I'm thrilled to be a part of this month's WBW because I just acquired a small stash of this the 2000 Cantina Vignaioli Barbaresco "Marcarini" (Elvio Pertinace) and have been dying to try it. To me, wines of the Piedmont, especially those from the noble Nebbiolo grape. Barbarescos are often seen as having a gentler personality than Barolo due to planting on less steep vineyards, but their wines can be just as rewarding. Barbaresco is made in only three villages, Barbaresco, Neive, and Treiso (home to Marcarini).
I remember back in the 1980s, you had to have fortitude of steel to drink Barolo and Barbaresco that hadn't been aged for at least 15 years. Up until then, winemaking practices in the region exacerbated the tannic qualities of Nebbiolo by extended fermentation time, thereby extracting more tannin from the skin, and very long barrel aging. Modern techniques and modern buyer preferences for drinking younger wines have forced a lot of winemakers to adjust by using temperature controlled fermentation tanks and judicious use of oak time.
As for the 200o vintage, I've seen ratings overall from the 94 range to 100 points and notes of it being an early ripening vintage.
2000 Cantina Vignaioli Barbaresco "Marcarini" (Elvio Pertinace)
First, I read some not-s0-nice things about bad corks in this batch imported, but though my cork is very wet, the wine seems to be in fine shape with no trace of TCA. The scents that first arise are those of brandied prunes, lavender-like herbs, chocolate-covered raspberries, and saddle leather. It is medium colored, but hugely mouth-filling and lush. There are some grippy tannins on the palate but the wine is immediately likeable and delicious. Give it time in the glass and the wild herbal qualities come through. Recommended.