Not particular good vintages either in Bordeaux or Piemonte, we tried two 1997 wines from those areas yesterday. Yes, I know that American wine pundits and press has been rather high on 97 nebbiolos, but I personally think that both 97 and 00, ranks well below 96, 98-99, 01, 04-10, and should be rated closer to 03. Anyways,
97 Langhe Arborina from Elio Altare: Elio and Silvia bottles between 2000 and 2500 bottles of this wine every year, from parcels facing south, south-east (one planted in 1948, and one in 1989). Not to be mistaken for their Barolo Arborina, who is vinified as a Barolo vs Langhe Arborina which spends only 18 months in barrels. Dark red color. Coffee, floral notes, and meat aromas. Evolves in the glass, complex. Extremely elegant, silky and smooth on the palate. A joy to drink this rich, fresh and fruity wine today, but will also cellar well. Perhaps the best 97 nebbiolo I have had this year. If balance is your thing, you will like this one.
1997 Chateau Panet; 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Deep red color. Dark berries and old leather aromas, a bit sweet, some licorice. Structure all but gone. Medium length. Fading fast in the glass, suggesting it’s getting up there in age. Interesting comparison with 97 nebbiolo, but if you have some of these bottles in your cellar, you should think about serving them soon.