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2015 Barolo Riserva 'Vigna Lazzarito', Ettore Germano - Far exceeding expectations

October 2021

2015 Barolo Riserva 'Vigna Lazzarito',
Ettore Germano

£295 per 6 bottle case in bond

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I have kept my Barolo enthusiasm calm for a while; there were so many great 2016s that I feared overwhelming everyone with the commentary over the last year!
I think, however, that this particular example is well worth drawing to your attention. Why? The grower remains a little off radar, it is a Riserva from 2015 from a highly rated Cru vineyard and at this price it is something of a bargain.
Sergio Germano’s star is in the ascendant. That might seem a strange thing to say about an estate founded in 1856 that rests with the fourth generation, but recent vineyard acquisitions and inherited parcels have injected new impetus here. The estate, based in Serralunga d’Alba, now has enviable holdings in famous Cru vineyards such as Vignarionda, Prapo, Cerretta and Lazzarito. Having kept an eye on progress following a visit a few years back,  I have been incredibly impressed by recent tastings as the wines have shown remarkable finesse. Extraction is carried out in a very careful manner – the wines are never overly firm, neither are they lacking in structure and the vineyard expressions really come to the fore. There is little more that you can ask for.
Lazzarito was first mentioned as a vineyard in the land register of 1610. Today this MGA (Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva, or appellation) covers 30 hectares at an altitude of 350 metres. The one-hectare parcel that belongs to Germano is oriented south-west and benefits from the afternoon sun. This is an old vine parcel with the vines dating back to 1931. Lazzarito is a fascinating Cru – as with various examples from Serralunga d’Alba, it can show some austerity in its youth, perhaps on account of the marl soils with veins of iron-rich sandstone. That said, with maturity, there is a silky quality to the tannins of Lazzarito and a sense of great refinement, as well as persistence, largely due to the calcareous element in the soil. Given the calibre of the parcel, Germano has opted to make a Riserva from the fruit from these beautifully situated vines and what a gorgeous wine it is. Riserva must be aged for 62 months before release, of which 18 months must have been in oak. I have seldom seen such refinement in a young Lazzarito, but there is an almost Burgundian elegance to this 2015, a year which on the whole has led to more powerful, bold wines on account of a hotter summer than the norm.
I am really pleased to have been able to access a good allocation of this Riserva and I look forward to monitoring Sergio’s progress with interest – this is clearly an estate to watch. There is a drive to push quality and, with their enviable list of holdings, they have a number of Barolo’s most prestigious sources at their disposal.
Please see below for my full note as well as Monica Larner’s.

2015 Barolo Riserva ‘Vigna Lazzarito’, Ettore Germano
£295 per 6 bottle case in bond

By no means the deepest Barolo in the glass, this captures that garnet, bricky hue so typical of Nebbiolo. The aromas are unmistakably Nebbiolo too – rose, cinnamon, blood orange – this 2015 possesses a stunning set of aromatics. Such an elegant example, which signals a deft hand in winemaking, this Lazzarito is silky and refined, with sweet small red fruits, discreet hints of exotic spice and a fine vein of freshness. Long, pure, persistent with the merest savoury nuance from extended ageing, this is an exceptional showing. Nothing is forced, the winemaking is hard to fault and the result is a head-turning Barolo that might prove tricky to resist in three to four years’ time, but will undoubtedly reward cellarage for a decade and longer. A total knockout, particularly if you look for refinement in Barolo. 2024-2037. (SL) 

94 points, Monica Larner,
The 2015 Barolo Riserva Lazzarito (with fruit from Serralunga d'Alba) shows a generous, full-bodied consistency, with dark fruit, spice, baking clove and other dustings of exotic spice, such as cardamom and clove. That spiciness washes through the bouquet, and you can feel it on the palate, where the wine is structured and firm. Some 4,500 bottles were released. 2024-2040.
I haven’t drawn many 2015s to your attention, but this is too good to resist, particularly when offered at such a fair price. Frankly, in a blind line up, I think I would have placed it in 2016 for its sheer refinement. A really pleasing surprise!
Please let us know of your interest.
All the best,

barolo-riserva-lazzarito - Copy
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