Barolo is a wine region organised in a multiplicity of crus and geographical indications that illustrate a history of excellence, perhaps the most important in the italian wine scene. The Azienda Agricola Sordo Giovanni, located in Castiglione Falletto, bottles 8 different cru located in 5 of the 11 municipalities of the area, representing the Barolo archetype. At Vinitaly we tasted all of them.
The winery was founded by Giuseppe Sordo in the early ‘1900s and now it is managed by his nephew Giorgio. The winery covers 53 hectares of vineyards, scattered in some of the best areas for exposure and microclimate. The management of the vineyards is environmentally friendly and chemical fertilisers and herbicides are not used. The winery is characterised by modern winemaking equipment and bottling systems with 135 large Slavonian oak casks in the aging areas. Here the wine gets the perfect evolution of aromas, earning ageing potential and enhancing their quality.
Seven out the 8 cru tasted, were from the 2018 vintage, while the Rocche di Castiglione from 2017. The tasting ended with Barolo Perno Riserva 2009. Every Barolo is matured for 2 years in large Slavonian oak barrels, except the Riserva that spends 48 months in oak barrels. The 2018 vintage was characterised by plentiful rainfall until May. The temperatures were average for the growing season with an intense heat peak in early August. September was hot, with a rather low diurnal range. Major changes in the diurnal range occurred between 25 September and 3rd October: and because of this the Nebbiolo sugar content increased, with an acceleration of the phenolic ripeness that allowed excellent parameters at harvest. The acidity level was ideal too.
Barolo Monvigliero 2018
The Monvigliero vineyard is south facing and is one of the most famous and suited vineyards of the Verduno municipality. Due to its specific microclimate, this historic vineyard is considered as a gran cru. The soil is fairly loose, formed by fine clear marls. From the geological point of view, it dates back to the formation of the Tortonian.
It is a Barolo that captures, from first sight, with a bright garnet colour. On the nose it is wide ranging, characterised by hints of dried rose, wild cherries, and on the finish it opens up to tertiary tones of forest floor, spices and sweet tobacco. On the palate the wine is full bodied and warm, slightly savoury and with extremely fine tannins. The finish has long lasting balsamic tones.
Barolo Ravera 2018
Ravera, is a very suitable area located in Novello municipality. From a geological point of view it is Tortonian; the soils are rather loose and rich, consisting of whitish marls resting on more compact layers of brownish gray marl.
This wine is bright ruby colour with evident garnet reflections. The olfactory profile of the wine is broad and rich, with floral hints of dried rose, ripe berries and notes of chocolate, spices and tobacco, then herbaceous sensations, mountain hay and forest floor. Full-bodied on the palate, we taste silky tannins with substantial balance; an excellent taste olfactory with a long lasting herbaceous finish.
Barolo Parussi 2018
The Parussi vineyard is located in a natural amphitheater in one of the most suited areas of the Castiglione Falletto municipality. The soil is medium textured, loose on the surface and verging to limestone. The bedrock is made up of gray-white and bluish marl, it is hard and compact dating back to the Helvetian period.
In the glass, the wine is a nice intense garnet colour. On the nose it is broad ranging, with ethereal and fruity notes and then it has tertiary scents of spices, tobacco and forest floor. In the mouth the wine is full bodied, well structured, balanced, warm with a great tannic texture; it is pleasantly savoury, with an excellent log lasting menthol finish.
Barolo Villero 2018
Villero is one of the most important crusof the Castiglione Falletto municipality. It is characterised by clay, calcareous soil, consisting of gray-bluish marls and deep compact gray sands, dating back to the Helvetian age.
The wine is a bright garnet colour, and the aroma bouquet is wide and rich with refined, intense and enveloping scents that remind us of small dark berries, sweet spices, mountain herbs, tobacco and forest floor. On the palate it is structured, warm, with tannins and highlights of freshness. The wine has a log finish with a liquorice aftertaste.
Barolo Monprivato 2018
Monprivato is a small cru of Castiglione Falletto municipality, but it is considered among one of the most important of the whole Barolo appellation. The soil of the area is limestone, made up of marine formation gray-blue marls, dating back to Miocene of the Helvetian period.
The wine is an Intense ruby colour with garnet reflections, its important structure is clear from the ample formation of arches in the glass. On the nose, it offers a wide and log lasting bouquet with hints of ripe dark fruit, liquorice and sweet spices, followed by balsamic and resinous nuances. On the palate the wine is warm, well balanced with freshness and a refined tannic texture. It is very elegant and long lasting with a menthol finish.
Barolo Perno 2018
This is a vineyard of great value, located in the hamlet of Perno, one of the most valuable areas of the entire territory of Monforte d’Alba municipality. The soil is made of tuff with layers of red earth and the bedrock of stones and debris is prevalent, cemented by sandy components and clay dating back to the Helvetian period.
This wine is bright ruby colour, with generous garnet reflections. On the nose it is rich and complex, with hints of ripe dark fruit, such as plum and black cherry, then chocolate, tobacco, oak, menthol and spicy nuances. On the palate, the wine is structured and warm with a nice tannic texture, which is fresh and tangy and still dynamic. The intense aromatic is excellent with long lasting hints of liquorice.
Barolo Gabutti 2018
Gabutti is a vineyard with steep slopes, located in one of the first category sub-areas, among the most prestigious of Serralunga d’Alba municipality. It is characterised by Formazioni di Lequio, with not very compact clayey calcareous marls of the Helvetian age.
The wine is a deep garnet colour with a complex bouquet of hints of ripe red fruit, violet, resinous scents and sweet spices. The feel is the mouth is warm and pleasantly tangy with refined tannins. It has a beautiful structure and long lasting mineral finish.
Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2017
We tasted Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2017, a really warm and dry vintage. The mild winter had little snowfalls and was followed, for the first part of spring; by little rainfall and temperatures that were above average; these climatic conditions caused a vegetative growth. After a number of spring frosts in late April, a long period of good weather started in May, culminating with a drought in summer that lasted almost non stop until November. The rain and the cooler temperatures at the beginning of September, allowed Nebbiolo to restore its vigour, but also to slowed down the ripening, that coused the harvest to tart later than expected.
The Rocche di Castiglione vineyard is located in one of the most suited areas of Castiglione Falletto municipality on a medium-textured soil, loose and verging to limestone. The bedrock is formed of hard layers of white-gray and bluish marl, alternating with compact sandstones dating back to the Helvetian age.
The wine is a bright and clear garnet colour. On the nose the wine has notes of dried flowers and ripe berries, tertiary hints of liquorice, mint, sweet spices, cedar and sandalwood. In the mouth it is full-bodied and balanced, with velvety tannins and a long lasting menthol tones.
Barolo Perno Riserva 2009
The tasting ended with the Barolo Perno Riserva 2009. The heavy snowfalls of winter of 2009 was followed by a rainy period at the beginning of spring that guaranteed an excellent water reserve, for the vines. This became of fundamental importance in summer, avoiding water stress, given the great heat and the absence of almost any rain during the growing season. The grapes reached an excellent technological ripeness, with acid concentration below the average; the fenolic maturation was excellent too.
This is a wine of intense and deep garnet colour, wide ranging in aroma with hints of dried rose, red fruit jam that compliment the tertiary tones of sweet spices and forest floor, but also darker as tobacco and cinchona bark. This is an austere wine, with a generous structure and powerful tannins that are linked to the evident tanginess. The wine has a beautiful menthol long lasting finish. All the wines proved to be of excellent quality and characterised by wide olfactory sensation, structure and long finishes. Finally, a big thanks goes to Sordo for giving us the opportunity to make this “journey” across Barolo, tasting some of its most prestigious crus