Barolo is one of those wines that, when it sparks on all cylinders, is unforgettable. In the past, many “venerable” styles of Barolo could be strident and thin with a pale, brownish color even in their youth. But wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, (Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Ghemme) are never by their nature “heavy”. Like Pinot Noir, it is the fragrance, lucidity and supple texture that seduces you. Often Barolo takes a number of years in bottle to pull off its bag of tricks. But today’s example, made with far-sighted tweaking of the old methods by the perfectionist Azienda Damilano, impresses even in its youth. They make flavorful, surprisingly forward reds that still age well and improve. Their flagship bottling, from the quasi-legendary Cannubi Vineyard, is marvelous.
2010 Damilano Barolo Cannubi $85 srp
Remarkably saturated garnet color for a Nebbiolo wine. Magnificent bouquet of black currants, forest berries and an overarching sensation of spring flowers. Hillside scents of wild mushroom, damp earth, leather and smoke add to the etherealness. The mouth texture is supple already, with mouth-filling crushed berries, mint, hazelnut and a perfectly balanced finish that belies its tannin structure. A wonderful wine that will reward some patience—but very hard to wait! Best I’ve tasted since the 2004 vintage. Drink now-2025.
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