2019 Barolo

by Toby Jamieson


Writing for Decanter, Aldo Fiordelli declared 2019 a ‘classic‘ vintage in Barolo, rating it five out of five stars.
Having endured snow, a wet and windy spring, a heat wave, and a scattering of showers just before harvest, it wasn’t clear how the vines would fare in 2019. Happily, although grapes took a little longer to ripen, the best winemakers have produced wines with great structure and power with all the bright fruit, firm tannins and intense freshness that Nebbiolo can offer in a great year.
Tasting with our beloved Barolo producers earlier this year, I was blown away by the quality.
Andrea Oberto, a beloved estate in the heart of La Morra that has graced the L&S shelves for many years, continues to impress. The wines are certainly classic, and powerful, but set themselves apart with their hallmark charm and elegance.
Barale Fratelli’s offering had great purity of fruit but again coupled with astonishing power and intensity - Galloni perfectly described the Bussia as “An old-school, strapping wine with tons of personality. (…) This beguiling and complex wine really captures the mystique of Nebbiolo”.
Roccheviberti, one of our exciting newer listings, takes grapes from old vines around the various communes to produce a fabulous village Barolo. Despite their more humble classification, these ancient vines produce grapes of enormous depth and intensity, so they are outstanding value.
Although there is much excitement for the ‘classic’ styles in 2019, the more modern side of Barolo also shone in this vintage. Marziano Abbona, another relative newcomer to our Piedmonte portfolio, is a solid reference for contemporary Barolo and is producing some truly mouthwatering wines, still with a tannic backbone, but with a clear, fruit-forward focus.
2019 is a vintage that requires some patience but will deliver in abundance when you crack open that first bottle in a few short years’ time. Saluti!

If you have any questions about the wines or would like to place an order, please email your account manager or privateclients@leaandsandeman.co.uk.

REVIEWS

Antonio Galloni – Vinous

‘After the highly problematic and uneven 2018s, Barolo bounces back with a stellar vintage in 2019 that could very well represent the beginning of a new cycle of strong, outstanding years for this historic appellation. ’



Aldo Fiordelli – Decanter

‘Classic’

‘The wines of this vintage have slightly more acidity, more structure, a bit of sternness: trademark Barolo.’



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Andrea Oberto

A small family run winery and vineyard based in La Morra, The Obertos have sixteen hectares of vineyards and produce a brilliant 'village' Barolo from La Morra itself - as well as two other Barolos from different top 'crus' in this sought after village - Rocche dell'Annunziata in La Morra and Albarella in Barolo, just above Cannubi. The wines are beautifully focused and age well, although immensely approachable in their youth as there is a deliciously juicy and generous feel that runs through all the wines.

The winery’s history dates back to 1959, when Andrea's father bought a small-holding and farmhouse in La Morra. At that time farmers could not survive with just one crop, and so he earned a living growing peaches, grapes and raising cows. However, in the family business there was not enough work for everyone and so Andrea, decided to leave the farm and started working for a big company as truck driver. He came back (thankfully!) to La Morra in 1978 when his father died, inheriting the family’s land and taking on the management of the farm.He soon began to focus solely on vine growing. At the beginning the grapes were sold to cooperatives or even to friends and family. Andrea's talents soon became clear, he was a natural with a deft hand and a great palate. The small farm quickly morphed into a wine company with sixteen hectares of their own wines and a brilliant cellar.

2019 BAROLO Vigneto Albarella Andrea Oberto
75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

2019 BAROLO Rocche dell'Annunziata Andrea Oberto
75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

Barale Fratelli

The Barale family's wine-making history can be traced right back to 1870 when the village of Barolo first started making a name for itself as a hub for fine quality Nebbiolo in the Langhe region. This charming small town now gives its name to the whole region and remains one of the most important of the 11 Barolo 'villages'.

The historic Barale family winery is right in the centre. From the outside it would appear to be just another townhouse - but through the gates you find a gorgeous courtyard and a labyrinth of cellars that lead on to the winery itself. On our last visit we found the family mid-harvest and this ancient workspace was in full swing and working ideally - so why would you move? It was a joy to watch the seamless transition of the grapes from the small picking-baskets on the back of the tractor into the fermentation tanks.
They have moved with the times in the cellar - but only to help them preserve the charm and freshness of their great terroirs. Luigi resisted the fashions of the 1990s here, shunning the heavier extraction and hunt for more power - and never jumping to using lots of new oak. His unstinting allegiance to traditional winemaking serves the family well now. These are elegant, poised and sometimes hauntingly good wines. Tradition is at the heart of how they operate here - but they are not luddites! Embracing modern practices when they can help achieve their goals, rather than change the results.

Francesco Barale, great-grandfather of the current owner, was among the pioneers in the production of Barolo. Today Luigi and his daughters Eleonora and Gloria carry on the old family tradition.

Marziano Abbona

The Abbona vineyards were first established in the early part of the 20th Century by Marziano and Celso Abbona (father and son) just outside the town of Dolgliani. Famed for it's Dolcetto, it was Celso who first planted the Bricco Doriolo vineyard in the 1950's and it is from here that the estate's flagship wine 'Papá Celso' derives. Rightly heralded as one of Piedmont's greatest Dolcettos, it is wine of elegance, power and harmony, a wine that can age gracefully for many years.

In the mid-sixties the estate passed to Celso's sons Marziano and Enrico and they worked tirelessly to further establish the reputation of their local Dolcetto and bottled the first wines under the family name. In the early 1980's they added holdings in the prestigious Cru's of Barolo Ravera (Novello) and Bricco Barone and Rinaldi (Monforte d'Alba).

Following the untimely death of Enrico in 1999, Marziano's daughter Mara joined the family business and the estate continued it's acquisitions of Barolo vineyards with plots in Pressenda (Monforte d'Alba) and Cerviano (Novello). It was also a time when Marziano was experimenting with a new white wine, Cinerino, made from Viognier, as he had enjoyed great Condrieu and wanted to see if they could replicate the wines in the hills of Dolgliani. Today it has become something of celebrity and is found in restaurants throughout Piedmont. These is the 'go to' White for our winemaking friends in the area.

Roccheviberti

Claudio Viberti is the 3rd generation to be at the helm of this small but very special estate in Castiglione Falletto - one of the great cru of Barolo. His grandfather bought the vines, just 4.5 HA in 1946, but it was not until 2002 when the young Claudio took the reins that they bottled their own wines in earnest. His father and grandfather largely sold off their juice or their grapes to other local estates. Claudio is proud that since his tenure started they have bottled everything themselves and sold the wines under their own label.
The estate's 'village' Barolo is made from a patchwork of plots of very old vines dotted throughout the village. It is the most perfect example of this commune's famed elegance. Pitch-perfect Nebbiolo.

Claudio's two 'cru' wines are both true wonders and take things to another level. Yet, fascinatingly they could not be more different. The village sits atop a tall, very steep ridge and Claudio has vineyards on each side of the ridgeline. The mesmerising Rocche Castiglione is on sand with some limestone and tuffo in the soil's make up. The vineyard faces south-east so gets the early sun and constant fresh wind that keeps it healthy and disease free. The wine is incredibly fragrant, with gentle bright fruit and a soft touch. Classic for this village - but so remarkable it stops you in its tracks, this is remarkably fine Barolo.

Claudio's other vines are in the hugely famous Bricco Boschis vineyard. For decades the Cavalotto family have been the only producers of Barolo Bricco Boschis, leading many to feel it was a monopole. This is not the case as several growers have Dolcetto vines here, Claudio regrafted some of his old vines to Nebbiolo and from 2014 has made his own Barolo Bricco Boschis. You can quickly see why this vineyard is one of Piedmont's most prized. Facing West it benefits from the warm afternoon and evening sun and the soil here is heavy with clay. The results are astonishingly good, powerful and broad in contrast to Claudio's Rocche Castiglione. Rich and structured, this is a wine that will require patience - but is an absolute gem. Rightfully an historic name - we are delighted to be able to offer this very rare gem.