1996 Cantina Vignaioli “Elvio Pertinace”, Barbaresco, Vigneto Nervo (RT 88) This bottle has been in the US market for many years now and is still available at a few retail locations due to the large inventory brought in by the importer: Vinifera. Bought many years ago and stored in my cellar since. Unfortunately, good cellaring conditions won’t heal a patently mediocre bottling flawed by poor winemaking. Showing a deep russet hue, the bouquet remains compact and unexpressive with notes of dark cherry, wet forest floor, and mushroom. The palate is where it really doesn’t rise to the occasion as it displays a flat, one dimensional character. Time in the glass does little to prompt this wine to express its Cru terroir as it reveals imbalanced acidity and little fruit. A fine example of old-style wine making. I’m not a fan, this is an easy pass and not recommended. Drink now. Available in the market at $70-ish, current vintages – 2011 & 2012 – also available in the same price range.