2017 Barolo Vintage: Impressive Wines to Enjoy Now
Despite coming on the heels of the special 2016 Barolo vintage and initial opinions that the 2017 Barolo vintage would be a less than successful vintage, I find 2017 vintage to have produced enjoyable wines that are rich, friendly, and that are ready to enjoy now and in the medium term.
Here I breakdown the 2017 Barolo vintage with a quick report and my impressions of the wines from what is shaping up to be a good vintage.
2017 was hot and dry. In fact, there was less rainfall than ever recorded. Fortunately, there was some rain and fresher weather in late August and September. In the spring, there was a frost, which destroyed some early buds, resulting in a lower than average yield.
Picking began in late September. This is quite early for the region, the earliest in five vintages.
The wines show the ripeness of warm weather, but they are not over-ripe or over-alcoholic and they retain a surprising amount of freshness. Many growers were puzzled by this result! The tannins are not aggressive. The 2017s are generally quite tasty already, and while they will age nicely for the medium term, they don’t have the aging potential of a special vintage like 2016 or 2010.
Entry-level Barolos are delicious for drinking now (though they are already starting to disappear in the market, as of early 2023). Above that, these are great Barolos to have in your cellar because I think a lot of them are going to be quite good after a shorter-than-usual cellaring, like five to ten years. I’ve had tasty wines from all the major villages plus Verduno.
What others are saying about the 2017 Barolo vintage:
As you can see below, critical acclaim was quite high for the 2017 vintage, a touch higher than I would have put it, and certainly higher than the market’s reaction to the vintage.
Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2017 Barolos are marked by their freshness, energy, and vibrancy. Despite the hot and dry growing conditions, the best 2017 Barolos display remarkable balance, with ripe tannins and bright acidity."
Recent Barolo vintage reports
Related articles from our Barolo Wine Guide