Barolo 2017 - The Wrap Offer


The extraordinary 2017 Barolos themselves certainly perked me up, however. Extraordinary, because contrary to the expectations one normally has of what is summarised as a torrid year, the wines were fresh rather than having rich or jammy fruit. They also tended to have succulent acidity and a muscular, tannic structure.

What shines through in 2017 is the individual qualities of the crus, although according to me what is more important is how well the producer knows his or her cru...In general you can't go wrong with the famous Barolo crus in 2017. WALTER SPELLER, www.jancisrobinson.com

In tasting, the 2017s are mid-weight Barolos with the classic structure of Nebbiolo. They are often intensely aromatic. Acids and tannins are prominent in many wines. The fruit profiles are ripe, often distinctly red-toned, but not cooked or over-ripe. Perhaps most importantly, the 2017 Barolos are very true to site, which is always a concern with vintages marked by warm weather. The best 2017s are exceptionally polished, vivid and flat-out delicious. ANTONIO GALLONI

Welcome to the 2017 Barolo Warp Offer.

As many of you would already be well aware, over the last few months I've been sending out individual producer offers for the 2017 Barolo offerings. Now that the bulk of the wines have arrived I thought it was high time to pull together everything that's still available or indeed, that I never got around to offering at all. In that latter camp think Burlotto, Vietti, Giovanni Rosso and one or two others. In all cases, there is very little still available so I view this offer as a good chance to grab wines you missed or grab a few extra bottles, now with the benefit of third party reviews which weren't avialbale at the time of most of the releases.

I have not provided full descriptions of each producer as I wanted to keep the offer within the realm of managability. Having said that, I have written about all of the producers through the year and am very happy send extra information should you need it.

Now, what about the vintage? To say 2017 Barolo is something of a miracle vintage is an understatement. I remember sweating it out in the July of that year in the region, worrying that growers would struggle to produce fruit that wasn't sunburnt or lacking natural acidity. The fact that the wines that have emerged from the vintage are ripe but fresh and energetic, prove to me that the longer I'm in wine, the less I know! In this case, I'm happy to be proved wrong by the plethora of excellent-to-brilliant Baroli on offer. No, it isn't a repeat of the 2016 vintage but, I tell you what, the wines are far more approachable than the 2016s and the crus lack nothing of their vineyard fingerprint. Expressive, transparent and approachable, I'm not sure you can ask for much more of young Barolo.

Since starting the campaign earlier this year, I have been constantly amazed by the quality of the wines from this vintage. It proves once again to follow producer, producer, producer and it also shows how far the winemaking and viticultural fraternity have come in their ability to manage their vineyards in a more balanced way, building resilience in the face of adverse conditions. Before going on I should say, the heat of 2017 was quite short-lived and the latter part of the ripening cycle reverted to a milder setting, perhaps contributing to the freshness and balance in so many of the wines.

One final point: Barolo is becoming the most sought after of all the world's premium wine regions. The limited size of the DOCG makes them a finite resource and when you couple that up with consistent quality and a greater understanding and appreciation by the world's premium wine buyers and you've got upward pressure on pricing and supply; on some levels its a depressing thought. On the upside, there's still a huge amount of great, great wine that's fairly priced and which beautifully artriculates the uniqueness of Barolo's communal and cru diversity. That fair pricing is thankfully still within grasp so don't miss the opportnunity to get involved.

Cheers

Michael McNamara