2001 Giacomo Conterno, Barolo, Cascina Francia (RT96) At age 18 the Cascina Francia has moved into its prime, early tertiary drinking window. But make mistake, it remains young. Fully translucent ruby garnet, the bouquet exudes refined classicism with notes of red cherry, balsam, green tea, and a vein of minerality. The palate is sophisticated and luxurious, showing the world class vigneron skills of Roberto Conterno with its superb balance, perfect acidity, and smooth, ripe tannins. This is fleshing out beautifully and has a few decades of fabulous drinking ahead. Drink now-2041+

2000 Giacosa, Barbaresco, Rabaja (RT96) Another marvelous showing for this most wonderful of bottlings and from a relatively warm year. Traditional in every way, the hue has that sparkling, Giacosa garnet color that simply draws you into the glass, it is completely mesmerizing. The bouquet shows the masculinity of this vineyard site with hefty notes of black cherry, spiced plum, lavender, hints of old saddle leather and notes of limestone dust and black olive. The palate is handsomely balanced with delicious, ripe fruit and sweet tannins, as the refreshing acidity draws you back for another sip. Drink now-2035+

1978 Gaja, Barbaresco, Sori San Lorenzo (RT97) Showing the youthful side of the benchmark 1978 vintage, as much as 20 years younger than its age, the rosy garnet hue gravitates one to the palate, which is layered with notes of dried morello cherries, waves of mineral laced cranberries liqueur, and rose petal potpourri. Notes of dried lilacs and smoky tones appear with time in the glass. The palate shows a core of scrumptious red cherry fruit that coats the mouth while maintaining fabulous freshness, gorgeous balance, and succulently soft, sweet tannins. This wine is just gorgeous, an absolute masterpiece of winemaking that few would ever guess is over 40 years of age. Thank you, Angelo Gaja, for leading the way! Drink now-2033+