Under normal circumstances, most people wouldn’t be looking at opening a Barolo at only 5 years. Barolo is a wine that develops with age, and for many, 10 years would be a minimum before taking the corkscrew to the bottle. However, Silvano Bolmida, the winemaker, insists that his wines can be drunk on release, and while they will change over time, they are ready now, and you will enjoy them in their youthful state.
The Nebbiolo that goes into this wine are grown at high altitude in the small village of Bussia in Monforte d’Alba, biodynamically, and the maceration process lasts up to 50 days. This combination, along with the small oak barrels used for maturation on the lees, and the 14 months bottle ageing, helps to smooth out the tannins to an almost velvet like texture, more in tune with a much older wine.
The colour is ruby red, with a complex combination of aromas, red fruits, cherries and strawberries, a smokiness, hints of coffee, and violets permeating through. In the mouth the acidity is apparant, but the expected tannic grip familiar to Barolo is more textured, softer, silk like in many ways, and the flavours of prunes and mocha combine with the cherries and strawberries to give a very satisfying flavour profile, and a lengthy finish, a warmness associated with a 14.5% alcohol level.
I had prepared a dish of Venison, slow cooked for 8 hours in red wine, stock, with celery, bacon, mushrooms, a rich dish, which needed a bold wine, but not one that would overpower the meat, and this hit the exact right spot, a perfect match.
Overall, although youthful, it is drinking well now, but, no doubt, it will extend further over time in cellar. As any Italian will tell you, wines such as this, (in fact Italians will tell you every wine!), are to be drunk with food that perfectly balances – a meaty wine, needs a meaty dish – I have more of my Venison, sadly, at this moment I don’t have more of the Barolo – That will have to change…..