The Noble Wine

Barolo is an Italian wine, one of many to claim the title “Wine of kings, and king of wines”.

Barolo is a red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. Made from the Nebbiolo grape, it is often described as one of Italy’s greatest wines.The zone of production extends into the communes of Nebbiolo 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, south-west of Alba. Only vineyards planted in primarily calcareous-clay soils in the hills with suitable slopes and orientations are considered suitable for Barolo production. Barolo is often described as having the aromas of tar and roses, and the wines are noted for their ability to age and usually take on an orange tinge as they get older.

Since the late 19th century, efforts have been made to identify which vineyards in the Barolo zones produces the highest quality of wine. Inspired by the prestige and high prices charged for Grand cru bottlings of Burgundy wine, Barolo producers began separating their holdings into individual vineyard lots and labeling the wines with these single vineyard designations. The practice became so extensive that some producers were doing single vineyard bottlings and charging high prices on all their holdings, regardless of whether the particular vineyard quality merited such a practice. Led by prominent wine critic Luigi Veronelli, there was a push to have the vineyards of Barolo classified according to the quality of their produce. Winemaker Renato Ratti conducted an extensive study of the soils, geography and produce of vineyards throughout the area and mapped out individual plots based on their quality potential. The “Ratti Map” is still widely used by producers and negociants today. While there is no official designation of cru vineyard in the Barolo zone, both oral tradition and the history of high prices paid by negociants has elevated some vineyards to “cru” status in Barolo. In the commune of Barolo the Cannubi and Sarmazza are considered “cru” class as well as the Brunate vineyard shared with the commune of La Morra. Also in La Morra is the highly esteemed Cerequi and Rocche vineyards. In Castiglione Falletto is the Monprivato and Villero vineyards. The commune of Serralunga d’Alba is home to the esteemed vineyards of Lazzarito and Vigna Rionda while the commune of Monforte d’Alba is home to the Bussia, Ginestra and Santo Stefano di Perno vineyards.

More about Barolo:

http://www.barolodibarolo.com/inglese/index.asp

http://www.barolo.net/scoprire/index.asp

http://www.terredavino.it/site/

A few Barolo suggestions: http://www.intowine.com/barolo-wine-recommendations-best-barolos-money

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