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Ca'Viola Sottocastello Barolo 2012

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • JS93
0% ABV
  • WE90
  • WS94
  • JS94
  • WE92
  • JS92
  • WS91
  • W&S90
  • WS92
  • JS92
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Winemaker Notes

This Barolo is a rather rich ruby red with orange reflections. The nose expresses balsamic and spice characteristics with clear hints of forest floor and menthol and ethereal touches of chocolate and tobacco. Elegant and silky in the mouth with a rich, dense structure that persists to the long, harmonious finish.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
James Suckling
Very pretty freshness and depth with ultra-fine tannins and cherry, plum and light chocolate character. Some hazelnut, too. Medium body and a flavorful finish. Subtle and refined. Drink now or hold.
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Ca'Viola

Ca'Viola

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Ca'Viola, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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Giuseppe Caviola is a consulting enologist who counts quite a few well-known labels among his clients, however: Marziano Abbona, Damilano, Luigi Einaudi, Fontanabianca, Fiorenzo Nada, Pecchenino, Albino Rocca, Vietti and Villa Sparina in Piedmont; Rocca di Castagnoli, Sette Ponti and Terenzi in Tuscany; Umani Ronchi in Marche and Ca' Rugate in Veneto.

In addition to his consulting duties, Caviola, known as "Beppe," also owns a 33-acre estate. After finishing his enology studies, he took a job near Alba in a lab. To better understand viticulture and winemaking, he rented a vineyard in his hometown of Montelupo, near Diano, in 1991. That year Caviola made a small amount of Dolcetto.

He purchased more vineyards over the years and now makes six different wines under the Ca'Viola label, having added Barbera d'Alba Brichet and Bric du Luv (the latter from 60-year-old vines), Dolcetto d'Alba Barturot and Vilot. These are all in Montelupo, from calcareous clay and marl soils similar to the nearby Serralunga commune.

There are also two small plots (5 acres) of Nebbiolo located in the Sottocastello cru in the commune of Novello. These lie just over 1,500 feet in elevation on chalky soils, facing south and southeast. Ca'Viola's Barolo and Langhe Nebbiolo come from these respective parcels.

The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo 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 hilltops, is one full of history and romance of 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, 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 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 soils types.

The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Nebbiolo

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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 Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape and needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.

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 cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to 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.

HNYCVABSO12C_2012 Item# 321074