Thanks to a string of successful vintages, there has been a great deal of recent publicity regarding Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Produced entirely from Nebbiolo, these two iconic wines have changed in style over the past 20-30 years; where once, the wines were reserved upon release, today, the wines are riper and more forward. This is largely due to climate change, as warmer temperatures throughout the growing season have necessitated Nebbiolo harvests some two to three weeks earlier these days than in the 1980s, ‘70s and prior; while late October to early November was normal for a Nebbiolo harvest thirty and forty years ago, today, harvest is more typically in early-mid October.
Summary: Barolo, produced exclusively from Nebbiolo, is one of the world’s most celebrated wines. Here in a production zone in southern Piedmont, a mixture of soils and other conditions combine to make wines that can truly be defined as products of terroir. Join us for an in-depth look at the finest vineyards and producers of Barolo, from the perfumed examples of La Morra and Verduno to
Apart from the Côte d’Or in Burgundy, perhaps no other wine territory has been dissected in greater detail than the Barolo zone. This makes perfect sense, as these are arguably the two most ideal representations of the concept of terroir; just as Pinot Noir from one village in Burgundy reveals different flavors than that of another nearby hamlet, so too offerings of Barolo from various communes often display diverse characteristics, despite the fact that every wine here is made exclusively from Nebbiolo. There are 11 approved communes in the Barolo production zone. For this article, we will deal primarily with the five largest: La Morra, Serralunga d’Alba, Monforte d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and Barolo itself. The remaining six are Cherasco, Diano d’Alba (interestingly, planted more to Dolcetto than Nebbiolo), Grinzane Cavour, Roddi, Verduno and Novello; these last two are home to two of the most in-demand vineyards in the entire zone: Monvigliero in Verduno and Ravera in Novello.
Summary: The most celebrated examples of Barolo are among the finest examples of terroir anywhere in the wine world. Thanks to soil formations from millions of years ago, along with climatic conditions, Barolos from various communes can often vary greatly in style. Yet beyond the terroir of site-specific, there is also a human terroir at work, as enologists employ different techniques in their cellars.
Wine professionals and consumers share a similar aspiration when they visit a wine region; they want to enjoy the area’s best dining experiences so they can pair their favorite local wines with the territory’s typical food offerings. While commonplace throughout Italy, this situation is nowhere more prominent than in Piedmont, especially in the region’s southern Langhe district. Lunch or dinner in the Barolo and Barbaresco production zones here is more than a simple pleasure; this is wine, and food pairing elevated to an art form.
Summary: When the humble, yet masterful British wine writer Harry Waugh was asked, when was the last time he had confused Bordeaux and Burgundy, he famously replied, “not since lunch.” Ask a 21st century American wine scholar that question about Barolo and Brunello, and they may well respond “not since the last blind tasting.” This Italian conundrum
Summary: This WSG Live will follow the history of Barolo from the 1860s through the latest innovations and viticultural practices of today. As there have been more changes in the last fifty years than in the first one hundred, much of the webinar will concentrate on the period from the 1970s until current times. Specific topics covered will include changes in viticultural practices (e.g. Barolo Boys), a more precise definition of the boundaries of the Barolo zone,
The best way to make sense of Italian red wines is to simply start tasting them. Italy offers the perfect red wine for every occasion—from pizza on Monday to roast beef with the in-laws on Sunday. Many of Italy's best red wines are labeled with the name of the wine appellation, often combined with the grape variety. If you've ever felt wholly overwhelmed while browsing an Italian wine section, knowing just a few key wine names will help keep your shopping trip focused and ensure that you have the perfect wine to drink at a moment's notice.
Summary: As Hugh Johnson first grasped in the late 1960s, there is no greater tool to wine understanding than fine cartography: the chance to read a landscape from a single sheet of paper. More and more wine regions around the world, moreover, are now refining the manner in which both growers and producers are able to express terroir via geological and topographical surveys, and high-quality mapping is an essential adjunct