Serralunga is the only village that is more Barolo than Barolo itself.
Barolo, the DOC, may get its name from Barolo, the village, but the essence of Barolo – its power, its structure, its nuance, its cherry fruit, its aromas – is found more in Serralunga than anywhere else.
We’re going to take you through the story of why Barolo is so special, and how and why it is that the world finally figured that out.
Then we’re going to treat it just like Burgundy by touring all of Barolo’s villages, highlighting what is special about each of them.
We’ll talk about all the important Crus and producers, and of courses there will be plenty of specific buying recommendations along the way.
I adore Castiglione di Falletto because it is balanced. The best wines possess a regalness and composure that is only possible when you stray from the opposite ends of a spectrum and wander towards the happy middle.
Here you have wines that do have intense structure and aromas – of course, as this is Barolo! – but also poise.
La Morra is a very important village! And not just because it’s charming to visit and has a number of top producers and vineyard sites.
It’s also important because it produces a lot of wine! Look at any map of Barolo’s villages and you’ll see that La Morra is a giant blob taking over the entire northwest corner of the area. This blob produces around 25% of all Barolo.
What is Aglianico?
Aglianico is a grape variety grown in Southern Italy, mostly in Campania and Bascilicata. Most experts consider Aglianico to be one of Italy's "noble" varieties, alongside Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. It is the grape that makes Taurasi, the most famous red wine from south of Tuscany.
They are both made 100% from Nebbiolo grown in the Langhe. But Barolo and Barbaresco are clearly not the same wine.
What's the difference?
The easy answer is the legal one: Barolo and Barbaresco are two different DOCs. They are located in slightly different parts of the Langhe (see the map above).
There are slightly different rules that they have to follow -- for example Barolos have to be aged for 38 months, of which at least 18 months are in barrel, while Barbaresco only requires 26 months, of which 9 must be in barrel. Barolos have to hit 13% alcohol and Barbarescos only 12.5%.
I guess that sort of thing is great to know for your WSET exam, but it doesn't get you into the heart and soul of how these wines are distinct. Hopefully this list of five key differences will help you do that: