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Virna Barolo 2013

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • JS95
0% ABV
  • JS91
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3.7 41 Ratings
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3.7 41 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

With a ruby-red color, this Barolo has a rich, elegant and subtle bouquet which gradually recalls the scents of violets, plums and cherries; the spices cinnamon, pepper and liquorice, as well as tobacco and white truffle. It has a dry and well-balanced flavor: thick at first with a dense and velvet consistency, then elegant, harmonic and in the end lingering

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Tar, orange peel and strawberry aromas follow through to a full body with chewy and powerful tannins and a long and flavorful finish. A structured and intense wine. Don't miss this. Crazy quality for a straight up Barolo blend. Much better in 2021.
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Virna
Virna, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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The Virna estate stretches out over an area of around 30 acres, producing wines from grapes grown on its own vineyards located in historic crus in the Barolo wine-making area such as Cannubi Boschis, Preda, Sarmassa, I Merli, San Giovanni, and Costa delle Rose. in addition to the Barolo itself, the company also produces Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba, Nebbiolo d’Alba, and a blend known simply as Langhe.

The winery tries to respect the land and the vineyards and work carefully, minimizing the mechanical and chemical treatments, with the goal of healthy grapes for high quality wines. They are are moving towards the elimination of weed control in vineyards and practice between-row planting and controlled fertilization with only organic ingredients and only when necessary.

Their philosophy is to produce wines with their own character, well-rooted in the terroir, with respect for the whole vineyard. They try to interpret the potential of the Barolo terroir to produce wines that express elegance and a style that represents the region. Though the wines are from different crus, each one represents the heritage and tradition of the Barolo region.

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.

IAI340473_2013 Item# 340473