Nebbiolo Prima confirms: there’s a guaranteed future for Barolo 2013

The preview: a vintage you must interpret looking at the future. The Riservas from 2011 are already satisfactory

Blind tasting during Nebbiolo Prima

Blind tasting during Nebbiolo Prima

Just like wine producers had to wait long before the harvest, so careful consumers will have to wait enough so that Barolo 2013 can best express its potential. These thoughts come after Nebbiolo Prima 2017, the preview dedicated to Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero Docg and the respective Riservas, which this year was part of Grandi Langhe and finished on Tuesday April 4th after three intense days of tastings.

Our first focus is on Barolo 2013 and Barolo Riserva 2011. As mentioned, Barolo 2013 was very late in terms of harvest time: a couple of weeks, depending on the area. This doesn’t mean it was a bad year. The opposite, in fact. They had to deal with very strong tannins and a remarkable structure, in a vintage that for the time being can only be interpreted looking at the future. Wines you can buy now, and leave in the cellar to rest, so they can grow.

Some of the bottles tasted

Some of the bottles tasted

Barolo with a long ageing ahead, that is, or at least this is the assumption arriving after tasting over 150 wines from 2013 presented at Nebbiolo Prima, divided according to each Comune, enhancing the various terroirs. During the tasting, the wines from Barolo were perhaps the most balanced at the moment: quite elegant on the nose, their strength lies in a good compromise on the palate. They already show good drinkability in this first year of life (on the shelves) while the future lies ahead. Among those tasted, Francesco Rinaldi & Figli’s Cannubi, Virna Borgogno’s Cannubi Boschis, Luciano Sandrone’s Barolo Aleste, Gillardi’s Barolo, and Casa E. di Mirafiore’s Paiagallo are all worth mentioning.

In La Morra, instead, wines show a remarkable elegance and finesse, with floral and fruity notes that start to give way to delicate a spiciness, as shown, just to mention a few, in Marengo Mario’s Barolo Brunate, Michele Chiarlo’s Cerequio, Ciabot Berton’s Barolo del Comune di La Morra, Crissante Alessandria’s Galina, and Rocche Costamagna’s Rocche dell’Annunziata.

The tasting took place at Palazzo Mostre e congressi Giacomo Morra in Alba

The tasting took place at Palazzo Mostre e congressi Giacomo Morra in Alba

We have interesting wines coming from Monforte, even though the rather complex bouquets are matched, on the palate, by tannins a little too strong and not very gracious. In this area, two products got good feedback: Cascina Chicco’s Rocche di Castelletto and Sordo Giovanni’s Perno.

From Castiglione Falletto come Barolos of which we’ll hear about for a long time: deep, sometimes even explosive, rich, full. As with Ceretto’s Bricco Rocche, Anna Maria Abbona’s Barolo, Deltetto’s Parussi and Monchiero Fratelli’s Rocche di Castiglione.

How about Serralunga d’Alba? It’s perhaps the most striking area, even though their Barolos are the less ready of all. The wines are strong, powerful, energetic, but with extremely complex bouquets. They’re not immediate but, I believe, in the long run they’ll turn out to be stars. Just don’t be shied away by the tannins… Among others I recommend: Grimaldi Bruna’s Badarina, Ettore Germano’s Cerretta, Giovanni Rosso’s Barolo del Comune di Serralunga, Rivetto’s Barolo del Comune di Serralunga and Guido Porro’s Vigna Lazzairasco.

Riserva 2011 is a different matter: the vintage is deeply different, warmer, and the wines start to be readier and a little more “immediate”. But we’re still speaking of Barolo, and the future can bring some satisfaction. I recommend: L’Astemia Pentita’s Cannubi, Paolo Scavino’s Rocche dell’Annunziata, Oddero’s Bussia Vigna Mondoca, and Anselma Giacomo’s Vignarionda.

In conclusion: these two vintages met our expectations. We’ll see next years how Barolo producers dealt with the difficult 2014 vintage, to be covered in the article dedicated to the Barbaresco and Roero wines tasted at Nebbiolo Prima.

In cantina

Stories of men, women and bottles that enrich the galaxy of wine, in Italy and in the world


Raffaele Foglia

A journalist for La Provincia di Como, sommelier and craft beer lover. He believes every glass of wine has a story worth telling. He's part of the wine editorial staff at Identità Golose

Author's articles list