2021 Barale Fratelli
Bright and aromatic, with roses, cherries and strawberries. Good grip and juice in the mouth ripe acid, red fruit filled palate, tangy bright and fresh. Perfume comes through and there are gorgeously fine tannins framing the core of berry fruits. L&S (May 2023)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.
The 2021 Langhe Nebbiolo is a fine entry-level offering from Barale. Sandy soils in Coste di Rose yield a fragrant, mid-weight Nebbiolo that is ideal for near-term drinking. Crushed red berry fruit, spice and floral accents lend lovely complexity throughout. A short fermentation and aging in neutral oak exalts the fruit. Drinking range: 2022 - 2029 Rating: 89 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Dec 2022)
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.
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