Buy Wines Labelled Barolo Only
In 2011 there is no single commune that stood out: in fact, there are noteworthy differences in quality within the same producers Barolo portfolio. As each site has its own specific requirements , making the right viticultural decisions at the right time for each was of paramount importance in 2011.
In many cases I found that a producer did all the right things for vines in one cru but not in another, and the bottled results are telling. So in 2011 youd be wiser to buy wines labelled Barolo only. These will have the benefit often of being more affordable than cru wines, too.
Last but not least, keep in mind that Barolos made from younger vines and sandier soils clearly had the toughest time in 2011, so knowing a bit about the producers vineyards and vine age is a big help for finding happiness in 2011. Or be guided by the recommendations above for sure-fire success!
What Is The Best Barolo Wine
If you want to cut to the chase and find the best Barolo to buy, start by considering the following points:
Where it was made
The best Barolo wines come from single vineyards , which are clearly marked on the label. Historically, some of those vineyards produce outstanding Barolos in most vintages. Those vignas are world-famous, and command exorbitant prices. Other, lesser-known vignas, are priced quite reasonably.
The next level of quality and prestige is MGA, or menzione geografica aggiuntiva additional geographical naming. In the common tongue, instead of MGA we use the word cru. All MGAs are likely to produce rather good or even outstanding wines. But of course it all boils down to the particular site within MGA, and to the vintage. In hilly areas like Barolo, rain and storms affect different vineyards in bizarrely different ways: a hailstorm may hit one locality while passing the other. So each vintage may produce totally different wines, from grapes grown just a few hundred yards apart.
Finally, some producers mention the name of the commune on the label rather than a vigna or MGA. These are the top five Barolo communes to look out for:
- The commune of Barolo
- Monforte dAlba
- Serralunga dAlba
When it was made
Do your research and buy a good vintage. Not only will it be a really enjoyable drinking experience, its also likely to appreciate in value should you decide to hold onto it.
Sandy Soils: Structure And Elegance
The central part of the ridge in Monforte dAlba, and the southern part of Castiglione Falletto sit on Diano dAlba sandstone . This soil formed in the Tortonian age, 9 million years ago.
This formation has a characteristic yellow colour and the regions highest content of sand. It produces wines with both structure and elegance.
Pockets of Diano dAlba sandstone can be found in La Morra , and in the commune of Barolo.
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What Is The Right Price For Barolo
What is the right price for Barolo? With bottles costing anywhere from £10 to £260 and over, its a really broad range. If youre not a wine expert, it can be hard to know whether youre getting great value for money, or are paying over the odds. Having a ballpark figure in mind when shopping for your Barolo wine makes it easier as does understanding the reasons behind the price tag.
Weve analysed prices of over a hundred vintages from various suppliers selling their stock in the UK to find out whats reasonable. In this article well discuss what you should expect to pay for different quality Barolo wines and what youre likely to get for your money.
Whichever way you look at it, youre going to struggle to find a bottle of Barolo for a tenner. This iconic red wine is often considered to be one of Italys best. Its fans love it for its deep and exceptionally complex flavours of black fruits, dried rose, liquorice and spice. Because of its rich character, Barolo is typically bought for Christmas or Easter dinner, or as a gift its not exactly an everyday tipple. Our Essential Guide to Barolo Wine goes into more depth about what makes it so special, but in this article were going to talk about the factors influencing price.
Ranking The Best Older Barolo Vintages
Many collectors choose to invest in older Barolo vintages because they dont have to wait as long for these wines to mature. Below is a list of the best Barolo vintages made prior to 2000, according to The Wine Advocate:
- 1996 : A perfect growing season that produced structured, fruity wines with great acidity.
- 1990 :Warm weather gave these wines ripe fruit flavors. They also have firm tannins and long aging potential.
- 1989 :A warm summer made these wines opulent and very ripe. They are intense and well-balanced.
- 1982 :Diurnal temperature swings and hot afternoons produced powerful wines with high acidity and tannin.
- 1978 :Considered a classical year in Barolo. The wines have a perfectly-balanced combination of firm tannins, lively acidity, and complex fruit.
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How To Make The Most Of Your Barolo Collection
One common misconception about top-rated Barolo wines is that you must wait for a special occasion to enjoy them. These wines take many years to mature, which is why collectors often lay down young wines in anticipation of a special anniversary or birthday celebration. This is a fine option if youre willing to wait ten or 15 years to drink your wine, but if you want to enjoy your collection right now, consider buying a mix of young and old wines. This will let you dip into your collection of well-aged Barolo while you wait for your younger wines to develop greater complexity. Also keep in mind that some younger vintages are already worth drinking. You can find a number of 2010 Barolo bottles that taste elegant and well-balanced already, such as 2010 Roberto Voerzio Barolo Rocche dellAnnunziata Riserva and 2010 Vietti Barolo Castiglione.
Barolos subtle floral aromatics and earthiness come forward particularly well when it is paired with traditional Piedmontese cuisine.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. to get access to the worlds finest wine.
More About Docg Barolo
Considered to be one of the best in the world, Barolo is one of the most exclusive wines on earth. But to be the king of wines, the wine of kings, it has to meet three criteria: it must be made in the exceptional Langhe hills area in Piedmont, using the best Nebbiolo grapes and it must age and refine for a long time.
The qualities of Barolo wines were recognised as early as 1807 when the French noblewoman Juliette Colbert de Maulévrier married the Marquis of Barolo, Carlo Tancredi Falletti. When she settled in her husbands municipality, she discovered the great potential of the wines made there and began production in her vineyards with the aim of making it an ambassador for Piedmont across Europe.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita since 1980, Barolo covers an area of 11 municipalities located in the Langhe hills in Piedmont: Barolo, La Morra, Monforte, Serralunga, Castiglione Falletto, Verduno, Novello, Cherasco, Diano, Roddi and Grinzane Cavour. A total of 1,190 hectares divided into small vineyard plots where the soil, altitude, exposure and microclimate change over just 30 metres and provide enormous diversity in the wines.
Barolo wine is made by fermenting the best Nebbiolo grapes.
Climate, soils and varieties.
Classification of DOCG Barolo sub-regions.
Tradition versus innovation.
Wines and Wineries .
Situation of DOCG Barolo
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Foodpairing With Barolo Red Wine
Barolo wines and hearty dishes such as pot roasts, beef tenderloin and game make sensational partners. A cheese platter preferably with blue cheese, which really brings out the flavour of Barolo – is also suitable in combination with this fantastic Italian red wine. Another companion worthy of the famous Barolo is a very dark chocolate with about 85 % cocoa.
Due to its marked tannins, Barolo wine should never be enjoyed too cold. Decanted for at least an hour and brought to a drinking temperature of 16 – 18 °C, the tannins fuse together to become harmonically round. Baroli are wines with great maturation potential. Top quality products can be matured for around 20 years if stored in a cool, dry and dark place.
Barolo 201: Expert Opinion
Many producers are almost jubilant about Barolo 2011 quality. Ernesto Abbona of said he had rarely seen better looking, healthier grapes in decades of tending vines equally, he couldnt remember the last time he had already finished picking his Nebbiolo grapes before the end of September. Claudio Fenocchio, of the Giacomo Fenocchio estate agreed: By the last day in September, I didnt have a single bunch of Nebbiolo in my vineyards. I think 2011 wines will prove excellent, at least for those of us who didnt get carried away deleafing.
Nicola Oberto, a young Barolo superstar in the making at the Trediberri estate in La Morra, said almost paradoxically that it was almost always the sites with the best exposures that gave poorer results: In 2011, many grapes on the south-facing vineyards became raisins and couldnt be used. Consequently, careful grape selection was the key in making successful wines rather than forgettable ones. Aldo Vajra is also a big fan of 2011: Its the most interesting of any forward vintage in recent times. It is incredibly accessible right now, but has true potential for a wonderful evolution.
In other cases, its the usually less prestigious sites with less favourable exposures that performed best .
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Barolo Wines Long Maturation High Quality
In 1966, the Baroli DOC Appellation was granted DOCG Status. In order to ensure its high quality, this wine is produced according to strict regulations. It must be matured for at least three years, two of which are spent in a cask. Only then is a Barolo wine allowed to be marketed. The designation Barolo Riserva is reserved exclusively for wines that have been matured for at least four years, at least three of which are spent in a cask. A Barolo Riserva Speciale must be matured for at least five years, four of which are spent in a cask.
Baroli from 2006, 2008 and 2010 are considered classic vintages. Although they are tough and tannin-rich, they are considered very durable. The products from the vintages 2007, 2009 and 2011 are considered distinctive and accessible. Those who would like to dig a little deeper into their pockets may invest in a Barolo red wine from the 1990s. The 1996 and 1999 vintages are quite sought after.
Barolo Red Wine: Fruity Intense Brilliant
Depending upon their type and age, Baroli may be intensive or fruity and shine in a splendid garnet to brick red. They are never deep red. Good Barolo wine exhibits nuances of plum, raspberry and cherry, with accents of violet, hay, truffle, liquorice or tobacco. The necessity for such a long maturation period is due to the tannin-rich skins of the Nebbiola grape. It takes years for Barolo red wines to reach drinkability, and they often have an alcohol content of up to 15 %/ vol.
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Contacting Your Favorite Wineries In Barolo
Thinking about some of your favorite wineries and contacting them ahead of time is your best best. It is good to keep in mind that in the Piedmont region almost all of the wineries here are small and family run so bear in mind that many times you will be showing up to someones home and you wouldnt want some random stranger knocking on your door. Just a bit of planning ahead with a phone call or email should do just the trick.
Wine tasting in Barolo photo by by Letizia Cigliutti
Having a plan and an idea of what you would like to see and do is going to help make your trip to Barolo the most memorable. A wine tasting experience in the Langhe is like no otheryou will be welcomed into the homes of your favorite winemakers, they will show you their cellar, talk to you about their wine making process and then sit down with you and walk you through a tasting of various wines. Sometimes, even i noni will pop their head in to say hi or maybe enjoy a glass or two with you.
If you are on a last minute trip to the Barolo area and dont have time to plan a winery tour, check out my list of Barolo wineries with open tasting room that will welcome you without reservations. Otherwise a reservation is a must.
Weather Patterns That Affected Vintages Of Barolo From 2000 To 2016
2018 vintage: 4 stars
A good, solid vintage. This years Nebbiolo grapes were healthy and able to produce classic Barolo wines rich in flavour, with the potential for ageing.
The year started with a long, rainy winter, with the Earth replenishing the water it lost during the dry, hot summer of 2017. On the plus side, there were no spring frosts. The vines went through all of the natural steps right on schedule, with no surprises. In the end, they delivered a crop of healthy Nebbiolo grapes in the usual time for harvest in mid-October.
Barolo winemaker Paolo Demarie says about the 2018 vintage:
2018 Barolo & Barbaresco have strong spices and balsamic notes with strong tannins. These are wines that need a few more years to be ready with an excellent predisposition to aging.
2017 vintage: 3 stars
In most cases best enjoyed now, rather than cellared for decades. This was quite a hot summer, and wineries all across Italy lost a share of their harvest to the harsh, dry weather.
Before the arid summer began, the year started with April frosts. From May, the spell of hot and dry weather lasted all the way through to August. La Morra, the village of Barolo, and the western parts of the Barolo area where the soil retains more water coped with it considerably better, but it was a challenging season overall.
2016 vintage: 5 stars
An outstanding year that will be remembered for Barolo wines with both richness and finesse.
2015 vintage: 5 stars
2014 vintage: 3 stars
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Barolo Wines : Key Points
A prestigious appellation located in Piedmont, Italy, Barolo is the birthplace of exceptional wines. This appellation covers an area of 1,500 hectares spread over 11 municipalities, including the renowned Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, La Morra and Monforte d´Alba.
Classified a DOCG – the highest hierarchical level in the classification of Italian wines – the Barolo appellation is renowned for its powerful and complex red wines.
Barolo is made from the Nebbiolo grape, which takes its name from the morning fog truly emblematic of the Piedmont region. Barolo wines are truly excellent, distinguished by their very pale colour, which evolves a garnet hue over time. The nose is complex, offering notes of ripe berries, cherry, tobacco, as well as the grape varietys tell-tale aromas of red roses and tar. On the palate, Barolo wines are powerful, structured by very fine tannins and a lively acidity. Sometimes quite austere in their youth, Barolo wines are, by definition, wines with exceptional potential for age.
How Long Should You Decant Barolo
. Considering this, how long can you keep Barolo?
Barolo – Aging and drinkingBefore a Barolo wine can be brought on the market it must have aged for at least 3 years for a normal Barolo and 5 years for a riserva . Many wineries bring their bottles on the market after 3 years.
Secondly, how long should I decant Bordeaux? Burgundy: 1-2 hours for bottles up to 10 years old shortly before serving for older wines California Cabernet: 1-2 hours for bottles up to 20 years old shortly before serving for older wines Rhône: 2-3 hours for bottles up to 10 years old 1 hour for older wines.
Also to know, can you decant wine too long?
To put it simply: if it smells like vinegar it’s been too long. In the bottle, wine is practically in a comatose state due to very low oxygen levels. introduces oxygen, which releases aromas and flavors but it also increases the rate at which chemical reactions occur that cause wine to degrade.
How long can you keep wine in a decanter?
2 to 3 days
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What Kind Of Wine Is Barolo
Barolo is a red wine with complex and powerful aromas. Dry, and very rich in tannins, this wine benefits from ageing as its distinctive taste gets even more refined and sophisticated over time. It is best to keep Barolo for at least 7-10 years after harvest before opening it.
Barolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, grown in a small area of Piedmont or Piemonte in Italian in North-West Italy. It is only made in and around eleven comunes , which are shown on the map of the Barolo DOCG below. The most important villages, which are thought to produce the best examples of Barolo, are:
- Monforte dAlba
- Serralunga dAlba
There are 181 vineyards in Barolo known to produce wines of superior quality. They are officially called menzioni geografiche aggiuntive or MGA. Their names can be added to the label to show superiority. Unofficially, theyre known as the cru vineyards of Barolo. We delve into key communes and crus later in this article.
Barolo measures 9km across from Cherasco on the west to the eastern edge of Grinzane Cavour and stretches 11km from Verduno in the north to Simone Scalettas vineyard on the southern edge of Monforte.
The vineyards of Barolo are protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site .