Monday, September 20, 2021

Bellino on Barolo








BELLINO on BAROLO


Barolo is a red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape and is often described as one of Italy's greatest wines. The zone of production extends into the communes of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and parts of the communes of Cherasco, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d'Alba, Novello, Roddi, Verduno, all in the province of Cuneo, south-west of Alba. Although production codes have always stipulated that vineyards must be located on hillsides, the most recent revision of the production code released in 2010 goes further, categorically excluding valley floors, humid and flat areas, areas without sufficient sunlight, and areas with full-on northern exposures. Barolo is often described as having the aromas of tar and roses, and the wines are noted for their ability to age and usually take on a rust red tinge as they mature. Barolo needs to be aged for at least 38 months after the harvest before release, of which at least 18 months must be in wood. When subjected to aging of at least five years before release, the wine can be labeled a Riserva.
In the past, Barolo wines tended to be rich in tannin. It could take more than 10 years for the wine to soften and become ready for drinking. Fermenting wine sat on the grape skins for at least three weeks extracting huge amounts of tannins and was then aged in large, wooden casks for years. In order to appeal to more modern international tastes, those that prefer fruitier, earlier drinking wine styles, several producers began to cut fermentation times to a maximum of ten days and age the wine in new French oak barriques (small barrels). "Traditionalists" have argued that the wines produced in this way are not recognizable as Barolo and taste more of new oak than of wine.





Some Great BAROLO Producers

Bruno Giacos, Giaccamo Conterno, Francesco Rinaldi, 

Aldo Conterno, Giuseppe Mascarello



Barolo is one of the hottest wine collectibles today. But Italian laws and classifications can make navigating the landscape a tar pit for the collector who simply wants to get in, find the best of these great Italian wines, and get out. Unlike Burgundy, which has official categorizations for vineyards and the Médoc, which ranks its estates, Italy's Piedmont region has no official hierarchy of the great Barolo vineyards.

It was Renato Ratti who first put his imprimatur on a map ranking the top "prima" categories in the 1970s. Ratti's map was inspired by an unofficial Barolo classification written by Francesco Arrigoni and Elio Ghisalberti for Luigi Veronelli's book "The Wines of Italy". His became the map everyone hung in their winery or office. And while Ratti was a visionary, winemaking practices, vineyard management and global climate have changed since his day.








Two of my Favorite of ALL BAROLO VINTAGES -1989 and 1996

from one of my Favorite producers BARTOLO MASCARELLO



The aromas and flavours of Barolo

If you’re wondering “what does Barolo taste like?” the best thing to do is open a bottle and take a sip. Once you’ve tried it, you’re unlikely to forget the experience.

Barolo is a powerful wine with lots of tannins, and experts sometimes call its aroma “tar and roses”. Each mouthful brings a world of flavour. It starts with notes of liquorice, rose petals, blueberries and prunes, mingling with black pepper and cinnamon spices. This is joined by rich dark chocolate, old leather and sweet tobacco.








The Town of Barolo in the Piedmont Hills


Barolo, also known as “the king of wines”, is a fine Italian red wine with complex and powerful aromas. It’s produced in an area called Barolo DOCG in Piedmont, north-west Italy. The wine is made from a grape called Nebbiolo, which is famous for its flavours of dried rose and liquorice. The typical harvest time is the second half of October. According to DOCG rules, Barolo must be aged for at least 38 months, and  Barolo Riserva for at least 62 months. This is because Nebbiolo grapes are very high in tannins. A long ageing process is required to soften and mellow the tannins, and give Barolo more time to develop its fine aromas. The recommended minimum time for bottle ageing is between 5 and 10 years. 14 million bottles of Barolo are produced each year – five times fewer than Chianti. If you’re wondering when the best vintages for Barolo are, 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2016 are considered the best years. As for vintages to be careful with, 2011, 2012 and 2014 were challenging.







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 (villages), 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:

La Morra

Castiglione d Faletto

Monforte d' Alba

Serralunga d'Alba

There are 181 vineyards in Barolo known to produce wines of superior quality. They are officially called menzioni geografiche aggiuntive (additional geographic mention) or MGA. Their names can be added to the label to show superiority. Unofficially, they’re known as the cru vineyards of Barolo. We delve into key communes and crus later in this article.








MAP of BAROLO


As of 2018, there were 1,928 hectares of vineyards in Barolo. That year, winemakers produced approximately 11.67 million x 75cl bottles of Barolo wine. To put this number into context, there was eight times less Barolo produced than Chianti (91 million bottles), and slightly less than Amarone (14 million bottles)

Barolo DOCG wine must be made according to the winemaking rules, or “wine laws”, officially known as the Disciplinare Di Produzione[4]. They set out very strict rules: from how many grapes can be grown, to what’s the permitted levels of acidity, to how the Barolo wine must be aged, and much much more. You’ll find a whole section dedicated to Disciplinare later in this guide.









MANGIA ITALIANO

ITALIAN FOOD MEMORIES








SUNDAY SAUCE








BAROLO "The KING of WINES"















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