It's not hype if it's true. The truth, so to speak, is the 2016 vintage in Piedmont (and Tuscany!), as we taste new arrivals which instantly catapult the vintage into "classic" territory.
One such new arrival is Ca del Baio Barbaresco Vallegrande 2016. It's been thirteen months since I first tasted the 2016 Vallegrande, from multiple casks at the winery. It was clear then how special the '16 vintage is and now that it's on this side of the Atlantic and in my glass, it's even clearer: Vallegrande 2016 is spectacular.
$32.35 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($35.95 regular)
An exquisite Barbaresco and an exquisite value. Deeply, powerfully, elegantly aromatic, levitating from the glass. Dark red fruits, dried rose, pine forest, crushed mint, just heavenly. Like layers in a column, it is stacked vertically, built for the long haul. But already, a velvety-round weight fills out the finish, making it deliciously enjoyable with decanting and dinner (in my case, braised rabbit with pappardelle I rolled out minutes before). - Marcus
(at right, one of the casks of 2016 Vallegrande tasted at Ca del Baio)