2001 Claudio Alario Barolo Riva

Red-ruby. Expressive aromas of cherry, raspberry, cedar, roasted nuts and exotic oak. Fat, sweet and superripe; rich, pliant and exotic. Shows a strong nutty element but has the red fruit concentration and verve to support the wood. This estate reduced its percentage of new barriques in 2001, and in fact this wine comes across as less dominated by oak. Finishes with sweet, smooth tannins.

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2000 Claudio Alario Barolo Riva

($53) Medium red. Redcurrant aroma muddied by a rather advanced nut skin character. Sweet, ripe and soft, with the nut skin flavor carrying through on the palate. Seems evolved for its age. Finishes with good length and aromatic character, with slightly dry, chewy tannins. (Marc de Grazia; importers include Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY; Vin Divino, Chicago, IL; Estate Wines Ltd., San Rafael, CA)

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