April 2009 Premiere Collection Wine Club Selection
The 2004 vintage was such a fantastic one in Barolo (and in much of Italy, for that matter), that any winemaker worth their salt should've made killer wine. But Elio Grasso of Monforte d'Alba, a sub-appellation of Barolo, made his killer 2004, (all from organically grown grapes), with a hefty dose of opinionated traditionalism to boot. His wines tend toward the old-school style of Barolo, carrying more tobacco-laden tannins than hedonistic fruit that's popular today. "We have a philosophy of our relatives who worked in the vineyards before us," he stated to one reviewer. "We need to respect that. We need to be honest with ourselves. If I was going to change, I would have changed 30 or 40 years ago. I'm 60 years old... why would I change now?" Fair enough.
The 2004 Vigna Chiniera, a single-vineyard Barolo that's made only in great vintages, indeed carries that classic tobacco and earth-laden Barolo character that staunch traditionalists like Grasso so aspire to, with some dusty berry to smooth out the mid-palate.
Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate 93 Points
Grasso's 2004 Barolo Gavarini Vigna Chiniera is a floral, perfumed wine made in a precise style that highlights the mineral-infused red fruits and spice flavors that are typical of this limestone-rich vineyard. It is a generous, dense Barolo in this vintage and offers remarkable harmony, with a pure, focused intensity that carries through to the finish, where finessed tannins round out the satisfying close. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2022.