Ian D’Agata on the 1962 Scarpa Barolo Riserva Speciale: “Clearly, this wine proved me wrong.”

One of the things we’ll be doing here on the new Scarpa U.S. blog is aggregating current and past accolades and reviews of the wines.

We wanted to start with this one by top taster Ian D’Agata, author of multiple landmark books on Italian wine, including Italy’s Native Wine Grape Terroirs (UC Press 2019), published just last month.

It’s an example of how Scarpa’s wines are conceived and created with long-term aging in mind, even in challenging vintages like 1962 (see Ian’s notes below).

The follow review and score, from 2015, appears on Vinous.com where Ian review and writes regularly about Italian wines.

    Scarpa 1962 Barolo Riserva Speciale
    94 points
    An admittedly hard act to follow, but the 1962 Scarpa Barolo Riserva Speciale (a wine I hadn’t tried in the last six or seven years and was curious to see how it was holding up) was up to the task, and then some. This bottle was in perfect shape (decent provenance is always a problem with older Italian wines), still showcasing bright red cherry, rose petal and delicate tar aromas and flavors of noteworthy intensity, supported by vibrant acidity; unfortunately, thirty minutes after opening the bottle, less memorable woodsy and underbrush notes took over, while the fruit disappeared. Nevertheless I was very impressed by the wine, especially considering that 1962 is remembered as a vintage of mainly elegant Barolos but of dubious ageworthiness. Clearly, they were confident of the wine’s merits at Scarpa, as they chose to make a Riserva Speciale, something I wouldn’t have thought to be a particularly good idea in the 1962 vintage. Clearly, this wine proves me wrong.
    Ian D’Agata

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