Brovia Barolo Unio 2014
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Evaluating the 2014 Barolo "Unio" blind, one would be hard-pressed to declare it from anything less than a stellar vintage. Brovia's late-round strategy of assembling one great wine paid off enormously, and the end result is not just good, it is shockingly gorgeous. The nose soars, laden with the beautiful, complex, almost philosophical spice of great Nebbiolo, and anchored by dark, savory fruits. "Unio" is a densely-boned fighter whose musculature makes up in definition what it lacks in size. The vintage's lightness is felt not in any sense of dilution but in a sense of mesmerizing clarity the kind of clear-eyed freshness that the heft of riper vintages sometimes masks. In the absence of excess flesh, the wine's profound minerality is positively arresting, reading as chiseled and foundational rather than as an undertone or a grace note. Furthermore, the family's remarkable feel for well-judged extraction is on full display here, as the tannins are as perfect as could be imagined neither coerced past their natural potential nor buffed into insignificance. They are downright sexy tannins, in fact the lower-lip bite at the end of a kiss that manages to be both tender and suggestive.