It's my birthday (#78), good reason to splurge on a special wine. This 2012 M. Marengo Barolo is $70 on the winelist at Rustica in Kalamazoo, but those who arrive in the first hour or last hour get a 50% discount on wine or beer. So we had an excellent wine, drinking well even in its youth. And at the $35 price it is hardly a splurge.
The color is a medium to light garnet, what you would expect from a traditionally made Barolo. In fact, Mario Marengo uses some barriques for aging but only for 15 to 20% of the wine and the small barrels are seasoned by a few years of previous use. The aromas are amazing: red fruits, flowers and spice. More strawberries and red raspberries than dark cherries and not as much of the black licorice/tar element as you find in some Barolos. Very complex. The more you sniff, the more you get. Incredibly rewarding on the nose. Much of the same on the palate. That "very dry" feeling that comes across on the finish tells me that this wine has plenty of tannin and acid for long-term cellaring. But there is much to like right now.