Oenarch Dinner

With the sumptuous food of Baltimore's top chef, Cindy Wolf, we did a blind tasting of 2000 Piedmontese wines. This is a very ripe, concentrated, somewhat atypical vintage. I suspected the wines were Barolos, but I guessed the vintage to be 1997, not 2000. The wines were extremely forward, and had not yet taken on such secondary nuances as rose petal and road tar characteristics. While they are all forward, full-bodied reds, there is plenty of structure underneath all the fruit. I suspect traditionalists may criticize this vintage as being too fruit forward, and I must admit some of the wines were showing a bit of lightness at the edge, which may be of concern. However, these are big wines, with a lot of alcohol, concentration, and power. Do they have enough density and inner extract and material to age like a classic vintage such as 1996, 1990, or 1989? I tend to doubt it, but they are impressive efforts. No one who purchased them will be upset as they are already incredibly flavorful, broad, and expansive. Is it the vintage of the century? No. But it is an outstanding vintage of atypically ripe, fruity, seductive, appealing wines.

More articles from this author