It used to be said that Barolo was the king’s wine and the king of wines. Its name means elegance, a perfect union of structure, rich fragrance and unmistakable flavour, living up to its reputation with every bottle.
The grape is Nebbiolo, the protagonist of so many great wines. The Barolo zone is not very extensive, including the hills and valleys of 11 villages on the right side of river Tanaro.
It takes a long time for a bottle of Barolo to go from the cellar to the table. It must age for at least three years, dating from January 1, after its harvest. Two of those years must be spent in oaken aging barrels, as the wine matures and mellows.
The final year’s container is left up to the preference of the vintner.
Barolo is a great wine. Its intense garnet red colour reminds a summer sunset. Its bouquet tells of the freshest fruits with a touch of dusky spice and, now and then, the faint scent of the truffle, that other classic champion of the Alba area, can be recognized. The finest moment comes with the tasting, however.
The flavour is long, smooth and balanced. This wine is the perfect mate for roasts, tasty cheeses, wild game, stews and grilled meats. Some zesty appetizers and highly seasoned pasta dishes are a good companion for Barolo.
The minimum alcohol content should be 13% and it should be served at 18°C or 65°F, but not cooler.