1998 Conterno, Barolo, Cascina Francia (RT 93) Not the best showing for this iconic wine, but it still out performed the majority of 1998 Barolos. Now at age 20, it continues to show a dark ruby garnet as tertiary notes of black cherry, anise, balsam and hints of lilac and minerality playing in the background. Autumnal notes of truffle and forest floor are just beginning to emerge. The palate shows a classic weightless character with a generous, round mouthfeel. Lovely acidity and beautifully integrated, super fine tannins create an extended finish that sweetens the overall package. With time in the glass it opens broadly displaying its world class winemaking and capturing the classic ambiance this elegant bottling is known for. An excellent effort given the warm vintage, one of the better wines crafted in 1998. Drink now – 2028+ Market forces have dramatically affected the cost of this wine with it now trading in the $280-300+ range. For that price it’s an easy pass for me.

2005 Giacosa, Barolo, Falletto di Serralunga d’Alba (RT 96) A superb showing for the 2005 Falletto, this was double decanted in the morning due to problems getting the cork out cleanly. Light ruby with an overall garnet hue, it immediately shows the laser focus Giacosa nebbiolos are known for with its bouquet built on Morello cherry, black tea, Serralunga ferrous and hints of marzipan. The mouthfeel is refined with the balance only the greatest of winemakers can craft with perfectly ripe fruit, bright reinvigorating acidity and superbly managed, sweet tannins. As it opens in the glass classic spicy brown sugar notes emerge. A surprising showing from a vintage that’s been swept into the shadows between the benchmark 2004 and 2006 vintages. While the market price of Giacosa Barolo’s and Barbaresco’s has continued to spiral upward, they remain a rock-solid overall value. Drink 2022-2040+ Current trading price for this vintage ranges from the low-to-upper $200s.