上個月我陪伴一瓶 1998 Monfortino 度過了漫長的三十天，那完全是出于好奇心，原因是我想了解意大利 Piedmont 的 “‘n fund ‘d buta” 習俗究竟是什麼一回事。
用來做 “‘n fund ‘d buta” 的酒，看來都是比較新的。要知道好年份的 Barolo ，落在好的傳統 producer 手裏，常常要二、三十年以上才開始有點看頭。但老酒像名畫一樣稀罕，用老酒伺候訪客是太奢侈並且可能很浪費的做法，所以用新酒比較實際。但新的 Barolo 剛開是不容易喝的，折衷的辦法唯有揠苗助長式的讓酒加速成長，靠的便是多放點氧氣。為了應付不速之客，只好預先把酒開了，讓酒隨時能以最佳狀態迎賓。這是我的猜想。
但如果你並非貴客常臨，又或者你比較喜歡即興式的 pop and pour 的話，那麼未足夠陳年的 Barolo 著實是令人很頭痛的。所以當我太忙的時候，我不敢喝 Barolo 。
上星期我請一對喝慣 Bordeaux 的夫婦吃晚飯，並帶了兩瓶 1988 讓他們品嘗﹕Aldo Conterno 的 Granbussia 與 Gaja 的 Barbaresco。
選 Gaja 是因為 Francophiles 對他不會陌生，但更重要的是我估計一般的 French palate 較容易接受這種風格。選 Aldo Conterno 是想讓他們領略一下傳統 Barolo 的迷人風采。
我選 1988 是因為這次佳年份相對早熟，而且比最好的年份容易伺候。
我下午一時開瓶，在瓶內透氣 5 個小時後用原酒塞再封口；下杯時是八點鐘，所以大概有 7-9 個小時的緩慢透氣。
對 Aldo Conterno 的 Granbussia ，他卻難以評述，只是一再說收結長而且甜美。顯然他知道他闖進了一個全新的世界，聽到一種他似懂非懂的語言。看來他是很喜歡 Granbussia 的，我不斷給他倒酒，最早與最後的一滴都是他喝的。我告訴他 Barolo 的 tightly wound sweetness of fruit 正是他最主要的標誌，這次他遇上了。
這瓶 Granbussia 自開瓶到最後一刻都有一種很 delicate 的身段，很好的層次感，ethereal ，他此時的風味，幾乎是女性的，溫柔而內斂的。我以前稱 Aldo Conterno 為 Barolo 的儒者，正是這個意思。見﹕Barolo 的儒者﹕Aldo Conterno。
1988 是完全成熟的年份，個人的意見是今天喝這年份比絕佳年份 1989 要好得多。
In a serene state, tannins completely resolved and a deep, deep sweetness of fruit that is truly impressive. No bells and no whistles, just beauty itself. The 1988 vintage is at a sweet spot now: this is simply 心無罣礙!
同文 Alex 曾說﹕「總覺得 Barolo 有份內歛且低調的霸氣，高傲得來不會拒人於門外」。
我想內歛是很貼切的描述，至于霸氣與高傲，則要看年份與陳年有多久，但更重要的，還是要看 vineyard 和 wine producer 。最好的例子，莫過于 Aldo Conterno 與 Giovanni Conterno 兩兄弟。（1960 年代末，Giovanni Conterno 繼承了父親 Giacomo Conterno 的酒莊，弟弟 Aldo 則另起爐灶，是為 Aldo Conterno 酒莊）
Giacomo Conterno 是眾所稱譽的 Barolo 天王，但說實話，我越來越害怕他，原因是他的成熟期委實太長了，人家要二十五年到達最佳狀態，他可能要五十年。但等你找到一瓶五十歲的酒，酒的保存往往欠佳。 Aldo Conterno 卻比較早可以喝，但仍然保留著傳統 Barolo 的特有韻味。像這一瓶 1988 Granbussia。
我想我是個 Aldo 派多于 Giacomo 派。
硬要歸類的話，Bruno Giacosa 也應該算是個 Aldo 派吧？
還有，我越來越愛次級年份，甚至是 off vintage 。那些年份不光可以早喝、更便宜，而且因為沒有了太突出的果味，反而讓我們可以直面 terroir 的特性與 winemaker 的性情。1979 與 1988 正是這種年份。
3 thoughts on “心無罣礙 vs 心無罣礙﹕記 1988 Granbussia”
Just came back from London. A friend opened a 1990 Aldo's Barolo for me. It was so unbelievably beautiful that I would have guessed it's a Grand Cru (so to speak in the french way) rather than a basic village wine. The wine is so so sweet, a bit of creme brulee (strangely) but still going strong. It could easily last another 10 years! The friend STRESSED it was the storage that makes all the difference – the wine has never left his cellar for more than 15 years. Storage may well be your next research subject….
[版主回覆08/04/2010 08:58:00]I had a fabulous 1979 Bussia some time ago. If a lesser vintage like 1979 was already fabulous, your wonderful experience with a top vintage like 1990 came as no surprise. Plus it should also ripen earlier than the single crus. I envy you for the rare encounter with such a pristine bottle.
Now, if the Bussia is already of Grand Cru quality, can you imagine what the Granbussia will be like? I had the 1990 last year, and what can I say?
No doubt storage is important especially for vintage bottles, but it's pure destiny. I've an A-Q way of dealing with poorly stored bottles: makes life more interesting, and makes good bottles even more of a gem. Like friends. Like your family.
C Hing, I am keeping update your blog all the time. Tonight I opened my 1967 Conterno Giacomo. The first impression is the color….very orange and brown, not clear. Very horrible. But inside the mouth is very elegant. Long finish and with well structure. It is very ok to taste but not the outlook. What do you think? Is the wine has problem? The taste with some sherry. And the cork is very dry as well. My friend said it maybe was standing up for a long time. I tried my 1971 Gaja before with similar taste BUT the color is much better n clear. Please recommend 🙂 Thanks very much
[版主回覆11/01/2011 17:26:26]Sorry I overlooked this follow-up response. Are you talking about the 1987 Monfortino or the Cascina Francia? This seems to be a weak vintage, and my only experience was with a 1987 Giacosa Barolo (basic, non-cru): simple and delicious, but nothing much else. Would love to hear your experience with the Conterno!
[Barry回覆10/29/2011 00:46:32]C Hing, Thanks very much of your advice. I still have 11btls to try. Wishing I will have a good bottle. BTW how about 1987 Reserva? I have a btl of it and want to try it asap…..cannot wait…..
[版主回覆10/27/2011 07:44:41]The 1967 Conterno is probably oxidized (oxidized alcohol —> sherry), as is often the case with old Barolo bottles, but the elegant feel, long finish and good structure you referred to suggest that the fruit is very much alive. Traditionally made bottles in the old days often suffer from such conditions; both the way it was made (with big barrels used many many times before) and the storage condition (changed hands many times) contribute to this. Just hope that you have better luck next time with a better bottle — that's what makes good Barolos so tempting. If you take a look at my previous adventures with a bottle of 1998 Monfortino for 30 days, you will understand that the alcohol and fruit can live different lives after oxidation, and that's also what you have seen after 44 years!
Gaja started managing the cellar around 1970 (see my previous blog "Angelo's Choice"). Among the many things he did was to maintain more hygienic conditions, so Gaja bottles after the 1970s are generally in better condition, but whether they match Giacomo's majesty is another thing (my answer is definitely no — especially in his learning years).