:"For the Italian town, see Barolo (CN)".Barolo is an Italian wine, one of many to claim the title "Wine of kings, and king of wines". Fact|date=July 2008 It is produced in Cuneo's province, south-west of Alba, within the region of Piemonte.

It is produced in the communes of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and parts 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 wine is produced from the Nebbiolo grape variety. The Lampia, Michet and Rosé types are authorized. It matures at the end of September. The clusters are dark blue and greyish with the abundant wax that dresses the grapes. Their form is lengthened, pyramidal, with small, spherical grapes with substantial peel. The leaves are of average size with three or five lobes.

Barolo typically 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. The initial nose of a barolo is often that of the pine tree.

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

Barolo data

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). The results, said traditionalists, were wines that weren't even recognizable as Barolo and tasted more of new oak than of wine.

The controversies between traditionalists 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 [like Elio Altare or Roberto Voerzio with long macerations combined with barrique] , 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.

Traditionalist producers include: Giuseppe Rinaldi, Marcarini, Bartolo Mascarello, Brovia, Giuseppe Mascarello, Cavallotto, Giacomo Conterno, Giacomo Borgogno, Paolo Conterno, Comm. Burlotto, Oddero, Barale, Cavallotto, Cappellano, Massolino, Bruno "the Maestro" Giacosa, Luigi Pira, Vietti (especially the Riserva Villero), Vajra.

Modernist producers include: Azelia, Scavino, Gigi Rosso, Rivetti, Ceretto, Aldo Conterno (from 1996 onwards), Boglietti, Mauro Veglio, Altare, Sandrone, Domenico Clerico, E. Pira & Figli (Chiara Boschis), Einaudi, Icardi, Parusso, Prunotto, Ceretto, Corino, Alessandria, Grimaldi, Silvio Grasso, Seghesio (Aldo e Ricardo).

In January 2007, Filippo Bartolotta indicated how a vertical tasting of Barolo, from 1985 to the present "showcased Barolo's longevity, intense aromatics, freshness, silk-and-cashmere tannins and also highlighted the considerable contrast between production zones". [Bartolotta, "Decanter", January 2007, p. 43] [Le Baccanti [ Bartolotta's Best Barolos On Decanter] ]

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

By distilling the residue of wine press of Nebbiolo, it is possible to obtain "grappa", a spirit smooth and mild like the grapes destined 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. 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 ethers.


*Michael Garner and Paul Merritt, "Barolo: Tar and Roses: A study of the wines of Alba". ISBN 071623942X
*Nicolas Belfrage, "Barolo to Valpolicella: The Wines of Northern Italy". ISBN 0-571-17851-0;Footnotes

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