For Italian wine fans, Barbaresco, Barolo's more supple neighbour, is a byword for fragrance, depth and complexity. This serious, yet elegant 2010 is from a modern winemaker who is master at bringing the rich fruit to the fore. A regal masterpiece.
Wine critic Hugh Johnson writes: "The hills of Piedmont, culminating in Barolo and Barbaresco, are Italy's Côte d'Or." The region's most noble grape is Nebbiolo, a finicky variety and a late ripener, so it takes skill to make the finest wines. Capable of great distinction and age-worthiness, its wines tend to be quite robust when young, but modern winemakers like Gaetane Carron are making Nebbiolos that are approachable at a much earlier age. This lovely classic red is vigorous, silky and memorable, bursting with scents of tar, violets, roses, prunes and bitter chocolate. It goes especially well with the cuisine of northern Italy, which centres on game, wild mushrooms and truffles. If that's too exotic, it's equally well matched with lamb.