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We Recommend : Pio Cesare Barolo 2004

If you believe you are a rich man, been there, done that and are looking for an excellent value wine in a restaurant, that you can drink now, in 2014 or even in 2024, here is the wine for you. After it earned the 6th spot in Wine Spectator Top 100 recently, the interest in this wine has been growing at a feverish pace globally.

The 2004 was a historic vintage for Barolo- most wines from Italy's prestigious region will reach their peak in 5-10 years and live for another 10-30 years or even more. But Pio Boffa, a hard core traditionalist and  owner of the family winery, who believes in extended maceration of the Nebbiolo fruit, ageing in Slovenian oak and least intervention in wine making, is also a blending specialist. He believes that different parcels of his vineyards give different personality and proper mixing only gives a balanced wine.

Imported by Naresh Uttamchandani of Delhi-based Sovereign Impex, most of the top quality hotels and restaurants including Hyatt, Imperial, Diva and Olive are a home for this great wine from an exceptional vintage. An elegant wine that will show its greatness even more when properly cellared is worth buying on your foreign trips.

In London and most US cities, once can purchase it between $50- 65, Rome being the cheapest-check www.wine-searcher.com for details.

It is a pity that our Duty-free outlets across the country have not learnt the art of cellaring and selling premium, fine wines like this or it would be worth buying a pack of 2-3 bottles by arriving passengers (max. allowed alcohol in India is 2 liters but customs people are generous with wines and allow 3 bottles) and sticking in the cellar for 4-5 years.

It is surely an investment grade wine that would benefit our readers across the globe, if stored in proper temperature conditions; 13-15°C at around 75-80% humidity without any contact with light or vibrations.

Oh yes, it costs around Rs. 9000 (a bottle!) in all the fine restaurants in Delhi including Hyatt and Imperial. Mumbai lovers have to shell out Rs. 15000 in JW Marriott, Grand Hyatt and  until the Maharashtra government brings down the excise duties from the existing 200%, which is independent of the customs duties which restaurants like Olive, Diva and Magique have to shell out too.

Although not a wine for anyone who counts his change of the fifty rupee notes, it is a value-for-money, ( better than the more coveted cru Barolo Ornato costing more than twice as much, for this vintage),  restaurant wine-to be enjoyed with matched foods, though many Indians  are known to enjoy it even with snacks  at the high end parties.

Have money? Will spend? This is the wine for you, that will give you the sensory pleasures and a good value too! Buy it abroad whenever you can and stock it up for 5-15 years!

Subhash Arora

 

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