Birthday Party Turns Into Baroli Investigazioni

It is the best week of the best season Рthe first week in August in the summertime Рso sez Dotoré. Ev kerse, this is also his birthday. An excellent reason to crack some special wines. He requests Baroli. After all, we are sitting on some oldsters and we really should check on their longevity. We did. You get to sit in.

2007 Marestal Rousette de Saovie $17: A Charles Neal Selection which means we are getting the maximum bang for our buck. Charles Neal has a nose for value and quality like the Antique Roadshow twins. Typical Charles Neal, absolutely no information on this wine on the web. Here is what we tasted. Figs and dates throughout; lemon and melon up front. Slightly bitter finish. Nothing like this in the New World. 13%

On to the Baroli where we are taught a very important lesson once again. Barolo wines are EVASIVE. Sometimes they open right up. Inviting, lovely, charming. The delicacy and lightness of the wines reminding us of great Burgundies. However, just as often they are tough, lean, and downright ornery. Fussy, temperamental, petulant, recalcitrant. Like we are waking them from their slumber. Go away they tell us. Leave me alone. However, if you wait they almost always arise and share their exquisite charms.

1993 Rocche de Manzone $45: Very disappointing out of the bottle. Lean. Some very delicate fruit like it would blow away with a sneeze. Almost harsh. Brownish red. There is nothing left! We waited too long. Hey…toss some in the mushrooms! Then after 30 minutes open on the table we get to taste the exotic qualities. Liqueur like. Anise flavors, delicate and elegant. Are we in the home of the Thailand Minister of Culture and Euro Relations? These flavors are so unknown. No other wine tastes like Barolo. 1993 is an “off” year and it is still stunning. 14%

1995 Sandrone Cannubi Boschis $90: Hand carried by Dotoré from Piemonte. Hint of some dried fruit. For naught! The legendary and rare Sandrone wine is over the hill! 30 minutes later it is dense and rich, full of exotic flavors. What a reversal. This is the king of the table. Deep liqueur, intense and at the same time delicate and elegant. When will we learn to wait for these wines. More figs, dates, and jamaica. 14%

1996 Alesandria San Giovanni Barolo $90: Still tannic. Big wine for Barolo yet even when they are big they ain’t so big. This would never be mistaken for a new world Syrah. That is big. We are desperate to taste grand Nebbiolo from the Piedmont. This is great Barolo from a great year. Tar, roses and lean delicate fruit. Light weight like all these wines. More masculine than the other two. Absolutely delicious. Melding perfectly. 14%

That’s the story. Baroli are EVASIVE. They are not anxious to strut their stuff. They can be reclusive. You can’t coax them out. On their own timeline. And they can be unlike any other red wine you will ever taste. As sublime an evening as the SoCal sunset in the first week of August.

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