Another superb vintage in Barolo and Barbaresco. Very high temperatures throughout the growing season produced greater concentration and intensity in the grapes, but also harder and firmer tannins, than in 1997. The September rains came as welcome relief after the summer drought and overall very fine wines were produced. In Barolo and Barbaresco the wines are firm and well structured and resemble the 1996s in style. It is a vintage that will amply reward patience. In Tuscany the weather was far more variable, with the wines being on a par with the 1996s but eclipsed by the stunning 1997s. However, the top growers wisely picked either before the October rain or during the dry period afterwards and have produced some first-rate wines.