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Barolo Wine

Barolo is a traditional hillside village in the rolling hills of Piedmont, north-western Italy. The vineyards and cantine (wineries) there have long been famous for producing some of Italy's very finest red wines – predominantly from the region's signature grape variety, Nebbiolo. Fragrant, tannic Barolo wine is so revered that it was one of just three wines awarded DOCG status on the day that the classification was introduced in July, 1980 (the other two were Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano).

The Barolo vineyard zone covers the parishes of Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and Barolo itself, and also spreads over into parts of Monforte d'Alba, Novello, La Morra, Verduno, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d'Alba, Cherasco and Roddi. The soils and mesoclimates vary slightly between these communes, creating subtle differences between the wines produced from their vineyards (although it must be remembered that the skills and preferences of the individual winemakers also has significant influence over these differences).

Barolo vineyards, late September

In La Morra and Barolo the soil contains a high concentration of limestone-rich Tortonian marl. The more aromatic, fruitier styles of Barolo typically come from these soil types; La Morra is considered to produce the most perfumed and graceful Barolos, while those from Barolo tend to be a little more complex, and broader-textured. (© Copyright,

In Castiglione-Falleto, Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte, the vineyards are planted on looser and less fertile, Helvetian soils, which include both sandstone and limestone. This leads to a brick-colored wine which is more intense, bigger in structure and requires a longer time to age. Serralunga d’Alba is well structured, long lived and the most tannic of the five, while Castiglione-Falleto is renowned for its full-bodied, rich nature and good balance and aromas. Monforte D'Alba offers rich, concentrated characteristics and a serious intensity.

Despite the differences between the wines from these various terroirs, they all retain the key qualities which define the classic Barolo style; the famous 'tar and roses' aroma, a bright ruby color (which fades to garnet over time), firm tannins, elevated acidity, and relatively high alcohol.

To earn the name Barolo, the wines must undergo at least 38 months' aging prior to commercial release, of which 18 must be spent in barrel (the remainder in bottle). For the added designation of riserva, the total aging time increases to 62 months. As the tannins soften over time, the complexity shows through with hints of earth, truffles and dark chocolate.

Classic Barolos have traditionally required at least ten years cellaring to tame their tannins. Today, however, some producers are moving towards more 'international' styles, with reduced fermentation times (meaning less extraction of color or tannin from the must), and the use of new French barriques in place of the traditional large wooden casks. This has resulted in a fruitier and more accessible style which is approachable at a much earlier stage in its life. Many believe this modernization detracts too severely from the classic character of Barolo. Some go so far as to say it makes the wines 'unrecognizable' as Barolo. The ongoing debate between Barolo's modernists and traditionalist has become known as the 'Barolo wars'.

There are various Barolo vineyards which have achieved a sort of informal 'cru' status, based on the official, structured model used in Burgundy. Esteemed winemaker Renato Ratti played a significant role in this, and created a map outlining the various 'crus': Cannubi, Sarmazza, Brunate, Cerequi, Rocche, Monprivato, Villero, Lazzarito, Vigna Rionda, Bussia, Ginestra and Santo Stefano di Perno.

To the north-east of Barolo, just the other side of Alba, are the vineyards which produce another stellar Nebbiolo wine, Barbaresco.

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Here are some wines produced in this region and all sub-regions, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $672 100
Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $164 258
Luciano Sandrone Cannubi Boschis, Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $157 293
Pio Cesare Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $70 296
Falletto di Bruno Giacosa 'Le Rocche del Falletto', Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $288 317
Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio Monprivato, Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $121 321
Domenico Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $88 388
Vietti Rocche, Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $140 458
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $147 466
Marchesi di Barolo 'Barolo' DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $82 474
Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $64 557
Fontanafredda Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $59 603
Falletto di Bruno Giacosa 'Falletto', Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $176 623
Cantina Terre del Barolo 'Barolo DOCG', Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $51 707
Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco, Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $56 709
Luciano Sandrone Le Vigne, Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $123 773
Paolo Scavino Bric del Fiasc, Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $109 793
Bruno Giacosa Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $121 813
Poderi Aldo Conterno Granbussia, Barolo Riserva DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $316 860
Marcarini Brunate, Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $59 956
Beni di Batasiolo Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $35 972
Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $136 1089
Prunotto Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $47 1107
Massolino Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Nebbiolo $49 1124
Conterno Fantino Sori Ginestra, Barolo DOCG, Italy Nebbiolo $85 1132
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