Also tasted: 2002 Barbaresco Basarin*. (Marc de Grazia; numerous importers, including Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY; Vin Divino, Chicago, IL; and Estate Wines Ltd. , San Rafael, CA)
Deep red. Musky red berries and espresso on the nose. Supple and broad, with plum, chocolate and smoke flavor framed by edgy acidity. Finishes with moderately ripe, dusty tannins that turned a bit dry with aeration.
Medium red. Vibrant aromas of redcurrant, tobacco and flowers. Sweet, juicy and on the lean side, but with a better balance of acids to fruit than the Fausoni. Tannins are a bit tough but avoid dryness.
Good bright, full red. Dusty redcurrant, plum and spices on the nose. Supple but with modest stuffing, offering hints of mint and herbs. With limited mid-palate material, the finish shows some drying tannins.
Good bright, full ruby-red. Complex nose combines dark berries, plum, game, earth, mocha and menthol. The richest, densest and fleshiest of these 2002s, with good breadth and sweetness in the middle palate. In a distinctly modern style, with chocolatey new oak showing. Finishes with building dusty tannins that avoid dryness. Very good for the year. Sottimano is one of the few Barbaresco producers who will offer a full line-up of cru bottlings from the 2002 vintage.
($68) Full, bright red. Explosive, deep aromas of redcurrant, raspberry, smoke, tar, game and leather. Supple and creamy but firm, with solid underlying mineral spine and a tarry nuance. Finishes with substantial tooth-dusting tannins.
($68) Medium red. Aromas of redcurrant and nutty oak, with enticing floral lift. Sweet, fat and concentrated; as creamy as the Pajore but also deeper and more vibrant, with a more layered texture. Red berry flavors are nicely complemented and lifted by spicy oak. Finishes with substantial tooth-coating tannins.
($68) Full, bright red. Aromatic nose of cherry and rose petal. Lush, full and low-toned, but light on its feet thanks to lively baking spices and firm underlying minerality. Very long on the finish, with the tooth-coating tannins currently showing a slight dryness.
($68) Good, bright red. Raspberry, coffee and smoky, nutty oak on the nose. Plummy and glyceral-rich, with sweet, somewhat wild flavors of plum, minerals and oak. Quite velvety in texture, with just enough mid-palate verve. Finishes with substantial oak tannins.