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Barolo Cannubi Boschis 1985

Recently I celebrated the birthday of one of my best friends. He was born in 1985, so I found myself with a good vintage to play with when it came to wine in general – champagne, Rhone, Bordeaux, Burgundy to name but a few of the French sorBarolo Cannubi Boschis 1985 for a perfect birthday celebrationt. I however had to consider the wine from Italy, Spain and California… you name it, it was a good year!

After some rigorous debate we decided to go to Italy, the Piedmont to be precise and the Cannubi Boshis vineyard.

The Cannubi Boschis vineyard is the top cuvee from Luciano Sandrone and is located in the heart of the Barolo appellation.  This 100% Nebbiolo comes from the very top of the hill.

To give some background, Sandrone was one of the first ‘modernists’ in the area. He started using a 225 litre (or for our American friends 50 gallon) barrel rather than the classic Botti of 600 litres (130 Gallons) that defines the traditionalist.  The reason being that a smaller oak barrel increases the oak footprint in the wine, the art is in balancing the ingredients to include the oak of the barrel. The aim is to avoid that unbalanced flavour and tannins profile.

1985 as a vintage was a success in quality, balance and generosity. So 27 years on and we were anticipating a real treat!

It was not the first time I tasted this particular wine and I can recall that for the previous vintages each glass had been sumptuous.  A long time and many happy memories have elapsed since my last encounter with Cannubi Boshis, so I was held in much anticipation as I noted its red-brick rim and the light ruby core of colour. The nose was concentrated, deep and for a moment restrained. Then the essences of floral notes, truffles, spices, maraschino Sherries were released……. classic!

The palate was eloquent as it exuded elegance – fresh mushrooms, truffles, roses, tar, chocolate and bundles of dark-juicy fruit were given to us from the wine.  There was a certain precision of delivery as well as a charm on the frame.  Supported by a great acid structure, we found the tannins were melting and ran alongside the oak spices.

This certainly was a fantastic wine and the only reason I used my wine aerator was to coax out the sweeter flavours hidden in the wine.

Wines evolve and on this occasion we found that we were moving away from the original sweet-ripe texture as the wine matured towards a fusion of wet leather and granitic type of minerals. This produced a more savoury essence to be released and with it, conjured fantasies of dried meats and game dishes.

To me, it was a clear demonstration that this wine had really come alive; it was full of complex character that covered the entire spectrum of tones. So if you are reflecting on options for your next bottle consider a pure Nebbiolo, whatever you look to gain, because rest assured this wine is superbly seasoned and polished!

All in all, this trip was a real treat and eye opener! What a fantastic way to celebrate one of my closest friend’s birthdays.

Christopher Delalonde


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