Cavallotto Barolo is HOT at the moment. Never reaching the Gaja, Giacosa, Voerzio prices but scooping 90-95 points with Parker et al what we have here is fabulous value for your euro Barolo. Cavallotto Barolo reaches its finest expression with the Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe, the Riserva bottling that typically sells for around €60 a bottle. Cavalotto releases their Riserva Barolos later than other producers sparking great anticipation. This week I picked up a 6 pack of Cavallotto’s flagship riserva 2001’s for €180 on Italian Ebay, as these wines are fairly common on their home soil.
Thanks in part to a glowing review by Antonio Galloni (the young critic at the Parker fold) interest has steadily grown in the States, where it’s becoming more and more common to find Cavallotto Barolo in the better Italian restaurants in New York. Those with a spare $600 can try the fabulous 1978 Cavallotto Barolo Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe or the ’79 bottling in New Yorks‘ fantastic Babbo restaurant. As the 2001 is generally agreed to be the best Barolo ever produced by Cavallotto (both the standard bottling and the riserva), I shouldn’t bother!
Cavallotto was once a premier league Barolo brand, in the 1970’s the company could be considered one of the best in the Piedmont producing the best quality Barolo’s and was part of the force that really brought the wine to forefront of the international wine worlds attention. While the Gmen, Clerico and others brought huge improvements over the last 20 years Cavalotto stood still and the company got left behind not scooping the accolades of their rivals. With the 5 stellar vintages of ’96 thru 2001Cavallotto managed to turn it around and theirs are some of the most sought after wines of this most recent golden period of Barolo, mostly because of the great QPR trade-off.
The Cavallotto vineyard in Castiglione Falletto is as beautiful and timeless as any in the Piedmont and is a favourite for those on the Barolo trail. Cavallotto produces 11 primary wines over 23 hectares of finely cultivated vineyards. Most famously Barolo, but also noteworthy are the fine Langhe, Barbera and Dolcettos as well a Pinot Nero and a pretty fine Chardonnay. For scale of production, variety and natural beauty I would highly recommend a visit.
Having never tried the Langhe bottling I’m unable to comment but I have here some notes on the recent Dolcetto, Barbera and of course the signature Barolo. All of these wines represent fantastic value for money, I can’t recommend Cavallotto highly enough as a luxury wine at a bargain price.
Cavallotto Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe 2001 – BUY – €60
Dark and intriguing in the glass, not showing much change in tonality at the edge of the glass, the wine looks fantastic and young. On the nose the wine has a far more generous expression than expected with a great spicy, smokey quality as well as a dried fruit mix, some plummy action, crushed cherries there too. The wine was a brute force on the palate, a real knock out expression but wonderfully structured and complex, the tannins were very soft and the aftertaste long and supple. This wine is a charming mix of flavours, power and subtlety that evolves intriguingly with every hour. An absolute pleasure and a wine to be contemplated. 96 Points
Cavallotto Dolcetto d’Alba Vigna Scot 2006 – BUY – €10
A large, fruity, fun Dolcetto, rather simple but a smooth and satisfying every day drinking wine, a little tannic, good vintage, good value, nice and fresh, don’t bother cellaring, get it open, get it drunk. 86 Points
Cavallotto Barbera d’Alba Vigna del Cucolo 2003 – BUY – €15
Dark rich ruby red, the 2003 vintage for Barbera was pretty fantastic, mid bodied and clean on the finish without the harsh abrasive nature of Barbera this is a solid choice for a mid priced option. Sweet and fruity on the nose, with a distinct mineral quality, some plums and licorice too. Fresh, fruity and juicey, very pleasing. 89 Points
Where can I buy this wine? (Cavallotto Barolo)
Americans – Rye and Brook – $67 – !ON SALE AT THE TIME OF WRITING! TAKE ADVANTAGE!
Question of the Day
Where is the craziest place you have drunk wine?