Posted on February 25 2016
I had never imagined that my Winemotional Heartland (I’ll coin that phrase, thank you) would be a small corner of north-west Italy. But, my wife and I both found a second love on our honeymoon, and that love was Piemonte. Even more, it was Barolo.
Barolo is an enigma. It has, in my eyes, a stature of mythic proportions – both in its reputation and in the glass. It is big and bold, yet sensitive and soft. You just have to know how to treat it.
Time… that is the treatment Barolo needs. And I mean that both in the cellar and in the glass.
At first its incredible levels of tannin and acid, and its complex flavours of tar, mushroom, truffle, rose petals, violet, cherry, brambles, undergrowth, wet leaves… and more and more… can be too much. Give it time. Let it percolate through your mouth and brain and take its grip on you. It surely will.
This particular Barolo did just that.
From the Margheria cru of the Serralunga d’Alba region of Barolo, it has its own particular feeling. Barolo from Serralunga can be masculine, tannic and in need of patience, this Barolo from Margheria is more fragrant and less tannic than its neighbours wines.
The nose is gentle – perfumed, with notes of liquorice, tobacco, dried and dark fruits and a little truffle. On the palette the wine maintains a lot of its refreshing acid, whilst the tannins have certainly resolved and are now quite fine.
2003 was a difficult vineyard in the Barolo area – the summer was so hot a lot of fruit was shrivelled and dry. This creates difficulties when making this wine – you don’t want overly rich, plummy or stewed fruit flavours in this elegant wine. Azelia have managed to pull off a wonderful, nuanced wine in this difficult vintage.