Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, (NW) Italy; 14% ABV
$8 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 1 Aug
As I was tasting this wine, I had two questions about it. First, does it taste like Barolo, and second, is it good wine? While I’ll affirm the first question, I’m more ambivalent on the second.
To me, the best thing about this wine is its nose, which is absolutely Barolo: dried or otherwise-oxidized preserved ripe red cherries, dried orange peel, earthy brown leather, tart red cherries, and especially with more air (as Seedboy recommended, it needs 2 hours in a decanter and keeps developing nicely after that), purple cherries / medium purple plum. However, on the palate, I found those flavors in this medium-bodied wine marred by stemmy bitterness and excess acid. There were moments here and there, where it all seemed to clear up and become a lovely wine, so maybe it will still improve with age, but mostly I found it rather problematic. So… if you especially like Barolo or if you’re curious about what Barolo is, this could be an interesting wine at a relatively low price. (I think it could be pretty good with a roasted chicken.) However, I would guess most folks will not be especially attracted to it. For a roughly similar wine at the same price, I think I’d prefer the Azul Portugal 2008 Bairrada, although respected commenter JoelA didn’t like that very much, either.