How to pick the best bottles at the restaurant
Top 3 vintages for Piemonte wine
If you clicked on this video you’ve probably had Piemonte wines before.
Maybe you already know the main differences between Barolo and Barbaresco, but you often wished you knew more about vintages. This happens to me all the time when we drink wine in foreign countries where I am not as familiar with how the year went weather-wise.
Picking the right vintage at the right time can be the most important factor at the restaurant, especially when you’re drinking artisanal wines, where vintage variation is shown with pride by winemakers as opposed to a more commercial and standardised process.
About Piemonte vintages, let’s start by saying that our area was blessed with a series of above average vintages in the last 20 years, which means that, let’s say sitting at restaurant, you’re going to be okay with ordering anything starting from the 2004 vintage onwards.
3 recent favorites are:
2016: One of the best vintages of all time with great structure, balance and ageing potential. The 2016s are amazing right now but they will age for a long time. Definitely a year for collectors.
2019: Probably even more structured than the 2016, this is seen as a “classic vintage” here in Piemonte: shy on the nose when they were released, drinking the 2019 last year (and even now) gives you that feeling of “damn I’ve opened this too soon”. This is the kind of vintage that requires patience, get a case of 2019s, put in the darkest and more remote area of your cellar and revisit it in 5-10 years.
2020: a very unique year, all producers in the area say that something good must have come from the covid year and here in Piemonte it’s definitely the case. It’s early to fully understand the vintage now, but I always saw it and tasted as a happy vintage. Beautiful, open, harmonic nose with freshness and elegance on the palate. Definitely requires less ageing and patience than the 2019 because they are already tasting pretty good right now.