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Bongiovanni Barolo 2013

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • JS93
  • WS92
14.5% ABV
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • WS92
  • RP91
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Red with garnet reflections, very complex bouquet of raspberries, strawberries and mint. Very long finish, wonderful tannins.

Pair with meat dishes, like braised beef, and cheese.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
James Suckling
Interesting aromas of fresh rose petals and cherries. Full-bodied, round and flavorful. Bright finish. Succulent.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Espresso, toast, new leather, menthol and French oak aromas take center stage. The firm palate offers juicy black cherry, crushed raspberry, anise, roasted coffee bean, vanilla and sage alongside tightly knit fine-grained tannins.
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Bongiovanni

Cascina Bongiovanni

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Cascina Bongiovanni, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
The Bongiovanni farmstead ("cascina" in Italian; pronounced ka-shee'-nah) dates back to the early 1950s, when it was purchased by Giovanni Bongiovanni, a grass roots man with a profound instinct for soil potential. Giovanni planted a Nebbiolo vineyard where there had been nothing but untamed woodland: he struck gold, yet never got to bottle his own wine. The estate was left to his daughter Olga and it grew to cover premier hillside vineyards of Langhe. Grapes were all indigenous varieties with one noble “foreigner”, Cabernet Sauvignon. The latter – and a good number of other innovations – were due to Olga’s young nephew and winemaker, Davide Mozzone, who has also taken total surface under vine to the present 15.3 acres. Assisted by a top agronomist, Gian Piero Romano, Davide has styled the Bongiovanni range for the modern palate, while at the same time eliciting every ounce of character and extract from the unique langarolo terroir. Winery philosophy: minimizing outside intervention, maximizing character and steering clear of stereotyped wines.

Home to the world’s most powerful wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, the Barolo village of Piedmont has long been known as “the wine of kings, the king of wines.” There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from neighboring Barbaresco as well as from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards to the west, typically resulting in fresher, fruitier, and softer wines that are approachable relatively early on in their evolution. This is sometimes referred to as the “feminine” side of Barolo and is closer in style to Barbaresco with its elegant perfume. On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian sandstone clay soils are chalkier and less fertile, producing age-worthy wines with full body and structured tannins—the more “masculine” style. The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Barolo is one of the world’s most distinctive red wines, and experienced tasters typically have no trouble picking it out of a lineup. In addition to Nebbiolo’s signature “tar and roses” aroma, one can expect to find complex notes of strawberries, cherries, leather, white truffles, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco, violets, plum, and much more. Despite its deceptively light garnet color, Barolo has a full presence on the palate and plenty of tannin and acidity. The traditional style of Barolo relies on the use of neutral large wooden vats for aging, which do not impart flavor to the wine and preserve the natural character of the Nebbiolo grape. Meanwhile, a more modern, “international” style of Barolo utilizes small French oak barrels to add spicy, woody flavors and a softer texture resulting in earlier drinkability.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

WWH144602_2013 Item# 359994