Nebbiolo Prima and 2010 Barolo

The online version of the Quarterly Review of Wine has just published my report on the 2010 Barolos I tasted last month at this year’s Nebbiolo Prima in Alba.



This is a great, great vintage that anyone even slightly serious about Italian wine – about fine wine, period – should not miss out on. You can read the entire article here.

Or, if you’d rather just cut to the chase, here are direct links to QRW’s lists of the wines that I considered the finest of the 200 or so I tasted that week:

five stars


four stars



After a lot of very serious wine tasting and very dreary New York weather, I’m now going to give my palate a break by taking a few weeks of vacation, including peering at birds and drinking nothing but beer and fruity/rummy concoctions adorned with small umbrellas, while eating my year’s allotment of chili peppers, at a luxurious eco-lodge in (hopefully) sunny Honduras.

Pico bonito 2

Veranda of the Lodge at Pico Bonito

When I get back, I will pick up where I left off, probably filling in some specific information about some of those great Barolos and – also part of Nebbiolo Prima – the not-at-all-shabby 2011 Barbarescos.  Fino alla prossima volta!

2 Responses to “Nebbiolo Prima and 2010 Barolo”

  1. I.O. Vado Says:

    The topic was wine journalism ethics the other night and I thought I’d pose the question regarding events such as Nebbiolo Prima or the Campanian-Taurasi confab: Do you or the publications for whom you write pay for you to attend these or are they paid for by the wineries and winemakers? Thanks.

    • Tom Maresca Says:

      Those two events, and most other similar ones (that is, events sponsored by a wine region or a wine consortium) are usually done by invitation of the organizing group, and usually that group covers most (rarely all) of the attending journalists’ travel and living expenses during the event. It has been decades since any publication has offered a penny to defray expenses, at least not to freelancers (staff may be another story, but I doubt it). What most journalists get out of these events is not any great income, but knowledge — of a region, a wine type, a vintage — and for most of us, that’s exactly why we attend.

      Since you’ve asked this question, let me add that for the most part the fees that publications normally pay for articles are pretty pathetic; I computed once (with the aid of a deflator table) that it breaks down to less per word than Charles Dickens got as a cub reporter. And it does happen from time to time that a journalist will lose money by attending one of these events, even with his article fees. With a very few exceptions — you probably could name them — this is not a profession that generates anything that could be considered wealth.

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