While I mainly collect and drink Australian wines, my true love is Barolo. High prices and lack of availability limit my Barolo collection.
I brought the 1997 Mauro Molino Vigna Gancia Barolo back from a trip to Piedmont. Mauro Molino is a new kid on the block who produces a number of single vineyard Barolos. 1997 was a watershed in Piedmont. It was a warmer vintage than usual with a perfect ripening profile. As a result, the usually very savoury and dry wines had a much stronger fruit component than usual.
This wine has incredible complexity. I am lost for words to describe it. Blackcurrant and cherry fruit, forest floor and leathery flavours combine. Tim White would give you three lines of descriptors you have never heard of.
The fruit is balanced by substantial, but well integrated tannins. Despite all this going on, the finish is very clean and long. It is a heady wine, and the glass on its own, after having finished the pasta meal, is spinning me slightly out of control.
If you have an interest in wine, and don't know Barolo, I would urge you to get your hand on a 1997, or a Mauro Molino for that matter.