Tucked into the northwestern province of piedmont, the region that produces the famous Barolo is one of the most sought and reputable red wine appellation of Italy
Barolo must be produced exclusively using the thin-skinned and temperamental grape variety called nebbiolo, that some connoisseurs liken to the pinot noir in Burgundy, a few hundred kilometres to the north.
Nebbiolo at its best smells of rose petals, tar, leather, cherries, tobacco and displays a layered taste of many other flavours.
Barolo consists of several communes – (from north to south) Verdunno, Roddi, La Morra, Cherasco, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, Barolo, Novello, and Monforte d’Alba.
Nebbiolo is notoriously sire-sensitive and some winemakers like to blend the wine of different communes to achieve the balance they want, others prefer to produce single vineyard wines, which in Barolo are called cru or vignetto.
Barolo must be barrel aged for a minimum of two years either in upright Slovenian oak barrels, botte in Italian, or barriques. The use of 225 litre barriques, render the wine fruitier and darker than those aged in botte.
Serralunga and Monforte, the most famous communes, consists of Helvetian soils and yield most structured, deeply-coloured, full-bodied, and tannic Barolos that lend themselves beautifully to cellaring.
La Morra consists of Tortonian soil that yields elegant, enticing, and perfumed wines that can be enjoyed much younger than those from Serralunga and Monforte.
Barolo and Castiglione Faletto
have vineyards with both Helvetian and Tortonian soils. Their wines combine elegance, structure, and superb balance.
The Cannubi Valley in Langhe has several single vineyards owned by old, well-established, quality-oriented wineries like Ceretto, Boroli, Oberto, Damilano, Massolino, Michele Chiarlo, Marchesi di Barolo, Virna, and Cascia Adelaide.
used to be a sweet oxidized red wine in the 19th century until Count Cavour invited a French winemaker by the name of Oudart and instructed him to introduce techniques that would yield dry, elegant, balanced, and pedigreed wines.
Ever since the Vatican discovered Barolo, and the best of each successful vintage has been purchased for its cellars.
The Catholic clergy eats and drinks very well!
Barolo has been called “ The king of wines and the wine of kings”.
If you are lucky enough to find a fine Barolo from a successful vintage (2004, 2001, 1999, 1996) enjoy it wither with braised beef, or medium-rare grilled steak, or game stew, or by itself to simply meditate as the Italians say.
Barolo produces approximately eight million bottles, and due to high demand is never inexpensive, much like exquisite wine from any region.