Sandrone Le Vigne 2004 Barolo, $84.99-$139.99, 94 points, is a wine-tasting instigated by Susan, SS, and just about everyone else who has recently vouched for the greatness of Barolo. This is the oldest one I had in my cellar (Could sit there for another ten years). LeVigne has a bouquet of powerful floral cooking spice, with cedar and toasty caramel.
My first taste left me with the immediate impression I'd just let some hostile into my mouth; the acidic and tannic tandem assault was intense to say the least, but as one who often likes my wines on the wild side, I was not daunted, but intrigued. Underneath these fearsome physical qualities was a layered complexity of smooth and juicy black fruits, plum, and espresso.
The finish was very long with a pleasant blending of black and red cherry, with hints of Tabasco, and just a slight awareness of heat (14% alcohol), but this wine does not appear to be about abundant alcohol, it is about the utilization of alcohol as a building material in a great edifice.
As for how it paired with our roasted pork ribs: "like a hot knife through . . ."
Was this wine worth the big bucks? I'm not disappointed, and if the rumors of persnickety Pinot Noir-like attributes are true of Barolo, then a good Barolo maybe just how I needed to begin tasting this varietal.
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