Thursday, October 25, 2012

1996 Paolo Scavino Rocche dell'Annunziata Barolo Riserva


My husband had been away on a business trip for a few days. As his flight was not due in until later in the evening and it was going to be a day of planes, trains and automobiles for him to get back home, I decided to have a nice dinner waiting for his return. I went to look over my wine options. The king was returning to the castle so I decided to open "the king of wines", a bottle of Barolo to serve with grilled dry-aged rib eye steaks and mushroom risotto.
We had been holding this 1996 Paolo Scavino Rocche dell'Annunziata Barolo Riserva for awhile now and I decided that morning at 8:00 A.M. that its time was up so I popped the cork, poured myself a little taste, decanted it, and set the decanter in an ice bucket with cool water to keep it at cellar temperature. I was surprised to see that the wine had not really thrown any sediment at all, considering its 16 years of age, I expected more.
Morning Tasting note: Deep garnet color with a brickish rim, medium intense floral aromas of violets, light cherry flavor, smooth. I was looking forward to coming back to it in twelve hours.
Barolo wines are 100% Nebbiolo produced in Piedmont in Italy. This wine is sourced from the highly regarded Rocche dell'Anunziata vineyard in the commune of La Morra. The Tortonian calcareous soils of the vineyards help to form a wine that is very aromatic and that is usually a bit softer and more elegant than some of the wines produced by the neighboring communes.
A few years ago when I knew just a little about wine, I had the opportunity to pick and choose through the wine cellars of two different restaurants that had reached their end. I got some really amazing wine at rock bottom prices and this was one of those bottles. I debated whether I would even write this wine up or not as it was probably not very available. A quick online search showed me that there were bottles out there priced on average around $220 a bottle. Hmmm, maybe I should have googled it before I opened it.
That evening, I poured myself another small taste and was pleased to see that it was indeed opening up and expressing itself, I added more to my tasting note before I started cooking. Aside from my husband's slightly late arrival which lead to some slightly sticky risotto, we had a fantastic evening with an almost perfect meal and a beyond perfect wine.
Evening Tasting Note: Deep garnet color with a brickish rim, pronounced floral aromas of violets and iris, potting soil, cherry, leather and a bit of tar. Medium+ body with medium+ acidity, alcohol and silky tannins with flavors of dried cherry, raspberry, a savory note with a slightly spicy, very long and smooth finish. There was also more to the wine that just wasn't easy to define, it was definitely "complex".
So, if you have an extra $220 laying about and the ability to have wine shipped to you wherever you may be, I highly recommend that you try this wine as the 1996 Paolo Scavino Rocche dell'Annunziata Barolo Riserva is drinking divinely right now. Salute!