Early in November the local market held their holiday food and wine show. They have an upstairs exhibition and dining area and each November they throw caution to the wind. Both the food and the wines are first class and one price gets one access to everything.
This year there was a large table for Italian wines and to my mind the 2004 Gianfranco Alessandria San Giovanni Barolo was the star of the table, even outshining a couple of "super Tuscans." It is a fruit forward wine with good depth. Dark cherries and strawberries in the nose, with fruit and tannin in the taste and good acid. It was just a remarkable wine and one of the best young wines I've tasted in some time. Sadly, the local price for this vintage is $90 a bottle.
With the economy being what it is I went back for a second tasting of this wine thinking that this would be my only time to taste it. They poured an extra amount in my glass and smiled. I passed the wine in the wine section of the market several times after that but still couldn't justify the price.
As usual, things sometimes have a way of changing, and an unexpected addition to my father's estate popped up in the mail box. It wasn't a huge amount, but it was enough for a special treat and to add to the "rainy day fund." What makes the story even better is that before I could get to the market to purchase a bottle an e-mail arrived from one of the top wine stores in New York. They were having a "Barolo Blowout Sale" with some remarkable prices on 2003 and 2004 Barolos and they were throwing in free shipping.
I scanned the list and there was my wine. The New York price wasn't $90, it was $52. I was totally amazed, and with credit card number at my fingertips I ordered three bottles. They arrived safely earlier this week and are now resting comfortably and aging a little.
I normally don't have wine shipped in as it is difficult here in Ohio to do so, as the state government (and the wine wholesalers) are in a conspiracy to make life dull and gray and to make criminals out of normally law abiding citizens. As long as I can take a bottle of this Barolo along with me to prison it will be worth the effort.