Wine Talk | Meet Barolo, a.k.a. the King of Wines, the Wine of Kings
Barolo, possibly Italy’s greatest and the most prestigious wine, is made with hard-to-grow Nebbiolo grapes, on the hills surrounding the town of Barolo, in the Piedmont Region. Barolo is often described as a wine of mystery that needs time to be explored and understood.
Meet the King and join us for our Wine Dinners on November 12 (Houston) and November 13 (Austin). We’ll be honoring Beni di Batasiolo Winery, their graceful wines, and their Barolo Crus. The Batasiolo Winery is located in Serralunga and owned by the five Dogliani brothers and four sisters.
Meet the King
Grapes: 100% Nebbiolo in its subvarieties of Michet, Lampia and Rosé.
Quality Stamp: DOCG (Since 1980)
Production Area: Within the different towns of the Barolo area, stylistic differences emerge due to slight variations in soil and meso-climate. The calcareous limestone-rich Tortonian soils of Barolo and La Morra are relatively fertile and tend to produce graceful, aromatic and fruity wines. The more ancient Helvetian sandstone clay soils of Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba produce more intense, broader-textured wines.
Description: Despite the different terroirs, the wines retain their key features, such as the tar and roses aroma, a bright garnet color, firm tannins, and high natural acidity. Barolo is ethereal and engaging, with hints of ripe fruits and spices, like prunes, figs and cloves.
Aging: Barolo must have a minimum of 13% alcohol and be aged a minimum of three years, with two of those years in either oak or chestnut barrels. The wood contributes to the smoky flavors, making them pair well with hearty meat and pasta dishes. Softer Barolos from La Morra soil can be ready to drink in three to four years, while those from Serralunga and Monforte need to be aged a longer time, from seven to eight years. When subjected to aging of at least five years before release, the wine can be labeled as Riserva.
Barolo, between tradition and modernity. The huge difference between traditionalists and modernists is the maceration time, that is to say how long the skins of the grapes are left in contact with the juice. This time lasts anywhere from 10 to 40 days, leading to diverse styles. Traditional producers have a longer maceration (40 and more days), creating a more robust wine. Traditional Barolo is fruity, pure, without hints of toasted wood, able to evolve slowly. It needs time and its tannic austerity must be contemplated to be understood.
Other producers make a more modern-style wine, using new oak, a much shorter maceration time, and strive to retain more berry fruit, which results in a wine that is drinkable sooner. As the tannins soften over time, their complexity shows through with hints of earth, truffles and dark chocolate.
Pairing: Ideal with game, roasts and strong, matured cheeses. Perfect with hearty pasta, rich risottos and meaty stews.
Join us for our November Wine Dinners featuring the wonderful wines from Beni di Batasiolo.
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