Learn about this Italian wine known as the wine of kings and the king of wines.
Near the town of Alba, in the Piedmont grows the Nebbiolo grape, a noble grape. From this grape is produced the prestigious Barolo wines. It has been called the "king of wine" and the "wine of kings." It is considered one of the world’s best red wines. It is a DOCG wine, made entirely from the Nebbiolo grape. Once you have experienced good examples of this wine, you will begin to understand its nobility.
The Barolo is a robust red--very dry and full bodied, high in tannin, acidity, and alcohol. The aroma suggests tar, violets, roses, ripe strawberries, and truffles. It is often described as a chewy wine. When Barolo is produced in the traditional rustic style it can be hard when young. When it is aged properly and given time to mellow the harsh elements begin to soften and reveal many layers of complexity. Production rules stipulate that a Barolo is not a Barolo until it has aged for three years at the winery or for five years if it is called Riserva. It benefits from additional aging and often requires ten to twenty years total aging from the year of vintage. It is best to open a Barolo an hour before serving for proper aeration. Like many Italian wines it is best with food.
Some producers have been attempting to produce Barolo in a form that can be served at a younger age. They have been highlighting the wine´s fruit and color while softening harsh tannins.
It is important to buy Barolo from a good producer. One Barolo can differ from another based upon the production method applied. Some producers are using short fermentation periods in small French oak barrels, at least for part of the maturation period. These barrels add an oaky flavor to the wine, as well as tannin. These are ready to drink sooner than traditional Barolos.
Good Producers of Barolo are:
- Bartolo Mascarello
- Crissante Alessandria
- Giacomo Conterno
- Gianfranco Alessandria
- Luciano Sandrone
- Marchesi di Barolo
- Paolo Scavino
- Pio Cesare
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