Barolo is produced from the Nebbiolo grape, an Italian grape variety known for its production of complex, full-bodied red wines. It’s a variety that has been grown in the Italian regions of Piedmont, Lombardy and Valle d’Aosta since the 1300s, and it’s now one of the most widely cultivated grapes in the country. Nebbiolo is known for its deep ruby-red color, its powerful tannins, and its strong aromas and flavours of tar, licorice, roses, and orange peel. These very special wines deserve long term cellaring in special wine cabinets that replicate the conditions of the producer's cellar.
Characteristics of Barolo and Nebbiolo
In the glass, Nebbiolo wines often have a light, smoky quality that can be quite pleasing. Nebbiolo wines are typically full-bodied and high in alcohol. They are also highly acidic and tannic, which means that they are best enjoyed when paired with food. They are most often paired with dishes like wild game, veal, or mushroom-based sauces.
The most notable Nebbiolo wines come from the Piedmont region of Italy, where the grape has been grown for centuries. This region is home to some of the most renowned Nebbiolo wines in the world, including Barolo, Barbaresco, and Gattinara. Barolo is the most famous Nebbiolo wine and is produced from grapes grown in the Langhe hills of Piedmont. This wine is known for its powerful tannins and high alcohol content, as well as its deep red color and aromas of tar, roses, and licorice.
Barolo wines are usually aged for a minimum of three years before they reach the consumer. Barbaresco is also a Nebbiolo-based wine, but it’s produced in a different region of Piedmont. The resulting wine is more delicate than Barolo, but still has the same powerful tannins and high alcohol content. It also has more floral aromas and flavours, with notes of rose and violet. Barolo and Barbaresco are considered the King and Queen of the Piedmont and both deserve at least 10 years in bottle to truly appreciate their unique profiles.
Gattinara is another Nebbiolo-based wine produced in Piedmont, but it’s made with grapes grown in the Valle d’Aosta region. This wine is known for its lighter body and lower tannins, as well as its smoky, herbal aromas and flavours. Nebbiolo wines are some of the finest in the world and are truly worth seeking out. They are complex and powerful wines that can easily stand up to the strongest of dishes.
Barolo is a type of Italian red wine made from Nebbiolo grapes grown in the communes of Barolo, La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, Monforte d’Alba, and Roddi, all in the province of Cuneo, in the northwest Italian region of Piedmont. It is considered one of the finest Italian wines, and possibly the world’s most noble red wine. The Nebbiolo grapes used to make Barolo are some of the most difficult to cultivate and process. The grapes must be thinned to concentrate the flavor and the sugar content must be high. The grapes must also be picked at the perfect time in order to get the most out of them. The must is then aged for at least two years in oak barrels, with the best producers aging for three to four years.
Barolo is a well-balanced, full-bodied wine with a deep garnet color, and a nose of roses, tar, licorice, and tobacco. On the palate, flavours of cherry, plum, and raspberry are complemented by earthy notes and a hint of spice. The tannins are well integrated and the finish is long and lingering. Barolo is often considered to be the king of Italian wines, and is a great accompaniment to a variety of dishes. It is most commonly served with foods such as beef, lamb, game, and truffle dishes, as well as pasta, risotto, and cheese. It is also a great wine to enjoy on its own. Barolo is an incredibly complex and unique wine that is a must for any wine lover. It is a wine that can truly be appreciated for its depth and complexity, and it can be enjoyed now or cellared for many years to come. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, Barolo will always be a luxurious treat that is sure to please.
Maturing and storing Barolo
The ultimate expression of Barolo is the traditional Barolo, which is aged for a minimum of three years before it can be released on the market. This is because the Nebbiolo grape needs time to develop its unique characteristics, including its intense tannins and aromas of roses, tar, truffles and dried fruits. Unlike other Italian wines, which are meant to be drunk young, Barolo is meant to be aged. As it ages, the wine will develop a greater complexity and the tannins will become more integrated and softer. With proper cellaring and aging, Barolo can be enjoyed for many years, sometimes decades. This makes it a great wine for special occasions and for those who appreciate a good, mature wine.
When it comes to maturing Barolo, the most important factor is time. The longer a Barolo ages, the more complex and flavourful it will become. The best way to age Barolo is in a cool and dark environment. This will help preserve the flavours and aromas as the wine matures. The ideal temperature for cellaring Barolo is between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius, with humidity below 70%. It’s also important to store the wine in a place that is free from the smell of other foods and wines, as this can affect the flavour of the Barolo. Another important factor when aging Barolo is the cork. The cork is the seal between the bottle and the wine, and it is essential to maintaining the quality of the Barolo. The cork should be made of high-quality material and should be replaced every few years. This will ensure that the wine is not exposed to oxygen and that the flavour of the wine will not be affected.
Finally, when it comes to maturing Barolo, patience is key. It takes a long time for the Nebbiolo grape to develop its complexity and for the tannins to become softened. While it is tempting to drink it young, the reward of a mature Barolo is well worth the wait. With proper cellaring and aging, a bottle of Barolo can be enjoyed for many years, making it the perfect wine for special occasions.
When it comes to finding the best Barolo producers, it is important to know what to look for. A good Barolo producer should be a family-run estate with a long history of producing quality wines. Many of the best Barolo producers are small and specialized, using traditional techniques and local, hand-harvested grapes. One of the top Barolo producers is Giacomo Conterno. Located in Monforte d'Alba, the family estate has been producing Barolo since 1906. The estate is known for producing traditional wines that are known for their intense aromas, complexity, and long cellaring potential.
Another top Barolo producer is Marchesi di Barolo. Founded in 1807, the estate is one of the oldest wineries in the Barolo region. The estate produces classic Barolo wines with intense aromas of roses and tar, as well as more modern expressions with ripe fruit flavours. One of the most renowned producers of Barolo is Giacosa Fratelli. Founded in the late 19th century, the estate is located in the historic village of Serralunga d'Alba. The estate is known for producing classic Barolo wines that are complex and age-worthy.
There are many other excellent Barolo producers, including Elio Altare, Vietti, Gaja, Roberto Voerzio, Prunotto, and Bruno Giacosa. Each of these producers has their own unique style, and it is worth exploring the different expressions of Barolo that they produce. No matter which Barolo producer you choose, you can be sure that you are getting a quality wine. Barolo is made with great care and attention to detail, and you can be sure that you are getting a wine that is worthy of its long-standing reputation.
Best Wine Fridges for Barolo
From the 200 wine fridges we sell, many will suit the long term maturation of Barolo due to Barolo coming in a Bordeaux shaped bottle making it easy to store. The need to mature Barolo over the longer term though means you should certainly choose a wine fridge with a carbon filter and one built for the long term maturation of wine rather than wine service; a wine maturing cabinet would be the very best option.
If you have a large collection of Barolo/Barbaresco and other Nebbiolo wines then we would recommend a few wine cabinets in-particular.
The Swisscave WLB-460F-MIX - Benefitting from the latest in wine cooler technology and the reliability and quality of the Swisscave brand, the WLB-460F-MIX operates one temperature zone (5-20°C) and benefits from 14 Beech wood sliding shelves giving quick and instant access to your wines. Swisscave use the highest quality components in their Premium range including an inverter compressor, high quality internal and external fans and upgraded evaporators, these are the best and quietest components to ensure your wines are protected to their fullest in a quiet unit that is also economical to run. With a carbon filter and automatic humidity management, this is a superb choice for maturing Barolo and whose MIX shelving means it can also cellar wines in other shaped bottles, including Gaja's Barbaresco as pictured.
The Vin Garde Volnay 176 - British brand, Vin Garde offer some of the highest quality, most versatile wine storage on the market with the ability to set the temperature between 5-22°C, store Barolo or Barbaresco on any shelf due to the height gaps between rows and to use the wine cabinet as a freestanding OR built in unit. This version of the Volnay 176 comes with a piano black door.
With an ambient operating temperature of 0-35°C, this wine cabinet can be placed in the home, restaurant or even placed in a garage or cellar thanks to the operating temperature and the internal winter system. Quiet at just 39dB and economical, the Vin Garde range is a great choice for the serious wine collector with a lot of wine to store.
The Artevino Oxygen 230 - From the world's foremost producers of wine cabinets, Eurocave, comes the classic and much respected Artevino range. Designed to closely replicate the environment of a real cellar, the Artevino range has been engineered to excel at wine maturation. The Artevino units are fully customisable with the ability to reverse the door opening side, change the door from a glass to a solid door (or vice versa) and add extra shelving of many varieties (including sliding and display shelves).
The standard configuration OXG1T230NPD comes with a solid door, 4 static beech wood shelves and all the standard Artevino internal wine cooling technology. With a winter system and a wide ranging climate classification this wine cabinet can protect your wine in outbuildings too and operates from 0-35°C ambient temperatures. The one, strictly controlled wine maturation area can be set between 9-15°C and the humidity range is kept tight between 65-80%. Customers who would like to alter the standard model to include more shelves or a different door should contact us before placing an order.
The Climadiff Reserve 300XL - New for 2022, the Reserve range from Climadiff offer the very latest advancements in wine maturation technology and the Reserve 300XL is their largest capacity model. Climadiff are the premier brand in the market for trusted wine cabinets and this range comes complete with winter system, allowing them to be kept in colder locations like garages & outbuildings. At just 38dB and 144kWh this is one of the quietest and most energy efficient wine cabinets on the market too.
With solid door and an exterior made from anthracite coal grey sheet metal your wine will remain undisturbed in total darkness and away from harmful UV light. The Reserve 300XL comes with 4 fixed and 1 wooden sliding shelf, a charcoal filter to prevent bad odours and automatic humidity regulation. The technology inside the cooler is designed to most closely replicate the conditions in a traditional Chateau cellar to allow your wines to develop to their optimum flavour profile over the decades.
La Sommeliere Apogee150 - New for 2023, the retro-design APOGEE range of wine maturation cabinets from La Sommeliere are the most energy efficient units currently in our range and offer a pleasing aesthetic coupled with the best in modern wine maturation technology. All the APOGEE range include a winter system (allowing the units to be placed in outbuildings or garages as well as the home), carbon filters, automatic humidity controls and either solid door or double glazed, UV protected glass doors. They are compatible with the handy, free VINOTAG app to monitor and keep track of your collection.
Quiet at just 37dB, the APOGEE range represents a leap in technology from the La Sommeliere range who have managed to combine the latest wine cooling technology with economic and ecological friendliness (low energy and noise emissions); all at a very fair price point.
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