Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 1983
Supposedly a weak year in Piemonte but this bottle was in perfect shape and the contents were quite perfect also! It started out smelling just of old wine but some 10-15 minutes in the glass the wine performed a magic trick and started to smell more fruity and vital. It had the most amazing perfume: aged but sweet fruit, lovely red toned and high toned fruit. The palate still had nice, sweetish fruit - not really something I expected from a weak vintage of a nearly 30 yo normale - and fresh structure though everything was resolved. It had an aftertaste of infinite length. There was such a timelessness and vitality to this bottle that it seemed like it could age still. No deterioration over the 5h it was open. A wonderful experience.Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 1985
If the 1983 was an ethereal beauty, this was a grumpy old man - but a charming character nonetheless. Quite a muted aroma, this had none of the perfume of the 1983 but smelled simply of tar (no roses, however). It was a bit tough and rugged and it took quite a while (some 3h in a decanter) before it started to show its charming side. Perhaps even a 27yo normale would require more age?
On my FB page there is a nice discussion going as to why the 1983, though generally considered an inferior vintage, showed so well. Apart from the obvious (no great old wines, just great old bottles) there were a couple other interesting hypotheses: Keith Levenberg suggested that perhaps no crus were made in '83 and so the blend had better quality wines than the '85 when crus were made. Another suggestion was that some of the "nowadays more glamorous" (my friend Harri's words - he hasn't yet replied as to what estates these were) properties bottled their own wine for the first time in 1985 so the blend might have lost some of its best components. But anyway, both were lovely wines and a risotto with black trumpet mushrooms was pretty much perfect with the wines. What a fun evening.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.