|Region:||Italy / Piemonte / Barolo / Serralunga|
Guido Porro, of Serralunga, is one of my favourite Barolo producers. A modest farmer, growing only about 5ha of Barolo-dedicated grapes, most of which come from the two monopole vineyards Santa Caterina and Lazzariasco. Often overlooked and offering a fantastic price/quality option, his wines are very typical to the terroir, honest and non-flashy. Somewhat rustic, perhaps, but, once again, this is what I would expect from Serralunga – dusty, earthy, savory, deep and wonderfully structured.
Just recently we shared a bottle of Guido Porro’s Barolo normale 1989 with a few friends. The storage conditions were not perfect and the bottle was not a good representation. When about a week thereafter I came upon this bottle of Porro’s 1993 Barolo normale, I couldn’t resist the temptation to try another aged specimen, weaker year notwithstanding.
I had no questions regarding the storage conditions for this bottle and the wine showed no technical faults. However, the lesser year’s restrictive grip was quite evident.
The nose was slightly floral and earthy, true, but somewhat simplistic. The same feeling carries on in the flavor, earthy and leathery aspect is present and evident, but the balancing, if modest, fruit is nearly non-existent.
The structure is intact, but it appears to be a sketch of the wine I know. The layers are few and spread, but true to what the skeleton should be. It is akin to a thinner leafless tree.
While my 2.5-star indication implies that I wouldn’t purposefully seek out another bottle of this wine, it didn’t leave me disappointed. Of course it is great when a winemaker can defy the lesser vintage and produce stellar wine even in challenging conditions, but it is extremely telling how the “underachieving” wines which are true to lesser vintages show themselves.
In this case – it was very honest and composed, which, to me, means that the hardships of the vintage produced a representatively malnourished wines, but with the proper backbone and philosophy behind it. This is exactly what would make the same wine a pure joy to drink in better vintages.