Bersano Barolo Riserva Speciale 1974


In a facsimile of a Napoleonic champagne bottle. The back of the bottle is flat, it was explained, so the bottles could lay in the cart when transported.

Bersano owns 230 hectates, making it one of the largest wineries in the area (country?). They make lots of different kinds of wine. It's reputation has suffered for awhile now although the Badarina Barolo bottling gets good reviews.

From the Gigi Rosso website - "When Seagrams invested millions in Bersano wines in the late 1960’s, Arturo Bersano hired respected winemaker Luigi ‘Gigi’ Rosso to find him some good vineyards. "

From the website of The Good Juice - "Bersano purchased the Cascina Badarina estate in 1968, at the time of intense growth that was to bring Barolo to its great success of the 80’s and 90’s. At that time Bersano was one of the first winemakers to believe in the potential of this noble wine, and purchased the estate in Serralunga d'Alba to ensure that it had a significant presence in one of the three areas with a vocation for producing it. The Badarina estate has calcareous soil with a strong clayey-limey component giving rise to wines of great structure ideally suited to prolonged aging.

The estates unusual elevation of about 450 metres above sea level and its south-southeast exposure create an incomparable microclimate for a wine of rare elegance with a wide, intense bouquet and austere, “subtle” body due to the great variations in temperature by day and night."

So Bersano already owned the Badarina vineyard in 1974. The 1974 is obviously a blend but as the Badarina vineyard has intrigued me lately, I was interested to try this wine.

My notes:" Serious juice - high acidity. Serious depth. Old school. Intense, getting more open, more fruit, more balance. Light intense style like their 1978. Complexity on the nose. Intense nose. Cool, smooth and intense. Serious rose nose. Depth & concentration pickup. Structure happens (?). Laser-focus. Intense nose. Extremely traditional. Acidic. Puckering" A wine with sweetness, menthol, young, fresh and detailed. Great wine - light, complex and powerful all at the same time.

Interesting that this wine was produced under Seagrams' watch. I would thought that that would have been the kiss of death for the winery - getting bought by a big conglomerate.

The food was also really at the top of the game (!) - seared venison medallions, risotto, chantrelles and a mix of brussel sprouts and Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes). How is it that restaurants always feature Sunchokes but you can't buy them in the store? A neighbor gave me a start and I've had an abundance of them this year. Weird plant. I have made some very nice soups with them including the Artichoke / Jerusalem Artichoke soup from Marcela Hazan's cookbook.