It’s not a wine for everyday drinking but Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to enjoy Barolo, the king of Italian wines. The crus (best wines) of Barolo rank with the world’s great wines – an exclusive class that includes Burgundy Grand Crus, Bordeaux 1st Growths, Super Tuscans of Bolgheri and Napa Valley Cult Cabs. Few of us will drink the best of these crazy expensive wines, but affordable wines from these regions can be had.

Barolo producers fall into two categories: modernists and traditionalists. Barolo is made from high-tannin Nebbiolo grape which requires many years of aging. In late 1980’s and 1990’s, a group of Piemonte winemakers (Barolo Boys) introduced new wine-making techniques that made their Baroli more approachable at a younger age. And today, some of their wine-making techniques have survived.

2016 Barolo vintage is highest rated vintage since 2010 – this Barolo is ready after decanting for one hour.
Piemont, Italy $36
Antonio Galloni 91 rating says “The 2016 Barolo is fleshy, succulent and super-expressive, all of which make it an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next decade or so. Sweet red cherry, kirsch, cinnamon, mint and rose petal all flesh out in the glass, while soft, silky tannins give this forward Barolo plenty of near and medium-term appeal. This is such a delicious wine.”

Great vintages occur less frequently in the Old World due to variable climate. These Baroli are resting quietly in my cellar waiting for their time.  

Cheers, Bob the WineGuy
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