Barolo, the prince, nay, let us say king of Italian wines, the dear, dear progeny of the darling Nebbiolo, the grape once held closest to the hearts of monarchs across our great continent. Was not a glass of Barolo the last drink of Louis XVI of France?
Barolo is the wine that makes a nation sing, without it would we have Lamborghinis, operas, banking? Wherever Italian culture reaches, so to does the dark delights of Piedmont’s finest creation.
But let us particularise. The bottle in question is a 2010 from the Castiglione Falletto. Knights joust symmetrically on the front. 14% shouts the back. The nose is assailed by a bouquet of briars and newly turned earth, freshly carved by a farmer’s hand-held plough. The taste sharper than expected, crushed damsons coated in an unwelcome redcurrant jus. With a baked Camembert more subtle notes are enjoyed, alone it sours, leaves with a medicinal wince.
Not painful, but saddening, reminiscent of wasted opportunities and long-forgotten frowns.