I'm starting to come around to thinking that nebbiolo is not a one nighter kind of grape. Over the past two nights, I've had a bottle of the 2004 Di Lusso Nebbiolo open. At 13.6% alcohol, seeing only old oak, and having a splash of barbera for a bit more fruit, on the first night this looked like something that should have been had two years ago. While still a serviceable match for a lasagna of lamb and mushrooms, the wine lacked interesting nebbiolo fruit, presenting a dry palate of slightly blocky tannins and considerable acid. It had a good decant, but clearly not enough.
Night two, this time with a roast chicken, red pepper, celery and pea pasta, the wine was completely different. Engaging fruit had come up out of nowhere, the tannins and acids settling back into a well structured and refreshing drink. The second half of the bottle went quickly. I have a couple more of these from a cellar door visit a few years ago, and will have another next year and maybe hold the last for 2014. Sealed under cork.