The king of the red wines, Barolo is known as a noble Italian wine. This special red wine is produced from Nebbiolo grapes, with Michet variety, Lampia, and Rosé allowed. Nebbiolo is considered a difficult grape to grow in the northwest Italy’s clay and sandy soil. It prefers sunny, south-facing hillsides.
Barolo is situated near the town of Alba in Italy’s Piedmont in the foothills of the Alps. This location determines the specific climate conditions and the terroir. Calcareous soil in the west of this wine region tends to produce softer, fruitier wines which typically age faster and have stronger aroma. Sandstone in the east is less fertile and usually results in more intense structured wines which mature more slowly.
Barolo is usually described as an austere, robust, rich, caressing and lingering wine. It is a full-bodied dry wine, which is high in acidity, tannin and alcohol. Some modern style Barolos are less tannic, and fruitier in flavor.
The aroma of Barolo wine reminds of ripe strawberries, roses, violets, tar, and truffles. Barolos may have a wide range of complex aromas, including dried fruit, damsons, licorice, camphor, tobacco, herbs etc.
Barolo is a special wine in many respects: it is a chewy wine due to its texture high in tannin; it has special color, and aromas. Its alcoholic content is set at 13%.
Barolos are almost always lightly colored varying from ruby red to garnet as they are young and reaching more orange or brick color with age. Barolo wines are never opaque or very deep in color.
Standard Barolo is aged two years in the barrel, and one in the bottle. Riserva Barolo is subject to age for at least five years. Often rather “hard” when young, Barolo wine becomes mellower with age. Barolo gets better with additional aging and is often left to age a lot longer after the vintage year, it can age for over 10 years.
Barolo may enhance an excellent dining experience as no other sort of wine.Wines like Barolo should be paired with dishes high in proteins and fat: red meat dishes, heavy pastas, creamy risottos, and hard cheeses. The tannins of the wine tend to bind to the proteins and the taste become softer. If you pair Barolo with light dishes, the tannins will accentuate the bitterness and will have a drying effect on the palate.
Before serving a Barolo wine, you are highly recommended to open it at least an hour ahead of time. It will allow for proper aeration. Barolo should be drunk at 60F. Azelia, Anselma, Luciano Sandrone, Bartolo Mascarello, Paolo Scavino, and Pio Cesare are considered top Barolo wine producers. Choose one of them to complement your dinner in Italian style.