18 Apr

As Winter nears, it must be time for a Barolo

Well it looks like the winter weather is upon us earlier than expected. With this cold snap we have started to open some of our favourite Barolo, from the most famous wine region in all of Italy. Situated in Piedmont in Northwest Italy, these 100% Nebbiolo wines are some of the finest and most long lived in the world.

Barolo Riserva, the highest classification level, requires a minimum of three years in oak, and five years of total aging before they can be released. We have three stunning producers to present, all of which have significantly older offerings than this. All of these wines are also from the heralded commune of Serralugna d’Alba, which is known for having the darkest and most structured wines in the region.

The first wines are the very traditional style from Mirafiore. This is the original name of the famed royal estate Fontanafredda, when it was first established in the 1870s. That historic name now graces a new range of wines sourced from those first vineyard plots and crafted in the original style with long macerations and wood aging in large oak.

Mirafiore Barolo Riserva DOCG 2007

Whilst legally a Riserva must be kept for 4 years, Mirafiore takes it a bit further of course with 5 yesrs ageing. The best of the best is put aside for the Riserva, which is only made in exceptional years, of which 07 was most clearly. Complex aromas, perfrumed and fragrant with lively acidity. Still youthful in character though with aged characters and complexity evident. The finish long, lingering and inspiring. A wonderful wine.

Mirafiore Barolo Riserva DOCG 2005

What a complete wine; whilst definitely showing its age, it does so with such grace and finesse. There’s many more years ahead of this wine. Wonderful, an absolutely amazing wine. Whilst legally a Riserva must be kept for 4 years, Mirafiore takes it a bit further of course with 5 yesrs ageing. The best of the best is put aside for the Riserva, which is only made in exceptional years.


Also from this commune is the Tenuta Cucco Estate. This sits near the 14th Century castle that dominates the area.  They have produced here since 1967 and have moved towards being fully biodynamic since 2015. Their Riserva is made entirely from the highest plots of the Cerrati Cru, one of the greatest vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba.  With 36 months in French Oak barriques, this is a more modern style of Barolo.

Tenuta Cucco Barolo Vigna Cucco Riserva DOCG 2007

Cerrati and Cucco are linked arm in arm, the only producer to produce this cru. This then their Riserva from the gorgeous 2007 vintage. Bright ruby red colour with slight orange hues greets you and a complex enveloping bouquet with hints of wild rose, cocoa, tobacco and spices. Sensational Barolo, showing some evolution though with plenty of life ahead.

Tenuta Cucco Barolo Vigna Cucco Riserva DOCG 2010

92/100 | Wine Spectator / Bruce Sanderson: “This is fresh, with a beam of submerged cherry and strawberry fruit. Earth and tobacco flavors add depth. Has all the elements in the right proportions, but the tannins gain the upper hand for now. Just needs time. Best from 2020 through 2036. 400 cases made. – BS”

Finally we have the legendary Barolo Riserva 2011 from Bruno Giacosa. The Falleto vineyard has been a mono cru of the Giacosa family since 1980 , and this special version is from the Falletto Vigna Le Rocche subplot.  For many, a Giacosa Red label is the equal of any red wine made in the world. Produced only a few times a decade, these red labels are not only fantastically complex, rich, powerful wines capable of decades of development, they are also endowed with that rare and magical extra dimension found only in the greatest wines. Those who attended our Barolo tasting last winter will attest that this is one of the finest wines they have ever drunk.

Bruno Giacosa Falleto Rocche Barolo Riserva DOCG 2011

A Giacosa wine with a red label signals that it is the best from that year, something truly special. Rare and highly sought after. Vine age 38-40year old vines, natural yeast, 33 months in large oak and then 27 in bottle. 8,000 bottles made, 1000 magnums. The nose is sensational, dried red fruits, exotic and captivating. The palate is super concentrated, rich and with very ripe fruit, amazing balance; the tannins fine, persistent and elegant all at the same time. There’s a vibrancy and brightness to this that drives right through the long finish.