From Academic Kids

Barolo is one of the most noble wines of Italy, one of many to claim the title "Wine of kings, and king of wines", it is produced in Cuneo's province, south-west of Alba.

It is produced in the entire communal territory of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and parts of the territories of the communes of Cherasco, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d'Alba, Novello, Roddi, Verduno, all in the province of Cuneo. Only vineyards in the hills with suitable slopes and orientations are considered adapted to production. And the terrains must be primarily clayey-calcareous in character.

The grape is produced from the Nebbiolo variety. The Lampia, Michet and Rosè types are authorized. It matures at the end of October. The clusters are blue intense and extend to grey for the abundant wax that dresses again the grapes. Their form is lengthened, pyramidal, with small grapes, spherical and with substantial peel. The leaves have an average size with three or five lobes.
Barolo stereotypically smells of tar and roses, and can take on an unusual orange tinge with age. when subjected to aging of at least five years, the wine can be labeled a Riserva.

For connoisseurs it is Italy’s most collected wine; for beginners it is a difficult one to understand.

The greatest Barolo vintages include (with exceptional vintages in bold):

  • 1868, 1879, 1887, 1894, 1898, 1905, 1907, 1912, 1917, 1919, 1922, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1934, 1947, 1958, 1961, 1964, 1970, 1971, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001
Producers 1,163
Amount produced 5,000,000 litres
Maximum yield 8000 kg/ha
Maximum yield of wine from grapes 65%
Minimum alcohol level 13°
Minimum total acidity 5‰
Minimum net dry extract 23‰
Required aging three years

The "Barolo wars"

In the past all Barolos used to be very tannic and they took more than 10 years to soften up. Fermenting wine sat on the grape skins for at least three weeks, extracting huge amounts of tannins; then it was aged in large, wooden casks for years.

In order to meet the international taste, which preferred fruitier, more-accessible styles, the "modernists" cut fermentation times to a maximum of ten days and put the wine in new French barriques (small oak barrels). That, said traditionalists, made wines that weren't even recognizable as Barolo and tasted more of new oak than of wine.

The controversies between tradionalists and modernists have been called the Barolo wars.

The war has now subsided. Though outspoken modernists are still committed to new oak, many producers are now choosing the middle ground, often using a combination of barriques and large casks. The more prestigious houses, however, still reject barriques and insist on patience only for their exceptional wines. These are auction staples, sought after by aficionados in Italy, Germany, Japan, Switzerland and the United States.

Barolo Chinato

The origins of Barolo Chinato date back to the nineteenth century and they are a precious elixir according to the popular culture.

They are aromatic wines that are prepared using Barolo with infusion of China Calissaja bark, rhubarb root, and about ten other aromatic herbs.

Grappa di Barolo

From distillation of the residue of wine press of Nebbiolo it's possible to obtain grappa, a spirit smooth and mild like the grapes destinated to make Barolo. The distillation makes use of a traditional process with alembic in a bain-marie. This spirit, only just condensed in a refrigerating coil, is a white drink quite insignificant, but, after ageing in oaks for three years at least, the colour becomes light yellow, slightly amber-coloured, and the taste grows smooth. The right spirituousness is around 45%, because it intensifies the fragrances, the alcohol and the nl:Barolo


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