From Australia, we head to a true center of wine history; one of tradition and splendor, and really, really good wine. Not only are we talking about Italy, but Piedmont, Italy. We’ve talked about this gorgeous region in the northwest of Italy but what we’re going to focus on today is the Barolo wine.
As we know, wines in much of the Old World are actually named specifically for the region in which they are produced, so Barolo is a part of the larger Piedmont wine region. The wine is made from the Nebbiolo grape, a succulent red that takes the shape of many of Italy’s most famous red wines.
Nebbiolo as a grape is very thin skinned and high in acid and tannins, which means the Barolo wines are rich and full of flavor. They are lighter in color and come with an extremely floral palate- herbs and rose flowers are just a sample of the aromas you can find in a bottle of Barolo. This is a late harvest wine, with the final grapes being plucked toward the end of October, so many of the Nebbiolos from Barolo come with a fruiter palate than you might find elsewhere.
Although the Barolo wines are extremely tannic and drying, as all Nebbiolos are, these tend to bring along notes of raspberry jam, red cherry, and star anise. The dry, acidic nature of these wines makes them an excellent pair to grilled red meat but also for a lovely charcuterie platter.
The DOCG (or designation of origin) of Barolo is in the town of Alba, and these vineyards are only on the southward facing hills. These wines must always be barrel-aged a total of 38 months with at least 18 of them aging in wood barrels, although there are various styles that are aged anywhere from five to ten years, like the Reserva and Vigna, respectively.
If you have the luxury of traveling to this gorgeous town, make sure you take part in the Barolo wine trail, or Strada del Barolo e grandi vini di Langa, which has a scenic route of wineries and actual castles.
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