Why Barolo is so special? Why is considered the king of Italian wines? The Italian Stallion of red wines?
The answer is deceptively simple: it’s a matter of terroir.
Nebbiolo has found in the 11 municipalities of the Langhe, just south of the city of Alba, a unique soil and particular climatic conditions, so that manages to rise above the other Nebbiolo productions and took the name of one of these village: Barolo.
Wines that have inherited the of the town of origin can be counted on the fingers of one hand: his brother Barbaresco, Soave, Bardolino.
There are few wines that can boast a so link with their land, but the reason is also the fragility of this noble grape, whose bunches need a long maturation that lasts until late November.
How is made Barolo?
Barolo is a red wine made only with Nebbiolo grapes and must age for at least three years, of which 18 months in wood casks. With 5 years of aging becomes Barolo Riserva. The most used clones are Nebbiolo Lampia, Michet and Rosé.
Organoleptic characteristics of Barolo
You will recognize this great wine from its transparent ruby color, which veers towards orange as it gets older. Only the best Pinot Noir can boast such a clear, amazing transparency.
The other unique feature is and astonishing, ethereal bouquet, full of red berries such as raspberries and cassis, cherry liqueur, dried flowers, spices, leather, green pepper, anise, nutmeg and licorice, but it’s above all the bond with the earth to make Barolo unique. You will recognize a number of fragrances linked to Langhe: hazelnuts, leaves and truffles, not coincidentally Barolo is the favorite wine of the noble Tuber Magnum!
What does Barolo wine taste like?
On the palate is elegant and measured, do not expect muscular, fruity bomb or wines particularly acid, but rather earthy, with tannins that give structure and persistence to a fruit laced with delicious notes of licorice and coffee.
Barolo’s production area
Few are the hills that offer a so drastic variety of soils, although they only a few kilometers distant. Barolo takes different forms, faces and flavors from one municipality to another. Monforte d’Alba is renowned for its precise and silky wines; Castiglione Falletto for the power of tannins; Serralunga for the rigor; and finally La Morra holds the record for elegance.
Obviously this is only an indicative division, there are exceptions, different stylistic interpretations to take in account and of course the method of vinification.
These are the villages where it’s possible to produce Barolo, if you are going to make a Barolo tour soon, just make a tattoo on your arm: Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Cherasco, Diano d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Novello, Serralunga d ‘Alba and Verduno.
50 shades of Barolo
Barolo is not a wine that can be drunk young, if the vintage just put on the market is immediately round and ready, that means that we are speaking about a very hot vintage and probably that wine can not aspire to a decade of aging. With the “king of wines” there are no compromises, long aging, first in wood and then in bottle is the way to achieve excellence: the development of those tertiary aromas, so refined and pungent, that characterize the maturity of a great Barolo.
Its great polyphenols has always imposed a very long aging in large oak casks to develop its full potential, but it’s very well known the secession of the modernists, who began producing Barolo reducing the aging time and introducing the French barrel maturation.
Many winemakers rightly complained about the difficulty of a painstaking work, projected in the distant future and often uncertain, to produce wines in any case not so easy to approach, but in the process you are likely to sacrifice something…
You just have to experience, uncork, taste as many Barolo as you can and tell us what are your favorite bottles!