1999 Giuseppe Mascarello, Barolo, Monprivato (RT 96+) SO’d for the day and followed over the course of two nights. First pour was right on track and showing the gloriousness of both the vintage and the wine with its exceptionally pure aromatics layered with perfectly ripe red cherry, wisps of geranium, white flowers and hints of balsam and cedar. On the palate it is equally pure, with exceptional balance, acidity and finely ripe tannins that lead to a long enchanting finish that keeps bring you back for more. Showed every bit as well on the second night. Simply outstanding and undoubtedly among the top Barolos of the 1999 vintage. Drink now – 2039+ Once available for the paltry sum of $55 (on release), this wine has an extreme cult following, which has driven current trading price to $300+ per bottle. Ugh!

1983 Speri, Recioto della Valpolicella, Amarone (RT 95) The nomenclature on the label is a bit confusing: this is Amarone, but prior to the 90s Amarone was labeled as Recioto della Valpolicalla, which is not to be confused with modern day labeling which no longer uses Recioto except when referring to the dessert wine.SO’d in the morning, then, decanted just a few hours before pouring. Served with Wild Boar Tenderloin w/ dried cherry and fois gras reduction sauce which proved an absolutely perfect pairing. Showing a translucent garnet hue, it reveals smoke-induced notes of red cherry, almond extract, spice, fig, dried fruit and another layer of smoke. Complex and rich, yet light on its feet, it is perfectly balanced and finishes with a long, fruit-driven after taste and sublime tannin integration. Absolutely a surprise, it just keeps delivering its magnificence sip after sip. I had one bottle of this, which we drank about 10 years ago, this one came from a friend’s cellar. The last bottle was good, but not nearly as divine as this one! Bravo Speri! Drink now – 2028+ This vintage is not currently available in the after-market, except if you can find some from a cellar that’s being sold. Current vintage trades in the $65-80+ range.