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We taste two sensational old wines from Piedmont and Burgundy, Marchesi di Barolo 1949 Barolo Gia Opera Pia Riserva and Vandermeulen 1955 Clos de Tart.

Even if the 1947 vintage is considered a century vintage in Piedmont, there are many old Barolo from other vintages of the 40s that are just as good. The Marchesi di Barolo 1949 Barolo Gia Opera Pia Riserva was a perfect bottle with only 2cm ullage. The wine took 2 hours of aeration and that was rather too little than too much. The wine is a clearly large and beautiful classic Barolo. Most intense porcini mushrooms and rose petals. Beautifully balanced with perfectly integrated acidity and ripe tannin structure. Fine forest notes, the classic bouquet of moss, undergrowth and fine mushrooms. A real treat for all Barolisti. 18.8/20 points.

There is no wine that can cope with a bad filling level as well as old red Burgundy. Vandermeulen 1955 Clos de Tart Grand Cru had 8cm ullage. Normally any wine would be broken, but what a surprise. The wine has garnet colour but almost opaque. It has an expressive and fragrant nose with red currant, powdered sugar, raspberry, cherry and a hint of undergrowth, mushrooms and moss. It has full-body, balance, extreme fruitiness, complexity and a fruity sweetness. Although with this ullage, the wine needs hours of aeration. 19.8/20 points. If you have a bottle with less ullage, it will surely be a 20 point wine.