The February installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 1997 Barolo. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. I plan on opening the winning bottle on February 27th and publishing an in-depth Bottle Note on the 28th.
The 1997 vintage was an extremely hot and dry year. Many winemakers were experimenting with French oak, low yields and short maceration times. The resulting wines were showy, albeit an anomaly when compared to the ’96 and ’98 vintages.
James Suckling of the Wine Spectator scored the vintage 99 points, but in recent years ageability of wines has been called into question – Bruce Sanderson of the Wine Spectator recently downgraded the vintage from 99 to 93. That said, all the wines below scored very well in Suckling’s 2007 10-year Barolo retrospective.
’97 Pio Cesare – Ranked #7 in the “Top 100 Wines” of 2001. Medium red, with hints of garnet on the edge. Aromas of very ripe strawberry, with cedar, dried mushroom and spices. Fabulous roses on the nose. Full-bodied, with seductive flavors and textures. Strawberry, tea, tar and roses galore, yet refined and subtle. So very long and dense, yet balanced and beautiful. 95 points from the Wine Spectator.
’97 Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra – The 1997 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra is a fearsomely powerful, tannic, ultra-concentrated, explosively rich wine with a mid-palate in which one could get lost. A saturated ruby/purple color is accompanied by scents of lead pencil, cedar, black fruits, smoke, earth, and vanilla. Massive richness, monster extract, sweet tannin, and a blockbuster finish characterize this dazzling, 20-30 year wine. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.
’97 Paolo Scavino Carobric – Dark ruby red color. Complex aromas of crushed berry, rose bush and Indian spices. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and powerful, rich fruit, with a fresh herb and mushroom undertone. Very stylish and soulful. 96 points from the Wine Spectator.
Which 1997 Barolo should I open?
- Pio Cesare (53%, 23 Votes)
- Paolo Scavino Carobric (37%, 16 Votes)
- Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra (9%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 43
Thanks for voting! I’d love to hear why you picked one bottle over another. And please let me know if you have any suggestions for the March installment of Pick My Next Bottle.
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