1996 was excellent but in need of more age than the 1997s (ie. drink your 1997s 1st, then your 1996s). 1998 was terrific, but it is a more Burgundian styled year -- super elegant and complex; very rich and powerful, but not as full bodied or obvious as 1997. Still, to me, many 1998s are better than thier 1997 counterparts and I would say the vintage, as a whole, is almost as good.

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"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields
1995 - Very good year and drinking well now.
1996 - Outstanding year - still not drinking well yet. Very austere; a so called classic vintage. Great potential.
1997 - Very good year. However an atypical ripe vintage and style. Just starting to drink well. Not my favorite.
1998 - Very good year. Refined and balanced. Starting to drink well already. Lovely wines.
1999 - Outstanding year. Powerful and complex. Very closed and dense right now. Great potential.
2000 - Very good year. Another atypical ripe vintage. Some wines can be a bit clunky although most are delicious. Better balanced than the 1997's.
2001 - Outstanding year. Take all the best parts of 1996, 1998 and 1999 and add them up and you get the 2001's. Almost a perfect year if there was such a thing. These are wines with stunning harmony and balance. The 2001 Barbaresci are now released.

Right now I am drinking 1998's and 1995's off of wine lists in Langhe and they are quite delicious. Monday night we had a 1995 Marcarini Barolo Brunate which was incredibly aromatic and complex: great wine.

Craig Camp
http://www.vinocibo.com
quote:
Originally posted by Hunter:
Craig, do you agree on the 100 point vintage rating for 2000 piedmonts? I have a feeling you don't.


I don't believe in the concept of a "perfect vintage" for the simple reason perfect is different things to different people. Is 2000 an excellent vintage? Of course it is. Some producers prefer their 2000's to their 2001's - however most don't. I personally prefer the structure of 01 and 96 - in that order.

You can find the long version of my answer to that question here.

Craig Camp
http://www.vinocibo.com

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