Dressed to the nines: Decades that end in 9, selections from the Scarpa library

As the world prepares to ring in 2020 and say goodbye to the 2010s, the folks at Antica Casa Scarpa’s legendary tasting room decided to dig deep into the cellar and pull together this flight of wines from the nines — so to speak.

Just this week, we wrote about how one of the things that sets Scarpa apart from many of the other great Piedmontese wineries is its impressive library of back vintage wines, many of which are available for tasting and for sale in the tasting room.

No one will be surprised to see older vintages of Barolo and Barbaresco in this line up. These are wines renowned for the immense aging potential. But they might be amazed to learn that grapes like Ruché (historically labeled as “Rouchet” at Scarpa) can age so gracefully and with such spectacular results.

Both the 1999 and 2009 Rouchet bottlings are showing gorgeously right now, very fresh and clean, with vibrant fruit. Retired cellar master Carlo Castino, who started making the wines at Scarpa in the 1970s, ascribes their longevity to the classic winemaking style (open cask fermentation and cask aging) and patience with which they are vinified and aged. These wines, so fine and delicate in body and texture yet rich in aroma and flavor, are among his favorites to pair with veined cheeses.

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