Above, The 1984 Barolo Zonchera from Ceretto (my first tasting of my own birth vintage) ended up being surprisingly drinkable and enjoyable. In the glass the colour was very cloudy light, light red but not your typical orange rimmed old Nebbiolo. There was an immediate aroma of dark soils and heated chocolate. Developing into a rusty nose with a smokiness, resembling an opened bag of BBQ potato chips. Once swallowed there was pretty much zero complexity or finish. Pretty much all of the fruit has disappeared from this wine, but the acidity was surprisingly healthy and balanced. There was a hell of a lot going on in the nose, but quite thin on the palate and finish. A battered and weathered Barolo, refusing to die, holding on for dear life.
For me the thinness was expressive of the cold and rainy month and a half during the crucial period for the grapes ripening levels before harvest. But the fact that this wine is still alive 29 years later given all of the hazardous elements mother nature threw its way is pretty cool.
1984 Piedmont Vintage Report - Decanter.com
''The first three months of the year were cool with some snow. April was fair, but May was cold, cloudy and wet causing problems for bud-break. A problematic June meant flowering delayed by two to three weeks. The ripening process was hampered at key moments in the summer by rain and humidity, and a cool autumn was partly ameliorated by a warm final ripening period for Barolo.''