Azienda Agricola E Pira e Figli, Chiara Boschis, Barolo DOCG Cannubi (a village of the Barolo commune), Piemonte, Italy, 2009
Some notes on Barolo DOCG
The minimum ageing requirements before release are, for a normale 38 months, with at least 18 in wood; and for a reserva, 62 months with at least 18 in wood .
Vintages rated as excellent – 2013, 2010, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2001, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1990, 1988 …, and as very good – 2011, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2003, 1999, 1993 …
Geographically, the Barolo appellation can be considered split in two by a north-south dividing line, with the Central Valley to the west, comprising the communes of La Morra and Barolo, and the Serralunga Valley to the east, comprising Castiglione Falletto, Monteforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. Overall, soils are calcareous clay , but the Central Valley is more marl (a mixture of 30-60% clay and 60-30% limestone), whilst the Serralunga Valley has more sandstone.
Character-wise, the Central Valley tends to give more delicate and perfumed wine, whilst that of Serralunga Valley, is more full bodied and tannic .
This wine: lot No. L26912 (on front label), varietal nebbiolo, fermented in stainless steel, then matured for 2 years in 30% new lightly toasted 2000 litre French oak, bottled unfiltered, and aged for 1 year before release, so this is a Barolo normale, coated 50mm natural cork closure, 14% abv, BBR, £50.67 (09/13)
Consumer tasting note: unmistakably nebbiolo, with high acidity and tannins, and warming alcohol. Typically pale(ish) garnet in hue, lightly toasty and spicy, with notes of rich red berries and kirsch, black liquorice, cedar, menthol and a delicate floral whiff; full bodied with fresh acidity and strident yet fine grained tannins, with a palate of black cherry and warm liquorice, dried fruit and herbs. A food wine. A sound long length.
Drink now – RTD, and will improve over 4-6 years – Wait. No need to decant, but there will be sediment, savour a glass over 30 minutes, or decant.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity garnet, showing tears [a level teaspoon of soft slightly granular sediment – a second example tasted in March 2020, showed a good two table spoons of a heavy folded fabric like nature, along with a solid lump of 10-15 mm diameter].
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of spice, low-key toast, red currant, kirsch, candle wax, cumin, warm black liquorice, almond oil, a delicate floral whiff, a sugary confected nuance, cedar, minty/menthol, dried cranberry, leaf humus, and dried rose bud from a drying empty glass.
Palate: dry, high acidity, ripe fine grained high tannins, medium (+) alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of black cherry, black liquorice, toast and cedar, candle wax, dried cranberry, hint of prune, hint of dried herbs. A long length (>30s), with a clean tannic finish infused with black cherry edged with cedar, and crushed cherry pit.
Quality: very good, well balanced fresh acidity and high yet fine grained tannins with alcohol, suiting the flavour intensity and concentration; showing a strong intensity throughout, with similar concentration; a strong fully developed complexity, with evidence of time in wood (cedar, cumin, spice, toast) and bottle (almond oil, cedar, cherry pit, dried flowers, dried herbs, wax). Follows into a sound long length. (With a bit more mid-palate intensity and concentration, this would have been outstanding).
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing, over say 4-6 years, and given the robust acid-tannin structure and balance, will keep longer. A pleasing balance of primary fruit, secondary spice and residual toast, and burgeoning tertiary notes, with lots of intensity, concentration, complexity and indicative length.
- Barolo DOCG Consorzio. [online] accessed 01/01/20.
- Burton, N., Flewellen, J. (2014). The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting. Acheron Press.