The first set of three wines were from 2012. Sottimano is one of the leading producers in Barbaresco. The 2012 Sottimano Barbaresco Curra is very aromatic on the nose. The palate is complex with red cherry, star anise and leather flavours. This is quite a dry and tannic wine, which comes together well on the finish (94 points).
The 2012 Mauro Molino Bricco Luciano Barolo from La Morra is equally aromatic. This is a lighter style Barolo, the red and black cherry flavours are lifted, and the mouthfeel is elegant. The oak flavours are a little strong, perhaps (94 points).
The 2012 Elvio Cogno Barolo Vigna Elena Riserva is a bigger wine, as you would expect from the Ravera Cru of Novello. The cherry flavours are of dark fruit, and concentrated. The fruit is matched by firm tannins. This is a very good wine from a producer on the up (95 points).
The second bracket looked at Barolo over time. The 2016 Elio Grasso Vigna Chiniera from a great vintage and star producer was amazing. This label is from part of the famous Ginestra vineyard in Monforte. This wine is lifted, elegant, yet of considerable depth. This is a profound wine with fantastic length on the palate and a never ending finish (97 points).
The 2013 Ferdinando Principiano Ravera could not stand quite up to this. It also tasted of dark cherry with very earthy notes and firm tannins - a good wine, but not as rounded and deep as the Elio Grasso (93 points).
Another step down was the 2010 Azelia Barolo. This wine had good length and typicality for Barolo, but maybe a long maceration period dulled the flavours somewhat (90 points).
As you would come to expect, there is no bad Barolo, but there are significant differences, part due to subregion, part due to producer, like in Burgundy. Given the prices, I recommend to try before you buy or develop a following of a producer you like.