1997 Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco Riserva, Rio Sordo (RT 92) Bought on release and stored in excellent, temp controlled conditions since. SO’d for just a few short hours, then served for Sunday’s NFL games. Shows a medium ruby garnet hue with tell-tale bricking, it initially gives notes of ripe black cherry, goudron and hints of white flowers. With time in the glass it loses the ripe notes and freshens up, showing notes of violets, red berries, dried roses and a mineral lift. Beautifully balanced in both its palate weight and density, it shows classic, mature Nebbiolo character. The length of finish and punctuation mark left by the firm tannic finish provides a nice way to round out a glass! Followed over the course two nights, it had slipped a touch on day two, but still showed well. If you’re planning on opening any of the Produttori Riserva ‘97s be sure to allow plenty of time for the heavy sediment to settle after standing the bottle up, and have a plan for managing the sediment prior to pouring. This is well developed and in the mid-stages of maturity, and I doubt there’s any upside to continued cellaring, unlike the ‘96s.