I am the lone vote for '01 early on, but I also think that there will (or should be) qualifiers as to how people vote. In terms of “classic” characteristics, I believe that '96 most closely mirrors a vintage like '78, which is to my palate the best vintage in Piemonte I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Unfortunately, the vast majority of '96’s are still very backward & tannic, and if '78 is any aging indicator, as a guy in my 50’s already, I may not have the necessary time to allow these beauties to reach full maturity.
Of this trio, I think that the '01’s will be the quickest to reach a level of real drinking pleasure, and accordingly, I have at my advanced age selected them first
Not flawed at all Bob, in my opinion. I’m only asking for personal opinions, regardless of reasoning. It wasn’t an easy choice for me, but I picked 99. I love all three vintages but sometimes the 99’s have a touch more delicacy and lift than the perhaps overall slightly riper 01’s (at least in my experience) and a little more roundness and giving than the 96’s.
Perhaps the question won’t really be answerable for 10-20 years, but I’ll be happy to have plenty of all three vintages in the cellar.
The more interesting poll for me is certainly the 97/98/00, but I figured this poll would be a good adjunct.
Flawed poll. It doesn’t make sense these days to rank vintages. This isn’t like the old days when vintages fell in three categories: various levels of good, (often barely) passable, and poor. Other than a washout year like 2002, it’s all good now, at least from conscientious producers. Instead, it is more reasonable to think in terms of the style of each vintage.
2 of the 3 responses say “flawed poll” but you say it’s not.
Actually, I agree with you, it is what it is. It might be a somewhat vague poll, but you’re just asking for opinions. I voted for 1996, because I’m absolutely sure it’s a monumental vintage, on a level with 1978 and 1989. I think 1999, 2001, and 2004 are great vintages, but I don’t know if they are in the same class.
Barolo just takes time. There is no way around it. For years I thought 1989 and 1990 were equal. Only in the last few years, based on many tastings of the same wine in both vintages, have I been become convinced that there is a huge difference.
It’s funny, but I hadn’t noticed before that you included Barbaresco in the title. My impression is that 1999 has one of the most extreme differentials between the quality of Barolo and Barbaresco.
Also, you are asking us to make a choice. Should I be upset if I lose in a poll: Who is smarter, Ken V vs. Albert E?
My sense is that 1996, 2001, and 2004 were all touted as great early on. 1999 was not. In fact, I think one of Antonio Galloni’s early successes was saying “You know, 1999 is really pretty darn good for Barolo.” (That’s not a real quote, just a paraphrase.)
Actually I find the results pretty interesting. I would have predicted 01 to win perhaps. And I wouldn’t have predicted 99 to be so far behind. I personally haven’t seen a quality spread between Barolo and Barbaresco, but what does this philistine palate really know anyways?
Wasn’t sure what your point was, but I did know how I would vote. For the record, I would also vote for Bullwinkle against you
Josh, I’m not surprised about '99 lagging the two other years you threw up there (and as young as it is, I believe that if you had included '04 in your poll, '99 would finish 4th in that group). To some degree, '99 initially flew under the radar because 2000 got so many enthusiastic press reviews on release.