Five Standout Barolo Wines, According to a Pro
Italy is home to some of the most venerated wines in the world — names like Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Amarone della Valpolicella, and more dot the landscape. But among collectors, there's a legitimate case to be made that Barolo sits at, or close to, the top of the proverbial pyramid. Located in the Piedmont region, Barolo is home to some of the most terroir-specific and age-worthy red wines anywhere, a place where the great grape variety Nebbiolo reaches its peak of expressiveness, and where the top producers, in the best vintages, craft wines that often have the potential to age for decades. This was highlighted at the 2022 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen when Alicia Towns Franken and DLynn Proctor hosted their presentation on "Legendary Reds: Barolo vs Burgundy," during which guests had the opportunity to not only learn about what makes these two regions so special, but also to taste some of the best from each.
Though Barolo is produced from Nebbiolo and red Burgundy is Pinot Noir, both regions rely on an understanding of the finely calibrated differences between one vineyard, one parcel, and another, and the ways in which they affect the final liquid in the glass. Indeed, though they are more than 200 miles apart, and found in entirely different countries, the similarities are significant enough that considering them side by side in a session like Towns Franken and Proctor's is always fascinating.
Here are five worth looking for, listed alphabetically, according to DLynn Proctor:
Bartolo Mascarello: Now helmed by Bartolo's daughter, Maria Teresa, this beloved Barolo producer is responsible for some of the most layered bottlings of Nebbiolo on the market today.
Crissante Alessandria: Proctor and Towns Franken will be featuring the 2015 Barolo Comune di La Morra from Crissante Alessandria, which is a great example of why this producer is so important. Other expressions of Barolo worth looking for are their Capalot and Galina.
Lorenzo Accomasso: Often challenging to find, these wines are well worth the search: From the Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata to the Riserva, they exist at the very top of many collectors' wish lists.
Massolino: The 2017 Barolo Normale is being featured in Aspen by Towns Franken and Proctor, and it's no wonder: Located in Serralunga d'Alba and crafting fantastic wine since it was begun in 1896, Massolino is one of the greats. Their range of Barolo and Barbaresco is nothing short of phenomenal.
Pio Cesare: Guests of this presentation in Aspen will have the opportunity to taste the 2014 Barolo Normale from the highly respected Pio Cesare, which traces its origins back to 1881. In addition to the Barolo Normale, Pio Cesare also produces single-vineyard Barolo as well as excellent Barbaresco, Barbera, and more.