Guido Porro 2017 New Arrivals

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

Guido Porro is one of my favorite under the radar producers...They also happen to be among the most fairly priced Baroli readers will come across in today’s market. Porro’s vineyards are in Serralunga, where Baroli tend to be quite powerful, but here the wines are delicate, perfumed and refined, all in a classic, traditional style built on transparency and weightlessness. Guido Porro remains one of the most underrated growers in Serralunga. ANTONIO GALLONI

I feel like it's time I stopped writing about Guido Porro as an under-the-radar-superstar. Reviewers have been referring to him in this manner for years now but the truth is he is a bona fide out in the open superstar, offering remarkably beautiful, traditionally styled Barolo from the premier commune of Serralunga. Not only that, he remains almost alone when it comes to his pricing which seems to be stuck in a time warp... lucky for us!

As I wrote last year, I love visiting Guido Porro. In my time sourcing in the Langhe (some 20+ years now) much has changed as the star of Barolo has risen in the eyes of the world's premium wine buyer. Fiats are now Audis and cellar doors are architectural masterpieces. Not everywhere obviously, but the trappings of success are more apparent. But, at Porro everything remains refreshingly simple and fundamentally unchanged.

Guido himself is an uncomplicated and intuitive farmer/winemaker. He is deeply aware of the importance of his holdings on the premium slopes of Serralunga but his winemaking style has changed little to what his father before him practiced and while for a long period, this put traditionalists like him on the outer, these days this styling is most definitely back in favour.

The main Barolo vineyards lie within the greater Lazzarito complex but are monopoles to Porro and have distinctly different aspects and altitudes. The Santa Caterina is higher up - just under the cantina - and benefits from cooling breezes and a slightly less exposed (to Lazzairasco) aspect. Porro characterises the wines from the site as being the more feminine of the two main Baroli and in my experience this is certainly true - the aromatic is instantly available and full of flowers, mint, strawberry and mineral. On the palate it is more relaxed and tannins less apparent within the wine although, this is Serralunga, so they are there; fine and austere and ripe.

On that last point, it is worth noting that in some ways Porro Barolo are a little atypical for Serralunga as they always seems to have a pliancy and approachability that is unusual for what one would consider typical from Serralunga.

Moving to the Lazzairasco, this sub plot of Lazzarito is a real jewel within this famed site. Lower down the valley from Santa Caterina and facing South, South West the small ampitheatre is warm and produces masculine wines with fantastic inner energy. Darker in fruit expression and complexed by herb and earth this has always been regarded as the greater of the two Baroli and a frequent winner of tre bicchierie from the Gambero Rosso.

The final Barolo is exciting. In 2010, following the death of Tommaso Canale - a relative of the Porro family - Guido and two other relatives were given a section of Vigna Rionda (arguably the greatest vineyard in Barolo). They replanted in 2011 and this is the first time we have had the opportunity to have an allocation. Having only been exposed to a couple of vintages from Porro it is hard to really give a general character description of the wine. I will say though the aromatics and flavours are very different to the other wines but very much redolent of the unique Vigna Rionda site.

Reviews are always in the second run from Antonio Galloni for the Barolo vintage and as such they are still to come. However, Walter Speller form Jancis Robinson's site seems to have reviewed two of the wines and I have also included my own impressions as well for those and the Santa Caterina. Without labouring the point, this is another superb set of wines from Guido.

The legion of fans for Porro wines continues to be cemented by every new vintage arrival. The 2017s will be no different, they are superb wines yet again, stupidly priced and should be in every Barolo lovers cellar.