The Comm. G.B. Burlotto 2014 Barolo is stitched together with precision and care. This is an elegant and contemplative expression of Nebbiolo that carefully follows a traditionalist’s playlist of aromas. Wild berries segue to anise seed, truffle and candied orange peel. The wine is beautiful and bright in appearance, with refreshing acidity and mineral saltiness that both keep the palate extra clean.
Drink 2020 - 2035
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June 2018)
About this WINE
Comm. G.B. Burlotto
Commendatore G.B. Burlotto is a renowned Italian wine producer located in the Piedmont region of Northwest Italy. The winery is based in the commune of Verduno, which is in the Barolo wine zone.
The history of Comm. G.B. Burlotto dates back to the mid-19th century when Giovan Battista Burlotto, the founder of the estate, began producing wines. He quickly gained recognition for his high-quality Barolo wines, and his reputation grew.
G.B. Burlotto played a significant role in developing Barolo as a prestigious wine region. He introduced various innovative winemaking techniques in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including longer macerations and larger oak casks for ageing. These methods helped to enhance the quality and complexity of his wines, earning him accolades and awards.
After Giovan Battista Burlotto's passing, the winery was managed by his granddaughter, Beppe Colla, who continued to uphold the family's winemaking traditions. In recent years, the estate has been led by G.B. Burlotto's great-great-grandson, Fabio Alessandria, who represents the fifth generation of the Burlotto family.
The wines of Comm. G.B. Burlotto are highly regarded for their elegance, balance, and ability to age. They are often praised for their aromatic profiles, which showcase the distinctive traits of the Nebbiolo grape, including notes of red fruits, flowers, earth, and spices. Burlotto's Barolo wines are renowned for their power, depth, and longevity.
Due to the limited production and high demand, the wines of Comm. G.B. Burlotto can be challenging to find and are often sought after by wine enthusiasts and collectors. The estate's commitment to quality and its contributions to the history and heritage of Barolo has solidified its status as one of the esteemed wine producers in the region.
Located due south of Alba and the River Tanaro, Barolo is Piedmont's most famous wine DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), renowned for producing Italy's finest red wines from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Its red wines were originally sweet, but in 1840 the then extant Italian monarchy, the House of Savoy, ordered them to be altered to a dry style. This project was realised by French oenologist Louis Oudart, whose experience with Pinot Noir had convinced him of Nebbiolo's potential. The Barolo appellation was formalised in 1966 at around 1,700 hectares – only a tenth of the size of Burgundy, but almost three times as big as neighbouring Barbaresco.
Upgraded to DOCG status in 1980, Barolo comprises two distinct soil types: the first is a Tortonian sandy marl that produces a more feminine style of wine and can be found in the villages of Barolo, La Morra, Cherasco, Verduno, Novello, Roddi and parts of Castiglione Falletto. The second is the older Helvetian sandstone clay that bestows the wines with a more muscular style. This can be found in Monforte d'Alba, Serralunga d'Alba, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour and the other parts of Castiglione Falletto. Made today from the Nebbiolo clones Lampia, Michet and Rosé, Barolo has an exceptional terroir with almost every village perched on its own hill. The climate is continental, with an extended summer and autumn enabling the fickle Nebbiolo to achieve perfect ripeness.
Inspired by the success of modernists such as Elio Altare, there has been pressure in recent years to reduce the ageing requirements for Barolo; this has mostly been driven by new producers to the region, often with no Piedmontese viticultural heritage and armed with their roto-fermenters and barriques, intent on making a fruitier, more modern style of wine.
This modern style arguably appeals more to the important American market and its scribes, but the traditionalists continue to argue in favour of making Barolo in the classic way. They make the wine in a mix of epoxy-lined cement or stainless-steel cuves, followed by extended ageing in 25-hectoliter Slavonian botte (barrels) to gently soften and integrate the tannins. However, even amongst the traditionalists there has been a move, since the mid-1990s, towards using physiologically (rather than polyphenolically) riper fruit, aided by global warming. Both modernist and traditional schools can produce exceptional or disappointing wines.
Nebbiolo is the grape behind the Barolo and Barbaresco wines and is hardly ever seen outside the confines of Piedmont. It takes its name from "nebbia" which is Italian for fog, a frequent phenomenon in the region.
A notoriously pernickety grape, it requires sheltered south-facing sites and performs best on the well-drained calcareous marls to the north and south of Alba in the DOCG zones of Barbaresco and Barolo.
Langhe Nebbiolo is effectively the ‘second wine’ of Piedmont’s great Barolo & Barbarescos. This DOC is the only way Langhe producers can declassify their Barolo or Barbaresco fruit or wines to make an early-drinking style. Unlike Nebbiolo d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo can be cut with 15% other red indigenous varieties, such as Barbera or Dolcetto.
Nebbiolo flowers early and ripens late, so a long hang time, producing high levels of sugar, acidity and tannins; the challenge being to harvest the fruit with these three elements ripe and in balance. The best Barolos and Barbarescos are perfumed with aromas of tar, rose, mint, chocolate, liquorice and truffles. They age brilliantly and the very best need ten years to show at their best.