Happy Saturday! It's the first Saturday of the new month, which means it's Cellar Saturday, when I raid the cellar and enjoy a wine that's at least a decade old. Well of course some of you may have noticed that I didn't have a Cellar Saturday last month, and that's because I just totally forgot! Yeah age-related memory loss really is a thing! So to make up for it, I've doubled the normal 10-year requirement for this month's Cellar Saturday going back more than two decades and opening a bottle of 1996 Vigna La Villa Paiagallo Barolo! Now a good Barolo needs at least a decade just to be drinkable in my opinion, but they usually begin to sing once they get to 20 years old, so this one should be singing by now. I've decanted this wine for about an hour so let's see how she tastes!
The wine still has some nice garnet color at the center, with some orange-brown along the edges. The nose is classic Barolo, with some wonderful floral notes overlaying some nice mint and spice aromas under the surface. The taste is just marvelous, with some mild fruit notes up front, strawberry and cherry that transition to come lovely notes of mint and earth midpalate. The finish is classic Barolo, with well structured tannins that leave you breathless on the long, smooth and meticulously dry finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, as it's a really lovely example of Barolo and the potential for Nebbiolo over time. This wine would be ideal with a variety of northern Italian dishes, but tonight I am enjoying this one with a rare grilled New York strip, grilled leeks and grilled broccoli rabe, and roasted red potatoes. The bitterness of the broccoli rabe really plays well with the spice of the wine. Cheers!