Piedmont Comes of Age
This year, I left my tastings of the wines of Piedmont energized and excited. Simply put, I have never encountered so many delicious wines from so many different producers.
In order to understand what is happening in Piedmont it is instructive to look at the last 20-25 years of history. Like many regions, modern technology had a profound impact on the quality of wines beginning in the 1980s, with the widespread adoption of temperature control in fermentation, the reduction of fermentation/maceration times and the introduction of French oak barrels, which also led to shorter periods of oak aging.
Barolo and Barbaresco have often been difficult wines for the general wine-drinking populace to embrace because the tannins can be formidable when the wines are young. That is increasingly not the case.
I am increasingly convinced that within the next 10-15 years the appreciation for Piedmont’s top wines will explode globally as consumers become more familiar with the wines.
The more I taste the 2005 Barolos, the more I like the vintage…. with bottle age the wines continue to gain focus and balance while showing great fruit in a transformation that is truly remarkable. The finest 2005 Barolos will deliver considerable pleasure in a more immediate style than the 2004s.