2004 Ceretto Barolo Zonchera

The Very Essence of Darkness

Sometimes a wine embodies, figuratively but overwhelmingly, a certain feeling. After I reviewed the ‘07 Soffocone, Josh Sweeney (@wineaccguy) referred to my review by saying “@stevepaulo drinks a rustic Italian landscape bottled and poured.”

Sometimes wine is just that descriptive. This is one of those times. All I can do is try to relate it to you.

The 2004 Ceretto Barolo Zonchera is dark. Dark. Dark.

Wonderfully, sumptuously, hauntingly, exasperatingly, frighteningly, delightfully dark. If you wanted to pair a wine with a poetry slam by brooding, self-important Parsons students held at precisely 3:00am in a TriBeCa loft on the night before Halloween, I would suggest this Barolo.

So what’s it like? Guess what it looks like… time’s up… yes, it’s dark, a dark blood red core that does lighten a bit to ruby at the edges. The nose bounces about with chocolate and espresso notes, along with some tobacco, leather and a hint of maple sweetness.

On your palate this wine will come off—all together now—dark. Predominant chocolate and espresso notes meet a full-bodied wine with smooth tannins. As dark as it is, it really does feel like a sinful treat. It’s a joy to drink, actually, which makes it something of an enigma: how can something so dark make you feel so good?

Who knows? Don’t care. Drink up.

Verdict: 92/100

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