Dinner with Les Oenarchs, at Charleston, Baltimore

An exceptional meal from chef Cindy Wolf at Charleston highlighted this blind tasting of Barolos. It was very easy to pick out the theme, of course, but the surprise was that they had been decanted three hours in advance, and because of that seemed more open-knit and forward than I would have thought for 1996. (I guessed 1997 Barolo ... duh!) All the wines showed well except for the corked bottle of Corino's 1996 Vigneto Arborina and an off bottle of Giacosa's 1996 Barolo Falletto. The other wines were very sweet, classic, yet vibrant and young. I am still perplexed with how I could have thought it was 1997, because 1996 is a vintage which seems to have more tannin and structure than the more over-the-top style of the 1997s, although the 1997s have calmed down and are far more civilized than I would have thought.

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