The moment I nose it, my heart sinks. It isn’t the best vintage for the producer, so I’m aware that I’m drinking this at my own risk, but still, a tiny part of me – my inner raging optimist – is hoping to be proven wrong. After much coaxing, faint notes of cherry, chocolate and ash emerge, but they’re no match for the tightly wound, highly tannic liquid. My optimism vanishes along with them. So does my hope. This Barolo clearly has an axe to grind and next time, I’ll be smart enough to stay away.