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Barolo is one of the most prestigious, age-worthy, and collectible wines in the world. Like so many of the greats, Barolo is a fascinating expression of a particular place as experienced through the lens of a consistent grape variety. In that regard, there are many compelling similarities between Barolo and Burgundy, the latter of which is a highly demarcated region where minute differences in terroir and micro-climate affect the character of the Pinot Noir that grows there.
Barolo is a wine that rewards patience. You can drink them in their youth, especially after a stint in the decanter and with vigorous swirling in the glass, but great Barolo expresses itself most profoundly with several years of age. That doesn't mean that you should hold onto every bottle of Barolo for decades โ€” each vintage is different, as are the farming and winemaking techniques employed by producers throughout the appellation โ€” but in general, giving Barolo at least three to five years before popping the cork is a good idea. Barolo made in a modern style, with more ripe fruit and greater oak influence, tends to be a bit more generous earlier, whereas traditionally styled Barolo often needs longer to reach its full potential.
Schiavenza Barolo Serralunga 2019
Sourced from 2.1ha of different parcels (mainly the crus of Cerrati and Meriame) all located in the village of Serralunga d'Alba, at altitudes of 360-400m above sea level; the vineyards have south-east and west exposures, and are composed mostly of calcareous and tufaceous soil. Cover crops such as clover and mustard greens are planted to achieve balance and limit yields naturally. The grapes were destemmed and crushed; fermentation occurred spontaneously in cement vats, with maceration lasting 20 days with pumpovers. After malolactic, the wine was racked into used Slavonian oak botti of 3000-3600L and aged for 30 months. Bottled unfined/unfiltered and bottle aged for 6 months before release.
Broccardo 'I Tre Pais' Barolo 2018
The 2018 'I Tre Pais' Barolo offers aromas of cherries and strawberries which are woven together with spices, fresh cut floral notes all bursting from the glass. On the palate this is silky and polished with a long, expressive finish, marked by red fruits and spices. This shows some youthful appeal, however it should also continue to evolve over the course of the next decade.
Fratelli Alessandria Barolo del Comune di Verduno 2018
Fratelli Alessandria has made this Barolo โ€œnormaleโ€ since 1880! Starting with the 2017 vintage it took on the name Barolo del comune di Verduno. From 4ha of Verduno crus: Pisapola, Campasso, Riva Rocca , Boscatto, Rocche dellโ€™Olmo, exposures from South to East. Harvest in the first part of October. Fermentation in stainless w/ macerations of 12-15 days. Aged 3 years in Slavonian oak botti of 2000 to 4000L, then settled in tank again for 2 months and bottle-aged for 6 months before release. 20,000 bottles made.
Verduno has always played an important role in wine production, contributing to what we think of and love as Barolo today. Barolo had been a rustic, semi-sweet wine that did not keep or travel well. The House of Savoy, eventually Italyโ€™s monarchy, owned Castello di Verduno and chose G.B. Burlotto as its official wine supplier. They installed their royal enologist, General Paolo Francesco Staglieno, whoโ€”by improving sanitary conditions, keeping barrels covered and topped up, and insisting on long agingโ€”helped transform Barolo into a dry wine, the โ€œwine of Kings.โ€
Cascina Fontana Barolo 2018
Cascina Fontana Barolo is produced from nebbiolo grapes grown on steep hill vineyards in the heart of the Barolo wine zone, notably on our own three select cru vineyards, Villero (cru Villero) and Valletti (cru Mariondino) in the wine commune of Castiglione Falletto and Gallinotto (cru Giachini) in the commune of La Morra. Grapes from each site together contribute different characteristics to Cascina Fontana Barolo: complexity, structure, elegance, acidity, fruit, minerality.
G.D Vajra 'Bricco delle Viole' Barolo 2018
The 2018 Barolo Bricco delle Viole shows the signature verticality of its vineyard. The wine is beautifully layered and - while restrained as itโ€™s always the case in the youth of Bricco delle Viole - it also shows a complexity of layers with purple flowers, sweet spices and mineral tones. The palate is noble, with a refined acid spine and profound tannins that promise a long aging potential.
Chionetti 'Bussia Vigna Pianpolvere' Barolo 2016
The color is ruby red, slightly opalescent. When young, the nose has subtle floral and whole fruity notes, with an added earthy note. Balsamic accents of liquorice and spices. The taste gives a feeling of freshness and great complexity. Long final, important but silky tannins. Savory at the end.
Oddero 'Rocche di Castiglione' Barolo 1995
Rocche di Castiglione is a beautiful narrow vineyard on top of the โ€œRoccheโ€, whose meaning is โ€œcliffsโ€. The original rock is extremely close to the surface, the sedimentary soil is not deep, instead, it is thin and loose. During the warmest seasons, the plants really suffer for water shortage.
La Morra, Piedmont, Italy โ€œPoderi e Cantine Odderoโ€ (Oddero Estate and Winery) is a historic name among Barolo producers. Run for generations by men, it is now in the hands of Mariacristina and Mariavittoria, the daughters of Giacomo Oddero, Barolo patriarch and a man whose fame reaches beyond the Langhe. The company dedicates its full attention to the winemaking process, blending ancient wisdom.
Giuseppe Mascarello e Figli Monprivato Barolo 2017
The estate of Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio has a long and illustrious history in Piemonte, and is unequivocally one of the greatest Barolo producers. This traditionally-styled winery is now run by Mauro Mascarello, who is the fourth generation of the family to head the domaine. The estateโ€™s origins date back to the mid-1800s, when Giuseppe Mascarello made a name for himself managing the vineyards of other landowners, and which ultimately culminated in the purchase of his own vineyards and cellars in 1881 in the village of Monforte dโ€™Alba. His son Maurizio Mascarello purchased his own farm and parcel in the great Monprivato vineyard in the neighboring village of Castiglione Falletto in 1904 and moved the family business to this location. Since that day the name of Mascarello and the fabled vineyard of Monprivato have been inextricably linked. In 1921 Maurizio purchased an old, beautiful 18th century building in the nearby village of Monchiero that had been one of the architectural landmarks in Piemonte, and moved the family business there; it remains there to this day. When Maurizio passed away in 1923, his two sons, Giuseppe and Natale took over the running of the domaine.
Bruno Giacosa Falleto Vigna Le Rocche Riserva Barolo 2016
This is the second 100-point Vigna Le Rocche, following the 2015. What the former had in intensity of fruit and transparency, this has in structure and power. The purity of fruit is sensational in this young Barolo, offering blackberries, black truffle and iron. Rust too. This is so tannic and powerful with incredible structure. This may be the most structured Barolo from Bruno Giacosa I have ever tasted as a young wine. Speechless. Full-bodied and so intense, yet it remains fresh and agile. Traditional in every sense of the word, but this is clear and clean. A classic in the making. It will be in the market January 2022. Leave this for at least six to eight years.
Luis Marin

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