live up to the memory. Having a great winery or cellar door visit often puts a wine in its most positive light, and I thought the Borgogno Francesco to be a beautiful wine at the time, especially at 16 Euro. But had I got caught up in the moment and overrated the wine?

No, not a bit of it. Upon first whiff, I’m back in Piedmont, looking up the hill at the Brunate cru, and chatting with Francesco over a glass of his Barolo.

Brunate is one of the great vineyards of the La Morra Commune within Barolo, and is situated on a beautiful south facing slope heading up towards the town of La Morra, a beautiful hilltop town itself. The vineyard soils are calcareous clay marl, high in magnesium, and tend to produce slightly more structured and powerful wines than that of other crus within La Morra, which is renowned for producing the most perfumed and approachable of Barolos.

The Borgogno family’s approach to making their Barolo is both a traditional and a proud one, following a process that has been repeated annually by three generations since 1930. The fruit sees a long maceration period and is aged in large format slavonian oak

The bouquet is deep and enticing, and I love it. Yes, classic aromas of tar and roses, but beyond that notes of liquorice, cherry/strawberry, tobacco, and leather. At 7 years of age it still has plenty of primary fruit on the palate, but the beautifully ripe and mouthcoating tannins, while still prominent, have softened from 3 years ago when I first tried it. Intensity and complexity in equal measure. Drinking it over a couple of days it developed a lovely earthiness too. It still has many a year in front of it. Stunning value, and a real pity that no one imports this wine into Australia. 4.5 Stars.


RRP: 16 Euro at cellar door
ABV: 14.0%
Closure: Cork
Drink: 2012-2022


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