A tough choice but I opted for an Italian wine tonight for the World Cup Final. Last night’s choice worked for Germany so here we go. Barolo ‘King of Wines and Wine of Kings’ is often a little overpriced, particularly in restaurants. I’ve got a Araldica Revello Barolo 2002. I’ve seen this on quite a few restaurant wine lists at £25-£30, which is the going rate, but picked it up for £11 at Connelly’s in Birmingham who supplies those restaurants.
It’s a 2002 which wasn’t the best year for Piedmont, it was a bit cool and damp, but Barolo makers are a sensible lot and they simply don’t release bad Barolo, often selling the wine on as Langhe.
It’s clear and medium deep garnet with a touch of mahogany on the rim, not yet orange. It’s quite a light nose, it takes a while to get going. There’s a hint of warm tar and some wood with just a little Parma Violet and chewed leather.
It’s dry with a medium acidity. Tannins are ripe and firm, and borderline gum puckering. This has been aged in large old oak casks rather than modern barriques, which works in its favour. The tar flavour comes through, balanced with lots of sour cherries and some florality. It has plenty of body, and at 13.5% alcohol is a very well balanced wine. The flavour moves around and develops, lasting a good long while.
This wine has spent three years in cask before bottling and has been carefully made. I’d recommend it for any big meaty dish and with seriously flavoursome cheeses like gorgonzola or Stilton. It’s pretty good on its own and surprisingly good with a square of Green and Black’s with Cherries.
At £11 it’s outstanding value, and well worth buying to drink now or keep for a couple of years to see how it goes.
I hope the final is this good.