Azienda Virna, Merli, DOCG Barolo, Piemonte, Italia, 2006
DOCG Barolo minimum ageing requirements are for a normale – 38 months of which 18 in wood, and for a riserva 62 months of which 18 in wood.
This wine: varietal nebbiolo, coated natural cork closure, 14% abv, Delilah Fine Foods, £26 (12/2016)
Consumer tasting note: a complex nose developing with time, of red berries, pine needles, tea rose, red liquorice, spice and violets; medium bodied, high alcohol and firm tannins on a palate of red berries, leaf humus and oaky hints. A long length. Decant for an hour.
After a day with the air pumped out, a sweet tarry note emerges on nose and less so on the mid-palate.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity garnet, showing tears, trivial sediment.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of red currant and red cherry tinged with oak, hint of herbaceous, hint of pine – like warm pine needles, red plum, peony and deeply scented tea rose, red liquorice, touch of spice, whiff of vanilla, and after some time – black liquorice, spicy red plum, whiffs of violets.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe yet grippy high tannins, high alcohol and a medium body, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of ripe raspberry, cranberry, red currant, red plum juice, edge of black berry, stewed red cherry, touches of leaf humus and sweet oak. A long length with a clean red berried floral edged grippy finish.
Quality: very good, the combination of acidity and high tannins whilst fine with the alcohol level, is a little out of balance with the modest flavour concentration; quite complex from time in wood and bottle, showing some tertiary development, panning out to a surprisingly, given the concentration, long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further aging – the flavour concentration is simply not there, but will keep for a 1-3 years.