Pale ruby with orange tinges. Fragrant and savoury with a peppery edge. Lots of minerally notes. Minerally, savoury fruit on the palate with hugely captivating coating tannins. Bags of personality here. Great balance between savoury cherry fruit and long tannins. The perfect Langhe Nebbiolo.
Drink 2021 - 2026
Walter Speller, jancisrobinson.com (Apr 2022)
About this WINE
Diego e Damiano Barale
Situated in the village of Barolo, Barale are one of the great winemaking names of Piedmont, with a winemaking legacy dating back to the 17th century. Nowadays, there are a few famous branches to this family; both Barale-Rinaldi and Bartolo Mascarello have become Barolo royalty. Relatively new kids on the block – fratelli Diego and Damiano Barale – are the latest and most exciting new shoot off this impressive lineage. The brothers took the helm in 2012, following in the footsteps of their late father Carlo. If the quality of their ’18 Barolo is anything to go by, they have already achieved the quality needed to become a household name.
Their pride, energy and winemaking philosophy stem from vineyard. The brothers practice organic viticulture to best articulate their terroir, although you won't find certification on the label. Vinification is very traditional, slow and natural, taking place in steel tanks. The crus are co-fermented for Barolo – this historical technique is gaining favour once more, as it builds complexity and balance in the wines from their inception. The wines are then aged in French tonneaux, in the ancient, vaulted cellar of the cantina.
From vintage ’18, their classic Barolo is a harmonious blend of the Monrobiolo di Bussia and San Giovanni vineyard sites, with each cru giving a distinctive yet complementary personality to the final wine. Their inaugural Barolo Cannubi, bottled in magnum only, will become a treasured release for both collectors and fine wine drinkers.
Langhe is an all-encompassing zone lying due south of Alba and the River Tanaro in the province of Cuneo. Barolo and Barbaresco both lie within its boundaries.
Langhe is also the name of a regional DOC zone, which is used to classify wines made outside of the traditional Piemontese varietal scheme (Nebbiollo, Barbera, Cortese etc). Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc wines from the region are, for example, classified as Langhe DOC.
Effectively the ‘second wine’ of Piedmont’s great Barolo and Barbarescos, the Langhe Nebbiolo DOC is the only way Langhe producers can declassify their Barolo or Barbaresco fruit or wines to make an early-drinking style.
Langhe Nebbiolo can be released onto the market as soon as practicably possible either as a fresh, fruity wine made solely in stainless-steel, or later on having been aged in oak. The Langhe Nebbiolo DOC was created in 1994 along with a plethora of other Langhe DOC wines (so diluting their significance).
Unlike Nebbiolo d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo can be cut with 15 percent other red indigenous varieties, such as Barbera or Dolcetto. Leading, quality producers of Barolo and Barbaresco are more inclined to use 100 percent Nebbiolo, recognising its role as a stepping stone, using the fruit from vines that are either too young or poorly situated.
Larger producers tend to use the Langhe Nebbiolo DOC as a valve, declassifying wines destined for Barolo or Barbaresco when the market is difficult. Confusingly Langhe Nebbiolo can also be the declassified wine of Nebbiolo d’Alba.
Recommended producers: Giovanni Rosso di Davide Rosso , Mario Fontana , Ferdinando Principiano
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.