Arnaldo Rivera Barolo Undicicomuni 2015
Barolo Undicicomuni is arguably Arnaldo Rivera’s most important wine. Spiced cedar, leather and scorched earth on the nose. The palate is wild and savory with notes of crushed raspberry, figs, cinnamon, star anise alongside velvety dusty tannins and fresh acidity. It’s stylish meaty and delicious and super uber Nebbiolo cool. Blending fruit from across the Langhe’s eleven Barolo villages, it epitomizes the quintessential values of traditional, historic Barolo. While the ArnaldoRivera single vineyard Barolos are stunning, it is the Barolo Undicicomuni that demands the winemaker’s greatest attention. He is required to blend different fruit and terroir expressions from diverse villages, just as an artist balances colors to complete his work of art. This means that the Barolo Undicicomuni is naturally Arnaldo Rivera’s most complex Barolo. A shorter ageing in wood, instead of the 32 months of each cru, allows the wine to be more accessible and suitable for early drinking. A consistently great example of Barolo.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Arnaldo Rivera wines are the result of a partnership between Terre del Barolo winery and a number of its growers with the aim of producing the region’s best grapes and wines. The vineyards of origin are among the most prestigious on the Langhe hills. They are ultimate expression of expertise and craftsmanship, where the purity of the single varietal is at the absolute pinnacle, testifying to the unmistakable identity of Piedmont’s wines. This label is a unique, new journey through the eleven villages and native varietals in the Barolo winegrowing area, from the vineyard management, to the vinification techniques and woods used; it is truly the wines and the land they come from that speak for themselves.
Arnaldo Rivera was born on December 13th, 1919 in Castiglione Falletto, a small village at the heart of the historic Barolo winegrowing area. He was a local primary school teacher, mayor of his village for 36 years, and founder in 1958 of the Terre del Barolo winery. He lived through the hard times of the war in the front line, as well as the days of the liberation. He and his wife Ester Rinaldi were not blessed with children. Arnaldo Rivera passed away on January 10th, 1987. This project was created by the growers and the winery in honor of this great man.
The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo wine region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hills, is full of history and romance centered on the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo wine, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.
There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.
On the eastern side of the Barolo wine region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soil types.
The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.