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Barolo

Barolo is the great red wine by definition, the jewel in the crown of Piedmontese winemaking, a symbol of elegance, balance, structure, longevity and an ambassador for Made in Italy excellence throughout the world. It is produced in 11 municipalities of the Langhe, an area with an ancient winemaking tradition, but its origins are rather recent. In fact, it was born during the 19th century thanks to the contribution of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour and the Marchioness Giulia Colbert Falletti, as well as the innovative enological knowledge of General Paolo Francesco Staglieno. It is said that King Carlo Alberto was its greatest admirer. And so from the close link between its characteristics and the tastes of the nobility in the 19th century, the saying "the King of wines, the wine of Kings" was born.

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Barolo is the great red wine by definition, the jewel in the crown of Piedmontese winemaking, a symbol of elegance, balance, structure, longevity and an ambassador for Made in Italy excellence throughout the world. It is produced in 11 municipalities of the Langhe, an area with an ancient winemaking tradition, but its origins are rather recent. In fact, it was born during the 19th century thanks to the contribution of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour and the Marchioness Giulia Colbert Falletti, as well as the innovative enological knowledge of General Paolo Francesco Staglieno. It is said that King Carlo Alberto was its greatest admirer. And so from the close link between its characteristics and the tastes of the nobility in the 19th century, the saying "the King of wines, the wine of Kings" was born.

The History of Barolo

Born in the heart of the Langhe area, from pure Nebbiolo grapes, cultivated a few kilometres south of the city of Alba, in the territory of 11 municipalities that follow one another in a suggestive itinerary of hills, modelled by the expert hand of man, and protected by imposing medieval castles. The unique elegance and longevity, the intense garnet colour with slight orange reflections, the wide and deep ranging perfumes, fluctuating from fruity and floral scents (red berries, rose and geranium) to ethereal and spicy sensations (liquorice, cocoa, pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, tobacco and leather), the warm, full and persistent flavour, the minimum ageing of 38 months, of which at least 18 in wood, make this nectar the top of the Italian wine production. In 1600 the Nebbiolo grape was already appreciated and consumed by the nobles and royalty of the House of Savoy, but Barolo was only born two centuries later, in the 19th century, thanks to the contribution of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour and a Piedmontese noblewoman, Marchesa Giulia Colbert Falletti, who produced an excellent quality wine in that area. It is said that King Carlo Alberto expressly asked the Marquise to taste it, and that she was so enthusiastic about it that she bought a personal estate in Verduno, so that she could produce it both for her own use and to offer as a gift in diplomatic dealings with other European courts. With the help of the French enologist Alexandre-Pierre Odart, the production processes improved, leading to the creation of a wine that from that moment onwards began its rise to success and the conquest of the most refined palates.



Serving Suggestions and Pairings

Given its intensity, tannicity and important structure, it is best served with tasty, traditional red meat dishes: roasts, braised meats and game. Alternatively, truffle dishes and very mature hard cheeses are also particularly suitable. Some elaborate dishes typical of the Cuneo area are also enhanced, including polenta with stew, jugged hare and various other stews.

The best Baroli, endowed with an ample richness and aromatic complexity, can also be enjoyed outside meals as meditation wines, possibly accompanied by dark chocolate, marrons glacè and paste di meliga, typical Piedmontese shortbread biscuits.

In order to appreciate its taste on the palate at its best, it is advisable to open the bottle at least two hours before serving: oxygenation will allow it to open up and allow all the scents and aromas to slowly emerge. In the case of bottles that have been left to rest for many years in the cellar, it is better to uncork the bottle several hours beforehand, and pay particular attention to allowing it to oxygenate well in the glass for a few minutes before proceeding with the tasting. For a long time, the decanter was in use, which also allows the removal of sediments that may have formed during ageing in the bottle. Nowadays, this practice is not recommended, to avoid that the wine, subjected to a sudden process of oxygenation after a long rest in the cellar, oxidises too quickly, compromising part of its aromatic qualities.

The entire production has great ageing potential and can, in most cases, rest in the cellar for more than 15-20 years. Even though many bottles can be enjoyed as soon as they are released, a long period of ageing in the bottle will favour complete maturation, allowing the hardness to smooth out, the aromatic range to expand and the tannins to become more velvety and less incisive. The emotions one feels when drinking a good Barolo wine and, even better, a properly aged one, are unique and indescribable and we at Callmewine suggest this experience to anyone, offering a vast selection for sale online at excellent prices, each bottle accompanied by a description, a technical data sheet, practical recommendations and pairing suggestions.



The Barolo DOCG Regulations

All production must meet the requirements of Barolo DOCG. The first regulations date back to 1933, while the first DOC regulations were drawn up in 1966, then rewritten in 1980 with the granting of DOCG status, and subject to additions and modifications until recent years. For the production, the regulations allow the use of a single vine, Nebbiolo, defining the geographical area allowed and providing rules for viticulture, vinification and refinement, as well as designation.

It comes from grapes grown in an area that includes the municipalities of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and part of the municipalities of Monforte d'Alba, Novello, La Morra, Verduno, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d'Alba, Cherasco and Roddi, all in the province of Cuneo. The typicality and peculiarities of the territory are safeguarded by a series of fundamental requirements: the soil must be clayey and calcareous, hilly and well sunlit, between 170 and 540 metres above sea level; the vineyards must be espalier-trained with the Guyot pruning system, with a planting density of no less than 3,500 vines per hectare; the grape yield per hectare must be limited to a maximum of 8 tonnes, which is reduced to 4 tonnes for the youngest vines. All these strict requirements ensure the highest quality of Nebbiolo grapes and therefore of the final product.

The wine-making rules are just as precise and rigorous: they require that the operations be carried out within the same territory where the grapes are grown, a maximum grape/wine yield of 70% and an ageing period of at least 38 months, 18 of which in contact with wood, which extends to a total of 62 months of ageing for Baroli accompanied by the denomination "Riserva". Barolo Riserva is therefore only allowed to be released on the market from January 1st of the fourth year following the harvest, while Barolo Riserva is only allowed to be released on the market from the sixth year following the harvest.

The DOCG denomination may be accompanied by additional mentions referring to the vineyards from which the grapes come, provided that even stricter production indicators are respected. For this reason, the best and most suitable vineyards have been identified, called cru, and are distributed over the 11 production communes. The most famous and prestigious cru include, for example: Brunate, Cannubi, Bussia, San Lorenzo, Sarmassa in the municipality of Barolo; Bricco Boschis, Monprivato, Pira, Villero in Castiglione Falletto; Cerequio, Rocche and Monfalletto in La Morra; Baudana, Falletto, Francia, Lazzarito, Margaria, Vigna Rionda in Serralunga d'Alba; Massarea, Monvigliero, San Lorenzo in the municipality of Verduno.