Barolo is a full-bodied red wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piemonte. Barolo means “commune” in Italian. This powerful DOCG red wine is made from the late-ripening Nebbiolo grape. Barolo tends to be light rust in colour. Barolo is often described as one of Italy’s greatest wines.
Traditional Barolos were known for their ability to age. These red wines extract lots of tannin while fermenting on their skins for about three weeks. Barolos are then aged in large wooden casks for 20-30 days, and it can take up to 10 years for the wine to soften. When Barolo is aged more than 5 years, with at least 3 years in oak, it may be labeled Riserva.
The 1970s and 1980s saw Barolo’s rise in popularity and globalization in style. International palates demanded fruitier and less tannic wines. Some modern Barolo producers cut fermentation time to a minimum of 10 days, then the wine aged in new French oak barriques followed by extended bottle aging prior to release. Traditionalists do not recognize this as Barolo.
My reviews of these Barolo red wines are updated weekly. These Barolo red wines offer great taste at a good price. You'll find a definition of Barolo wine at the bottom of this page as well as food pairings for Barolo in my wine matcher. This is just a small set of my reviews, but you can get all of them when you join my wine community.
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Heavy oak treatment of Barolo imparts vanilla and spices notes that mask the lovely floral components of the Nebbiolo grape. This controversy of traditional versus modern methods of making Barolo have been called the “Barolo Wars.”
Barolo has enjoyed a privileged status from its early beginnings. Widely termed “the wine of kings, the king of wines” among the nobility of Turin and the ruling House of Savoy. Today Barolo still enjoys such status. It’s now often blended with Barbera, Merlot, Syrah grapes to give the wine a youthful deep garnet glow and ripe berry, fruity flavours.
Barolo is still fit for nobility as its prices reflect this status (or bank account).
Fun fact: Global warming has been good to the Barolo-producing zone. Long, hot summers coupled with mild autumns give way to misty fog that prevent grapes from burning allowing higher concentration of sugars and tannins. This has lead to 20 years of superb Barolo vintages.
Pair Barolo with anchovy pizza, porcini mushrooms and prime rib beef.
© 2014 by Natalie MacLean. All rights reserved.