It was a pasta night, an Italian wine had to come out. I am quite fond of Barolos. These are wines based on the Nebbiolo grape, grown in Piedmont. Traditionally they have been very tannic and long living, but not so easy on the palate. These days, fermentation periods are reduced and they can be drunk a few years after release. Speaking in generalities, Barolos appear to be a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. They have the backbone and tannins of the Cabernet (and more of it) and the floral flavours of the Pinot.
Tonight's wine is a 1998 Boscareto, a Barolo from Ferdinando Principiano. This wine is not available in Australia. I picked it up from a visit to Piedmont. Ferdinando is one of the younger wine makers of the region with access to very good fruit. The wine starts with dark cherry flavours and then gets taken over by rose petal, followed by anise and licorice. It is quite savoury and absolutely a food wine. This Barolo does not have the structure or length of the top producers, but worked well with a Monday night home cooked pasta dish. Barolos always give me a feel of a great occasion wine, maybe because they need a big glass to open up, maybe because of the price tag (this one was 'only' $50). Once you get used to the the general flavour profile, which is very different from Australian wine, they seldom disappoint.