NEW RELEASE : 2019 Barolo from Agostino Bosco - Saying it as I see it

NEW RELEASE : 2019 Barolo from Agostino Bosco - Saying it as I see it

NEW RELEASES:
2019 Barolo from Agostino Bosco
"Saying it as I see it!"


2019 Barolo Comune di La Morra - £130 per 6 bottle case in bond
2019 Barolo Neirane - £165 per 6 bottle case in bond
2019 Barolo La Serra - £195 per 6 bottle case in bond 

‘Trust me I am a wine merchant’. You don’t hear it very often, and you probably wouldn’t believe it if you did. However, there was once a time when all merchants had to know their wines – there wasn’t a raft of critics’ scores to fall back on to make your life easy, deferring the endorsement to someone else. You were asked for your opinion, and you needed to have an opinion preferably from first-hand experience, or at least prior experience of the same wine in different years. The sharing of wine knowledge was a key facet of traditional merchants, many of whom provided ideal training grounds for those who wanted to learn. That’s how it was for me, and I want Atlas to work in exactly the same way as that traditional model – tasting, sharing, understanding and having an opinion are central to what we do. Of course, we use critics’ scores in our offers, but they are supplementary. We taste widely and we aren’t afraid to venture a different opinion based on our own experience.
 
So, what has this all to do with this offer? I introduced our clients to a new estate in Barolo last year, namely the wines of Agostino Bosco. Andrea Bosco’s estate isn’t well-known, but I was really impressed by the 2018s that we offered towards the end of last year, as, to my mind, they captured the best the vintage had to offer. When I visited Andrea’s family estate in the hilltop village of La Morra, my view of his wines was elevated still further when we tasted 2018, 2019s, 2020s and 2021s. I was really taken with the purity of his wines – the fruit showed admirable precision and the winemaking a deft touch. To me, this was clearly a winemaker whose style was settled, who knew what he was setting out to do – the vineyards were beautifully and faithfully expressed across the four vintages.
 
Andrea owns a small estate with six hectares of vines, four and a half in the commune of La Morra and one and a half in Verduno. Among his holdings are two impressive parcels within Cru vineyards, namely La Serra in La Morra and Neirane in Verduno. He has augmented his estate with acquisitions in La Morra, which he blends to make a hugely impressive cuvée, his Barolo, Commune di La Morra. As I wrote last year, ‘for Andrea’s wines, I can’t bombard you with endorsements, scores and tasting notes from the wine world glitterati, but you can have my opinion and my notes from four weeks ago. Having spent several fascinating hours in his cellar, tasting every Barolo he made in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, I have absolutely no qualms in saying that Andrea deserves far greater recognition – across all these vintages his wines impressed me greatly, to the extent that I would count this as one of the most memorable tastings I have had in Barolo, encompassing, as it did, wine from barrel and bottle. And, if you consider that we visited 20 estates across Barolo and Barbaresco in a full week of tasting, I was not short of references to benchmark the quality of Andrea’s wines.’ I completely stand by those comments…this is an exciting estate and the 2019s are especially impressive.
 
Andrea’s wines are not tasted widely. Below I include my notes, and then, an alternative view from Antonio Galloni at vinous.com I find it odd that his notes and scores for the Bosco 2019s are, in most cases, behind those he issued for the 2018s. He scored Neirane 93 points in 2018, 91 in 2019, when I am clear on 2019 being a superior wine, as much as I like the 2018. I have no idea if he caught the wines on a difficult day, but my impression of them is very different. I have shown you both views below and you can make up your own mind!
 
I should add that the winemaking style is reassuringly traditional, with ageing taking place in large Slavonian oak botti for 24-26 months.
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2019 Barolo, Comune di La Morra, Bosco Agostino
£130 per 6 bottle case in bond


From one half-hectare parcel in the commune of La Morra, which is renowned for a certain softness to the tannins. The vineyard, which was planted in 1995, is based on blue marl and limestone and is situated at 420 metres in altitude. This blend sports an eye-catching label featuring a drawing by Andrea’s daughter!


My note:
Just as compelling as the 2018, but with a little more backbone. There is a really attractive accessible accent to this wine, which is finely judged. By no means blockbuster, but expressive with a melange of dark berry and blue fruits, and a touch of violet and spearmint on the nose. Juicy and flowing, the tannins gently underpin, providing direction to a classically expressed palate, with the added freshness of the 2019 vintage. There is the merest hint of tobacco leaf to the finish, which remains bright and positive. So appealing and very well-judged. Drink 2024-2030 (SL)


89 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
The 2019 Barolo del Comune di La Morra is a soft, mid-weight Barolo to drink now and over the next handful of years, before the fruit fades. Sweet red cherry, tobacco, cedar, mint and dried flowers are all nicely pushed forward in this easygoing effort. Drink 2024 -2031

bottle

2019 Barolo, Neirane, Bosco Agostino
£165 per 6 bottle case in bond

Made from a 1.2-hectare parcel of vines planted in 1989. You seldom see Neirane noted as a Cru on a label as it invariably features in blends. Neirane is situated in Verduno on the border with La Morra. The wines of Verduno are championed as being amongst the most elegant in Barolo as the soils here comprise a notable proportion of sand as well as clay. It means Barolo from Verduno can be broached quite early as the tannins are not as prominent and bold as you will find in other communes such as Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba or Castiglione Falletto.


My note:
An attractive nose of red berry fruits at first, then darker fruits and sage. The palate impresses with a layered sense of depth to those red and dark fruits, packed with gently spiced raspberry and loganberry, with notes of mint, tobacco as well as a zesty, almost orangey touch. The texture here impresses and while the tannins lend plenty of direction as you would expect of a young Barolo, there is no dryness or marked austerity. There is no doubt that this is a fine prospect for development in bottle, and while being an intense young Barolo, it is finely expressed, with the accent on purity and refinement over power. Seriously good, with almost chalky, mineral tannins leading to a long finish. Drink 2025-2034 (SL)


91 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
The 2019 Barolo Neirane is the more powerful and brooding of the two vineyard designates. Dark fruit, leather, tobacco, incense, cedar, cured meat and game add to its dark, inward personality. It will be interesting to see if the Neirane gains a bit more finesse in time. Today, it is quite inward. Drink 2024-2034. 

La+serra

2019 Barolo, La Serra, Bosco Agostino
£195 per 6 bottle case in bond


Made from a 0.8-hectare parcel at an altitude of 400 metres, oriented south-east. The soil here is predominantly grey marl. I was fascinated to taste as I have only really tasted La Serra from Roberto Voerzio, which is a markedly different style, made in a modern manner. I wanted to see how La Serra fared with a more traditional approach to winemaking. I wasn’t disappointed in either 2018 or 2019.


My note:
The 2019 La Serra has so much to offer, scented aromas that capture violet, juicy black fruits, all soft-skinned and admirably ripe. The poise of the palate is compelling as it has a sense of tautness – all juicy, blackberry, black cherry and red fruits with notes of fresh mint and spice. Again, what impresses me is that layered richness without any sense of heaviness. For a rich wine, this remains light on its feet. ‘Scintillating’ was scribbled in my notes, there is a real liveliness to this wine that renders it incredibly compelling. Once more, the tannins are beautifully expressed, providing an underpinning but not impinging on its appreciation as a young wine. I can’t wait to see where this goes. Pure and refined, Andrea has brought out the best of this site. Drink 2025-2034+ (SL)


92 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
The 2019 Barolo La Serra is a very pretty, translucent wine that captures all the energy of this La Morra site. Incisive tannins and bright acids run through a core of red-toned fruit, citrus, mint and white pepper. This nervy, vibrant Barolo has plenty to offer. Drink 2024-2034.


There may be a little more contrast in the notes than normal; I can only say it as I see it. I guess that’s what keeps it interesting.
I recommend Andrea’s wines to those looking for classically produced Barolo with the emphasis on freshness and refinement. And in today’s market, where certain Barolo release prices are starting to step up in the face of increased demand, they remain outstanding value for money.
 
Please let us know of your interest.
 
All the best,
 
Simon
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