Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nerello del Bastardo Marchesi di Montecristo, 1999

This is a little treasure I found at Trader Joe's for $5.99. It's really a baby Barolo, mainly Nebbiolo with probably a little Sangiovese. The label claims that it's declassified Barolo and Barbaresco, and after tasting it several times, I believe it.

It's a medium deep color, turning a little brown but still with good brilliance. Bouquet forming nicely--roses, black licorice, cassis--everything you expect from a Barolo. Lots of depth and brilliance. On the palate, autumnal fruit elements are just beginning to appear. Very big but also mellow and charming. The fruit flavors are the same as the bouquet; they are very concentrated and at a good stage of maturity.

The vintage now being sold at Trader Joe's is the 2002. It is also very good and might be preferred by those who are not into mature wines. I also have several bottles of the 2000, and it may be the best vintage of the three. I think all three will continue to mature to at least age 12.

Inexpensive Nebbiolo is very hard to find these days, and this is a very good example.


  1. I know little to nothing about wine. I received a bottle of Nerello del Bastardo Marchesi di Montecristo, 1999 as a gift in 2005. I still have it, so my question is if it's still any good?


  2. I have six to eight bottles of the 1999 in my cellar right now, and it's drinking beautifully. I think it will be good for at least two to three more years.

    This wine is a declassified Barolo, and Barolo is one of the most ageworthy wines in the world. Barolos from the 1960s and early 1970s are selling at auction and on consignment for $150 to $600.

    Less renowned wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, such as Spanna and Gattinara, also age very well.