It has been some four years since I last took a look at 1989 Barolo in any depth. Now at age 25 these wines should be in the prime of their lives, at least the better examples still out there. Increasingly rare and well traded, there is much to be concerned with with these wines. Faulty corks, poor storage along the way and the simple vagaries of old wine mean that not every bottle will perform to its potential. Yet when they do, there are few wines that can match these for their alluring combination of power, grace, aromatic complexity and sheer excitement.

As a vintage 1989 is a watershed vintage for Piedmont. The modernist movement was in full swing, yet not yet at its apogee. That drive to improve the work done in both the vineyards and the cellars certainly had an affect on traditional producers as well. While many produces stuck to their tried and true techniques, almost all adopted a more rigorous attitude to both vineyard and cellar management. Combined with the glorious crop of 1989, this ushered in a new age for the region.