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Barolo vs Barbaresco - a Nebbiolo thread


My dad and I shared a bottle of the 2011 over Christmas and I remember it was delicious, but it did not get the attention it deserved. Thanks for pointing it out, I might pick up another bottle as a bin end to try it properly.


Ok here I go

I might go for basic Barolo
As the price is quite low

However the cru Cannubi
Is too much for a newbie

And a lovely bottle of Bricco
Is too pricey to give it a go.


I’m not an expert on nebbiolo, I find Italian wine a bit of a minefield but one that I am determined to understand better.

The producers that I have found and enjoyed are

GD Vajra
Renato Ratti
Michele Chiarlo


2013 - that could explain your findings. I usually reckon on a minimum of 7 years old for Barbaresco and Barolo, and 10 years old is still ‘young’. “But how do you get 10 y.o Barbaresco?” Easy! You buy it at the cellar or enoteca when it has 3 years and keep it fairly carefully for 7 or 12 years.


I would generally avoid touching any serious nebbiolo until it’s at least 10 years old, and preferably a whole lot more. Have a fair bit from the early years of this century, but not really tempted to open any for a good few years yet.

The mountain ones are often ready a bit sooner. The Sperino is a case in point - lovely wine.


Which means doing an EP order! :grinning:Maybe not this year…


My tongue was well into my cheek - though it is what I have done. Jumped in my car and spent a day driving the 850 miles to Barbaresco; about once a year for 40 or 50 years. Not any longer I fear! And it only really works if you are only interested in one district - and it is ‘only’ 850 miles away. 17x12 bottles in an MG Metro was my best effort. I think my smell/taste buds will be past their best when I am 99, and the 2029 vintage is just starting to mature! {{ Terrible arithmetic 1st shot! - said “1919” vintage.}}


Crikey! Sounds like fun though. I know very little about the grape itself or the districts, so wouldn’t feel confident in putting in a Barolo EP order at the moment.


Don’t worry about that. Just pick a few that sound good and then do " Ip dip sky blue /
Who’s it not you…"


Haha! I’ll see what my bank balance is looking like and have a think…


What Andrew Jefford says is not really ‘new ground’ - even for Decanter. In Decanter’s first article on Barolo it says of Barbaresco that it “is often misrepresented as an inferior neighbour of Barolo”, and that “it could . . . . have become one of 3 or 4 subdivisions of the same wine”. That was 30 years ago; I have visited both (from England) in most of the intervening years, and still think so. The great, recently deceased. Beppe Colla reassured me that he could often not detect the difference. (And Luigi Veronelli said that Beppe C "never made a mistake).


The current Decanter has a nice article outlining their top 20 Barolo alternatives, and they list 3 wines that should be available from the Society. Sadly only one of these shows up on the website - the others I presume are no longer available - they don’t even show as out of stock, but just not there. I realise there will be a reasonable lead time prior to publishing, so it may not be the issue here, and there has been some recent discussion around the Society running out of stock. I do however, like to try and pick up a few of Decanter’s recommendations from the Society when I can.


On the subject of understanding Barbaresco, I learned more from this podcast than trying and failing to plow through countless dry articles on the subject. Really worth subscribing to the podcast series, the host always does his homework and really gets the best out of his interviewees.

Listen to Aldo Vacca on the History and Future of Barbaresco from I’ll Drink to That! Talking Wine in Podcasts. https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/ill-drink-to-that-talking-wine/id538210866?i=1000398918646


If you want a true left field Nebbiolo - why not try a sparkling example.

I did not realise this was Nebbiolo when bought last year direct from the vineyard and due to customs allowances had to leave it behind in Australia. So this year faced again with the customs problem we opened it instead and oh what a wine it was! It had a lovely rose gold colour with a pleasant amount of bubbles. On the nose it had scents of deep coffee, sweet toffee and crisp apple. On the palate it was full of flavour: red apple, morello cherry, a savoury roasted nut crispness and lingering red gooseberry.

Now our task is to try and find Italian examples of this wine or otherwise it’s biting the bullet and importing direct from Australia praying of course that they still have some!

It certainly shows how flexible this grape is!