Breaking the budget last night with an anniversary-year Barolo, I speculated that almost a decade in the bottle would be time enough to bring it around. I was wrong. It's a great wine, but this one, at least (which the back label describes as "respect[ing] traditional methods") needs far more time.
Riccardo Fenocchio 1989 Pianpolvere Soprano Barolo ($29.99)
Dark ruby in color. Tar and leather, violets and menthol in a remarkably complex aroma, but there's not much fruit at first. Ditto on the palate, where aromatic flavors are interesting and complex, but it seems to speak more of bottle bouquet than fruit. Heavy tannins become more evident after an hour in the glass, then part to reveal lemony acidity and, after two to three hours, ripe black fruit starts to appear ... shyly at first, then in abundance. Just about the time we finish off the bottle, it's getting just right. Wonderful wine, but clearly needs extensive breathing or substantially more cellar time. U.S. importer: Vinifera Imports Ltd., Ronkonkoma, N.Y. (Feb. 28, 1998)
FOOD MATCH: Wonderful with Greek-style roast lamb (Arni Psito) with lemon, garlic and oregano.
All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.||