1996 Marchesi di Gresy, Barbaresco, Gaiun (RT 94) SO’d for the day, then served directly from bottle, with just a small amount of sediment to deal with. Light in overall hue, showing a lighter garnet core fading to a pale, stonewashed rim. Showing an energized level of fruit aromatics that conveys a sense of the classicism of the vintage, the bouquet delivering notes of red cherry, balsam, cedar, dried rose petal, tar and white flowers. The mouthfeel echoes the vibrancy of the bouquet with a relatively restrained delivery of weightless fruit buttressed by vibrant acidity. The tannins have melded into the overall framework, adding a nice note of punctuation at the close. This is di Gresy’s modern Barbaresco interpretation (the Camp Gros being traditional), but the oak has integrated seamlessly. A gem but I do have a deference for the Camp Gros! Drink now-2030+ Current vintages trade in the $100 range.

1996 Einaudi, Barolo, Costa Grimaldi (RT 91) SO’d for the afternoon, then followed over the course of three nights. Served directly from bottle, recorked and left in the cellar overnight. This shows very 1996 with its garnet hue with some fading at the rim. Its modern roots initially come through, with hints of toasted oak showing through, but within a short time that blows off to reveal notes of balsam, cedar, dried rose petal and mentholated red cherry. With time old leather and sous bois emerge. The balance is excellent, showing full and round in the mouth and with the balance of acidity and tannin rounding things out nicely. Over the course of the next two nights it never faded an iota, becoming impressively muscular and full figured. A good, but not great 1996, I prefer his Nei Cannubi to this bottling. Drink now-2016+ Current vintages trade in the $60-75 range.

1996 Prunotto, Barolo, Bussia (RT 94) SO’d for the day, then poured directly from bottle for dinner. Showing a relatively deep ruby garnet hue, with slight bricking. A bit tight initially, but within an hour in the glass it began to blossom, showing pungent notes of red cherry, balsam, forest floor, truffle and background highlights of dried rose petal. Very 1996 in the bouquet! The mouthfeel is absolutely lovely revealing a beautiful balance of fruit, acid and finely integrated tannin. I slowly sipped on this over the course of the evening as it continued to unravel and develop. An outstanding 1996, the best lies ahead for this impressive bottling. Drink now-2036+ Current vintages trade in the $60-70+ range.