1980 in Piedmont

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The idea was to have a dinner well in advance of this offer, so that a group could taste a large number of 1980s, and we could form a real consensus about the vintage. That doesn’t seem a likely bet this fall, so we are offering the wines now, while we’re still in their 40th, round-number year.

I have tried several 1980 Barolos and Barbarescos, but nothing like as many as from 1979 and 1982, for instance. While of course there’s been a range of quality, the wines have been much better than the reputation of the vintage would suggest. The weather was cool and somewhat damp, but August and September were warm, and September was generally dry. Rain returned in early October; overall the harvest was large and healthy, yielding wines that are not blockbusters, but many of which have a lot to offer – the best with, dare I say, a rather Burgundian charm. Some that I’ve tried that stood-out are (perhaps not surprises): Barale, Cappellano, Marcarini, Mascarello, the Produttori, and a very good bottle of Oddero. Jamie Wolff

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