Barolo — One of the World’s Greatest Wines

Barolo Rocche Dell’ Annunziata, 2010

Barolo Rocche Dell’ Annunziata, 2010

Barolo Rocche Dell’ Annunziata, 2010

Since the 1990’s, the vineyard area of Barolo has increased by at least 40%.  The hilly nature of the area means that in some places Nebbiolo ripens better than others.  Hence the vineyard location is critical to finding a good Barolo.

What is a good Barolo?  Aside from all the quality factors we would look for in other wines, two things stand out — its aromas and its tannins.  Just like you find in this wine, the smell of roses and violets should float on the aroma and greet you as you raise the glass to your nose.  These floral notes are a hallmark.  Also, licorice is a common scent and the smell of truffles, with which the wine goes so well, are mingled with reminders of tar, which is not at all objectionable, believe it or not.

You should not miss the tannic grip of Barolo.  In this case, the tannins are strong but fine and their power makes the wine an excellent food wine.  Tannins are smoothed by fats such as you find in milk products, cheese, and  in rich pasta sauces which  is, therefore, my suggestion for this wine.

Perhaps you have noticed an orange tint around the meniscus. This is also expected in Barolo.  This wine is young and needs an hour or so of breathing after it is decanted.  If you want it to change quickly, pass it through a Vinturi wine aerator, which oxygenates the wine and softens it amazingly.  The aromas will become more floral and the tannins will calm down some.  This way you can drink it younger with great pleasure.  The Rocche dell’ Annunciate is well-knit and assertive at first with added notes of cedar, cherry, and strawberry jam.  It offers you a mild creaminess and after it is passed through the Vinturi, the caramel notes of cognac.  Expectedly, the wine takes time to show itself and when it does, it unfolds beautifully.

Rating:  91

Emotional rating:  At first, not great, but after aerating, it can rise to new heights.

Availability:  Try wine.com.

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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