This is the Grand Italian Wine by definition, also produced entirely with Nebbiolo grapes. Barolo wine comes from the village in the Langa bearing the same name a few kilometres south of Alba. It is now made in eleven ‘communes’ or village territories, all situated on the scenic Langa hills shaped by centuries of vine cultivation and dominated by medieval castles – including Barolo’s own.
Thanks to the farming genius of Count Camillo Benso of Cavour (who was also Italy’s first Prime Minister) and to the intuition of Giulia Colbert Falletti, the last Marquess of Barolo, Barolo wine began to be produced around halfway through the 19th century. This wine, particularly rich and harmonious, became the Savoy Family’s best ambassador, representing Piedmont in all the royal courts of Europe.
Together with Barbaresco, Barolo saw the rise of many associations in its favour during the course of 20th century, starting with ‘Pro-Barolo’ and culminating in the foundation of the Consortium and the attribution of Doc and then Docg status and, finally, in 2005, the Control Plan for Certification required by the European Union.
These captivating qualities led the nobility of the 19th century to give it the title ‘King of wines and wine of kings’. Barolo must be allow to age for at least three years, one and a half of which has to be in oak barrels. If the ageing is prolonged for five years, the wine gains the title of ‘Riserva’.
Communes included in the Barolo production area are: Barolo, La Morra, Monforte, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Novello, Grinzane Cavour. Verduno, Diano d’Alba, Cherasco and Roddi.
The colour is a full and intense garnet red and the perfumes are both fruity and spicy. Red berries, cherries in liqueur and jam are present both in the nose and in the mouth, together with roses, faded violets, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, vanilla and, at times, liquorice, cocoa, tobacco and leather.
One of the last and most important pieces of research on Barolo, has been the collection of the ‘cru list’ or Additional Geographical Definitions and its inclusion in the Disciplinary regulations in 2010.