I had dinner at a local Italian restaurant this weekend. It’s one of my favourites, the service is a little erratic, but always friendly, and there’s always a new dish to try.
The wine list comes on a laminated A5 card, with ten wine choices, two of which are ‘white wine’ and ‘red wine’. There’s no vintages listed, so no need to worry about whether you’ve remembered vintage reports correctly!
We opted for Barolo, described as being ‘fresh and fruity, in the modern style’, so I was a little surprised when it was a 1996. It was a rich russet colour, bordering on orange at the edges. It needed a little while in the fresh air to come to life.
It smells of spice and something like wet leaves, but in a nice walk in the woods sort of way. It’s dry with a little too much acid, I suspect it’s not at its best. The acid dominates although there is more spiciness, a hint of florality and a curious touch of meatiness, which I suppose, goes quite well with meat. It has a slightly less full body than I’d expect, and a medium length finish.
I suspect you’re unlikely to encounter a Colombardo Barolo 1996, if you do it may be worth trying. At £20 in a restaurant this wasn’t a bad Barolo, it certainly wasn’t a great, or even typical one, but I normally expect to pay that sort of money to buy a bottle retail, so whilst I was a little disappointed, I felt I got what I paid for, and I had a fun evening – my true measure of wine value.