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2019 Barolo Vintage: Great Wines with Long Futures

Vineyards in the Barolo wine region during the 2019 vintage.

The 2019 Barolo vintage is excellent.

The 2019s remind me of many 2016s, except at this stage they are a little more powerful and a touch less transparent. The wines are balanced with elegant tannins and good acidity. A few wines are approachable now, but in general this is a vintage for cellaring.

Here is a quick 2019 vintage report along with my first impressions of what is shaping up to be an excellent vintage.

Overall Assessment: 

The 2019 Barolo vintage is excellent.


Cool spring followed by a very hot summer, punctuated by bouts of rain. Cool nights in September and October. Not too much in the way of traumatic weather events, though some areas did suffer from hail.


Mid-October. This was a late harvest, thanks to delayed flowering, and those cooler autumn nights. The timing of the harvest was similar to 2016, 2004 and 2005, all of which are outstanding vintages.


I have only started to taste the 2019s but so far the wines are typically quite powerful but also balanced. The tannins are strong but elegant. There are no signs of over-ripeness despite the warm weather. Acidities are good but not pronounced.

They appear to be great wines with long futures. If they are not quite as good as the 2016s, it is because they do not seem – at least at this stage – to have quite the beautiful transparency of the 2016s.

Buying Recommendations:

This 2019 barolo vintage is one to go deep on. The very sought-after wines (Mascarllo, Rinaldi, etc.) will be very hard to find at reasonable prices, but that’s OK, because there will be plenty of excellent Barolo from producers who are not so tightly allocated. 

This is a vintage to check out some of the new and up-and-coming producers, and also older producers who have really upped their game in recent years.

What others are saying about the 2019 Barolo vintage:

Antonio Galloni (Vinous): “a stellar vintage…that could very well represent the beginning of a new cycle of strong, outstanding years for this historic appellation. The 2019s are potent, tightly wound wines that will thrill readers who appreciate the nuance, subtlety and structure of Nebbiolo”

Kerin O’Keefe (Wine Enthusiast): “The stunning 2019 Barbarescos shine a spotlight on what was a fantastic vintage in the Langhe. And even though how a given vintage unfolds in Barbaresco doesn’t automatically mean it will be the same in Barolo (think 2014 for example, which was much better in Barbaresco because the denomination received half the rainfall of Barolo, with no precipitation from mid-August until the harvest) both appellations excelled in 2019.”

Jancisrobinson.com: “a good year with several peaks of excellence” (all Piedmont)

Consorzio: “2019 has demonstrated to be a classic vintage, showing signs of good structure, ideal balance, and excellent aging ability.” (Barolo and Barbaresco)

Jeff Porter (in Wine Enthusiast): “The wines, on average, are all very good and show the depth, complexity and beauty of the region. This vintage is characterized by the purity of fruit and the “Nebbiolo-ness” of the final product. Across the 11 communes of Barolo and the single Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva (MGA), the wines showed varying depths of high-toned red fruits, beautiful floral components, distinctive minerality, fine and firm tannins and vibrant acidity, all marks of Nebbiolo.”

Wine-Searcher: “Although, it is still far too soon to tell the quality of the wines, reports indicate that many of the grapes reached phenolic ripeness forecasting good things to come. The wines are likely to have good fruit character, structure and acidity."

Further reading

Recent Barolo vintage reports

Related articles from our Barolo Wine Guide