Bricco Giubellini Barolo 2016 is a fantastic wine. From the remarkable 2016 vintage, this is a wine you need in your cellar. Bricco means the top of the hill, Giubellini (Jew-bell-ee-nee) means jubilant. It is a 0.3-hectare site, on the top of the Hill in Monforte. The Bricco Giubellini Barolo vineyard is one of the highest in the region. It is right on the legal limit of altitude in Barolo. The elevation means it is elegant, perfumed, and finely-structured.
The wine is made by Fabio Fantino from Conterno Fantino (which is just next door). Fantino makes elegant and perfumed styles, so it was a natural choice to make the wine. In a good year, they get four barrels, in a not so good year, they get 2 barrels. Almost all of the production of Bricco Giubellini Barolo comes here to Australia.
Bricco Giubellini Barolo is a wine that will live for the long, long-term. Bury a case of 6 at the back of your cellar and open it in 20 years. Thank me later. But I did open a bottle now, and it is ridiculously easy to drink. It is not often I find young Barolo so enjoyable. The fruit density offsets the tannic punch. It is tannic, though. But, by night 3, we got the best of it.
Hear Importer Michael Trembath Talk about Bricco Giubellini Barolo and Barolo 2016.
Piedmont is one of the most significant wine regions in the world. Its name means the ‘foot of the mountain’. Piedmont is in the North-Western reach of Italy. There are a lot of parallels drawn between the best wines of Piedmont (Barolo and Barbaresco) and the wines of Burgundy. The region neighbours France and Switzerland with its border defined by the Alps to the North and west and Apennines to the South. These natural defences kept the Ligurians safe from Roman invasions. Luckily it didn’t work forever, as we may not have the wines that we cherish today.
Made from 100% Nebbiolo aged for least 3 years (5 for Riserva). Famous villages include La Morra, Verduno, Castiglione, Montforte, Serralunga and Barolo. Awarded DOCG in 1980.
One of the magic years where everything went right in Barolo. Barbaresco was fine too, but Barolo got the best of the conditions, and the wines are unmissable.
They are famously producing long-lived red wines. Light of colour, but abundant in tannin. Barolo and Barbaresco are the pinnacles of Nebbiolo. But many local and international regions are catching up. Typical flavours include tar, roses, anise, cherry, blackberry and truffle.
There are 1000s and 1000s of grapes in Italy. There are sub-alpine cool-climate regions in the North, and Sun-baked vineyards in the South. Add to that, volcanoes and many cultures within one Country. You could struggle to find anything uniform about the wines. The best of the best include Tuscan reds from Sangiovese or Cabernet. Nebbiolo from Piedmont, especially Barolo and Barbaresco. The aromatic whites of NE Italy from Garganega, Pinot Grigio, and numerous crazy blends. The volcanic wines of Mt Etna in Sicily. And many more.
The only generalisation I will make is that a lot of Italian wine is undervalued when compared to a similar French style.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.