Gianni Gagliardo Barolo 2016
Barolo Gianni Gagliardo comes from the vineyards in La Morra, with the addition of part of estate grapes of Monforte d'Alba, Barolo and Serralunga. This combination of soils gives it a particularly expressive and pleasantly sophisticated character already at a young age, while giving it an excellent aging potential.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The sweet core of strawberries and flowers really comes through here. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and very fine-textured with hazelnuts and dried flowers at the finish. Very fine and high-toned.
The classic Gianni Gagliardo 2016 Barolo is packaged in the beautifully elegant bottles that distinguish this estate in La Morra. As the so-called entry-level Barolo, this wine offers a lot of charm, accessibility and elegance, with carefully delineated fruit. Dark cherry, raspberry, toasted almond and grilled herb appear. There is some tannic sweetness from the barrel aging with light touches of smoke and spice.
The origins of Gianni Gagliardo date back to 1847, when the Colla family first began working vineyards in the Langhe zone of Piedmont. It was Paolo Colla, the fourth generation of the family who, in the 1960s, began bottling his own wine in the township of La Morra. In 1973 his daughter, Marivanna, married Gianni Gagliardo, a young man from Monticello d’Alba in the Roero zone on the west bank of the Tanaro river. Gianni was a passionate young man with a notable entrepreneurial talent. It was in 1973 that the winery, as it exists today, was established.
Today, the sixth generation of the family; Gianni’s sons, Stefano, Alberto, and Paolo, are the guardians of the estate. Stefano, the first-born, a careful and competent oenologist, has taken charge of the style of the wines, which are characterized by a tireless search for elegance, balance, and harmony. At his side, his brother Alberto, who has taken on the responsibility for the vineyards, continues to seek optimal balance in the vines and a perfect ripening of the grapes. Paolo, the youngest, after a doctoral thesis in Agricultural Sciences, dedicates his energies to the commercial growth and development of Gianni Gagliardo.
Over the years, Gagliardo has gradually purchased land in many of the best vineyards in the townships of La Morra, Verduno, Barolo, Serralunga, and Monforte d’Alba, the very heart of the Barolo appellation, and in Monticello d’Alba in the Roero district. The goal is to coax the very finest expression of the Nebbiolo grape, allowing each parcel’s particular characteristics to shine.
Today the proprietary Nebbiolo vineyards are split equally between Roero and the Barolo zone, in eleven parcels situated on the two different banks of the Tanaro river. The special character of the terroir is the dominating factor behind the excellence of the Gagliardo wines, particularly the various Barolo offerings. This wide geographical range gives these wines their unique and exceptional personality, which gather and bring out the finest qualities of the Langhe and Roero zones.
The management of the vineyards is based on balance and on the maximum respect of the vines and the soil; the estate is certified organic as of the 2017 vintage. In order to best protect the richness and the delicacy of what Mother Nature produces in the vineyard, no selected yeasts are added during fermentation. The wines are not filtered, but rather rendered more brilliant and naturally stabilized by winter cold.
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.