The benefits of getting old.

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Barolo has become a standard fixture of supermarket shelves. This north-west Italian wine made from the fussy Nebbiolo grape is now as recognisable as Chateauneuf du Pape, Chianti and Rioja. Great for the Piedmont locality, I’m sure, but, like the other three wines named, this popularity brings pitfalls, IMO. The impression I gain from tastings I conduct is that customers expect a big, beefy, bags-of-alcohol wine that reminds you what a great night you all had way back when.

Well, this was my type of Barolo. The other sort – light, nuanced, savoury, red fruit-fragrant yet still kept upright with some gentle tannins. A savoury, meat (not meaty) flavoured wine that was gentle enough to do justice to roast chicken, sprouts and parsnips with a rich gravy. It stood up to those flavours yet was not big, beefy et al.

The difference, I believe is the ageing, and, of course, the quality. This was Comm. G B Burlotto’s DOCG Barolo from 2006. Other comments from a year ago note its still grippy tannins so this wine should go on for some time yet, getting lighter and more feminine. I look at Barolos from post-2010 and mutter “Not for me.”; give me age any day.

[Richard, bought 6 years ago from TWS for £29 so really a middle-ranking Barolo in terms of price. Not a wine we taste often – this seems to be the only one previously. Unlike the Fossati this was ready to drink and was a pure, fine expression of the Nebbiolo grape. Very nice.]

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