31 Jan Five Expressions of 2013 Cru Barolo
Known as the “wine of kings and the king of wines” Barolo is one of the most prestigious wines in Italy. We say it as a singular word but there are different expressions of Barolo based on what vineyards the grapes are from. I discovered this tasting a vertical of Barolos from Beni di Batasiolo Winery as I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and share here.
Barolo, made from the Nebbiolo grape, is considered one of Italy’s greatest wines; but Barolo is not singular. Within Barolo, there are different expressions as I discovered tasting a vertical of Barolos from Beni di Batasiolo Winery.
Barolo is made in the Langhe in the province of Piemonte in Northern Italy. There are 11 communes that make Barolo, including the most important ones: Monforte d’Alba, La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, and Barolo. Within these communes are 170 vineyards that have been designated as menzioni geografiche aggiuntive (additional geographic mention) or MGA. These are the cru vineyards of Barolo and Beni di Batasiolo produces five Barolo wines from five different cru vineyards.
Beni di Batasiolo is owned by the Dogliani family who have been farming the lands and producing Barolo for three generations. In 1978, the Dogliani family acquired more land and renamed the winery Beni di Batasiolo. “Beni” translates to “estates” and “Batasiolo” refers to the hill behind the estate cellar and winery. Today Beni di Batasiolo is the largest family-owned wine producer in Piedmont with 320 acres of vineyards across nine estates in four of the Barolo communes: Monforte d’Alba, La Morra, Serralunga d’Alba, and Barolo. Batasiolo produces a range of Piemontese wines, including seven different Barolos, five of which are cru wines.
Bussia Bofani, Boscareto, Briccolina, Brunate and Cerequio are the five Barolo cru vineyards owned by Batasiolo. The wines produced from each of these crus is produced the same way, with one exception. The grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and fermented on their skins for 10 to 12 days with periodic pump-overs. The wine is than aged for at least two years in large Slavonian oak casks, except for the Briccolina which is aged in French oak, followed by at least one more year in stainless steel tanks before bottling. Despite the consistency of how the wines are made, each wine expresses the vineyard it is from.
Tasting five different crus from the same vintage demonstrated how Nebbiolo expresses itself differently within Barolo.
— Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Bussia Vigneto Bofani 2013
Bussia, covering 840 acres, is the second MGA of the Barolo denomination in terms of area. Bussia Vigneto Bofani is a 9-hectare cru within the larger cru in Monforte d’Alba that is exclusively owned by Batasiolo. In Monforte d’Alba, the soils are composed of chalk, limestone, and sand, resulting in more powerful and intense wines. The 2013 Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Bussia Vigneto Bofani is an intensely aromatic wine, with notes of rose petals, red forest fruits, earth, and licorice. The wine is structured but smooth and savory with fresh acidity.
— Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Boscareto 2013
Boscareto is found on the western slopes of Serralunga d’Alba. This 81-acre vineyard is the largest vineyard of Batasiolo and is planted to Nebbiolo and Moscato. The soils have a high proportion of clay marl, resulting in a wine that is elegant with great body. The Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Boscareto 2013 is the most traditional Barolo produced by Batasiolo. It is bold and structured with notes of dark fruit, dried flowers, spice, leather, and menthol. The wine has bright acidity and fine tannins and lots of aging potential.
— Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Briccolina 2013
Briccolina is also located in Serralunga d’Alba in a southwestern facing vineyard with rich, clay soil packed with grey marl. The vineyard gets lots of sun resulting in wines that are well-structured and full-bodied. This is the one Barolo that is aged in French oak barriques, not large Slavonian oak casks. The Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Briccolina 2013 is powerful and elegant, with the classic Barolo notes of tar and roses, as well as sour cherry, herbs, spice, and espresso.
— Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Brunate 2013
The Brunate vineyard is a southeast facing vineyard in La Morra. Here the soils are a mix of clays and sands with high levels of manganese which date back to the Tortonian era that result in elegant wines. The Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Brunate 2013 is a vibrant wine with aromas of cherry, pomegranate, spice, and forest floor and a long finish on the palate.
— Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Cerequio 2013
The Cerequio vineyard is also located in La Morra where the soils are a mix of heavy clay, deposits of magnesium and some chalk and limestone. Cerequio, considered one of the most prestigious vineyards in Barolo, is a naturally shaped amphitheater. The Batasiolo vineyard in Cerequio is southwest facing, which is considered the very best section.
The Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Cerequio 2013 has notes of wild berry, underbrush, herbs, licorice, baking spice, and eucalyptus. The wine is perfumed yet powerful with drying tannins that says this wine can be held for more time.
Read the original story in the Napa Valley Register.