His Majesty the Barolo, the king of wines

Posted by Guidi Wines on

Castello di Barolo

Barolo, defined as “the king of wines and the wine of kings”, is the great Italian wine par excellence, obtained from pure Nebbiolo grapes.

It was born in the heart of the Langa hills, a few kilometers south of the city of Alba, in the territory of 11 municipalities that follow each other in a suggestive itinerary of hills, chiseled by the expert hand of man and guarded by imposing medieval castles, including that of Barolo, which gave its name to the wine that is now famous all over the world.

La Morra, Monforte, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Novello, Grinzane Cavour are also central municipalities of the Barolo area. Verduno, Diano d’Alba, Cherasco and Roddi, on the other hand, are only interested in portions of their territories.

Thanks to the stubbornness of Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour and Giulia Colbert Falletti, the last Marquise of Barolo, an exceptionally rich and harmonious wine began to be produced in the mid-nineteenth century, destined to become the ambassador of Piedmont of the Savoy in the courts from all over Europe.

Langhe wine began to have notoriety when in 1751 a group of Piedmontese diplomats sent a batch of "Barol" to London: it was a great success, so much so that even the future President of the United States Thomas Jefferson, traveling in those years in Europe, cited its goodness in his diaries, describing it as "almost as sweet as Bordeaux and lively as Champagne".

MAP OF PIEDMONT

Here is the image of the taste of Barolo of those years: a sweet and sparkling wine, as it was not yet known how to transform all the sugars contained in the must into alcohol.

When and thanks to whom is the modern Barolo born then? The birth dates back to the 1930s and the credit is due to the Marquises Falletti, who invited the French enologist Louis Oudart to Piedmont, who applied the techniques used for the great French wines to the wine produced in the possessions of the Marquise Giulia Falletti.  The latter sent 325 wagons to the King, each containing a barrel of Barolo: one for each day of the year, so that the king could taste a different wine every day.

Thus it was that at the court of Turin Barolo was defined "wine of kings, king of wines".

A wine with a full and intense garnet color, a scent at the same time fruity and spicy; both on the nose and in the mouth it recalls small red fruits, cherries in alcohol and jam, but also gives hints of dried rose and violet, cinnamon and pepper, nutmeg, vanilla and sometimes licorice, cocoa, tobacco and leather.

It must age at least three years, of which one and a half in oak, and only after five can it boast the "Riserva". Already pleasant after 4-6 years, it reaches its peak after 10 years of aging and remains excellent even after 20 or more years. Obviously it depends on the vintage which can be perfect.

Barolo is a wine that lends itself in an exceptional way to accompanying savory dishes, such as braised and roasted meats, but also with game and furred or feathered game. This wine is exceptional with cheeses with an intense flavor, and in particular with those aged and hard, but not spicy, such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, Castelmagno and aged Bra; finally, it also lends itself to being served with truffle flavored foods and, at the end of a meal, it can accompany dry pastries. A classic combination is, for example, that between Barolo and “pastes of meliga”, a typical shortbread biscuits from Piedmont.

BAROLO


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