The 20 Best Barolo (2022)

Which are the best Barolo? A list with photos, description and tasting of the 20 best Barolo value for money and the best most iconic Barolo. The history of Barolo, the disciplinary, the crus of Barolo and the vintages of Barolo.

Discover also the article on the main wine types you need to know and the best Barolo Vintages.

INDEX:

History of Barolo

Cavour e Juliette Colbert, nota come “Giulia di Barolo”

The history of Barolo wine begins in pre-Roman times, with the first rudimentary vine cultivation of the Ligurian Statielli.
Piedmont began to attract the attention of the Gauls, and later of the Romans, for the quality of the wine produced in the Alba area.

Barol wine was produced from Nebbiolo grapes. Thomas Jefferson described it as a wine “almost as lovable as Bordeaux and as lively as Champagne,” so sparkling and sweet (very different from how we know it today).

The history of Barolo has its turning point with the French oenologist Louis Ouart who, thanks to the impetus of Juliette Colbert and Camillo Benso di Cavour, bottled a dry and firm red wine, modern and elegant. Cavour wanted a wine that could cheer up the demanding European courts and compete with the great French wines of the time: it’s 1844 and the Barolo phenomenon is about to begin.

I Barolo Boys capitanati da Elio Altare

Subsequently, between the two world wars the popularity of Barolo exploded, new vineyards were planted and Barolo wine established itself as one of the greatest wines in the world. In 1927 the production areas for Barolo wine were defined in the Official Gazette, and in 1980 Barolo became DOCG wine.

The history of Barolo continues since the 80s: the Langhe are in full swing and the winemaking techniques are adapting to the times.

The traditional winemaking of Barolo is starting to contrast with the school of the modernists (among these the famous revolutionaries Barolo Boys). The latter began to adopt shorter vinification and refinements in barriques, giving light to more colorful wines, less tannic and with aromas of sweet spices.

Bartolo Mascarello e la sua etichetta di culto

Consequently, these interpretations of an international character created not a few criticisms from traditionalists, as was made famous by the famous ‘j’accuse’ of Barolo by Bartolo Mascarello in 1996 which read: ‘No Barriques, No Berlusconi’.

In summary, today the bitter contrasts seem to have faded while the only winner has remained Barolo. It has become one of the most popular wines internationally thanks to its unique and inimitable charm.

Disciplinary of Barolo

Le Langhe

Barolo DOCG must be produced exclusively with 100% Nebbiolo grapes in the Piedmontese Langhe in the municipalities of Barolo, La Morra, Monforte, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Novello, Grinzane Cavour.

The municipalities of Verduno, Diano d’Alba, Cherasco and Roddi are only partially affected.

The specification provides that Barolo wine can enter the market from January 1st of the fourth year following the harvest (refining at least 18 in wood), or from January 1st of the sixth year following the harvest for the Riserva type (refining at least 18 months in Wood). The third type of Barolo is Barolo Chinato, an aromatized meditation wine produced starting from Barolo wine, to which alcohol, sugar, spices, herbs and roots are added. Discover the food and Barolo Chinato pairings.

Terroirs and Barolo’s Crus

I Comuni della DOCG Barolo

The Barolo area is characterized by a great geological variability. In fact, the stratification of the soil has marine origins: the hills of the Langhe emerge from an ancient marine gulf, where sandstones and clays have settled over the centuries.

Today, three macro-types of soil can be identified: the oldest is that of Serralunga d’Alba and a part of Monforte, characterized by Lequio formations. In the surroundings of Monforte d’Alba and Castiglione Falletto the soil is mainly composed of Diano sandstones originated following ancient submarine landslides. Between Barolo and La Morra we find the characteristic marl of Sant’Agata.

The latter is the most widespread type of soil in the Langhe and presents a fair variability between the component of sand, silt and clay.

Each hill in the Langhe enjoys its own specific microclimate
The composition of the land is therefore heterogeneous and varies greatly not only between municipality and municipality, but also between plots of the same vineyard. This great geological variability, combined with the variation of the microclimate and the winemaking tradition of the various areas, explains the vast quantity of Barolo crus, present in the various municipalities of the area.

Ogni collina delle Langhe gode di un suo microclima specifico

The first Barolo cru of which there is evidence is the Cannubi, in Barolo, reported on the label as early as 1751.

What are the best Barolo crus? Among the other Barolo crus we can mention some important ones such as Bussia, Brunate, Cerequio, Francia, Monprivato, Parafada, Villero, Bricco Boschis, Monvigliero, Prapò, Rocche di Castiglione, Rocche di Annunziata

But the Barolo crus are truly innumerable and each boasts productions of undisputed quality and identity.

Best Barolo Vintages

Which Barolo to choose? It is not enough to know which are the best wineries in Barolo if you are not aware of the best vintages.

Discover the ranking of the best Barolo vintages from 1970 to today with the evaluation expressed in stars. The classification ranges from the maximum excellence of five stars, for the best vintages of Barolo, to a minimum of one star.

To learn more, you can consult the article dedicated to the best vintages of Barolo, complete with a detailed description of the climatic trend.

1970✭✭✭✭
1971✭✭✭✭✭
1972
1973✭✭
1974✭✭✭✭
1975✭✭
1976✭✭
1977✭✭
1978✭✭✭✭✭
1979✭✭✭✭
1980✭✭✭✭
1981✭✭✭
1982✭✭✭✭✭
1983✭✭✭✭
1984✭✭
1985✭✭✭✭✭
1986✭✭✭
1987✭✭
1988✭✭✭✭✭
1989✭✭✭✭✭
1990✭✭✭✭✭
1991✭✭✭
1992✭✭
1993✭✭✭
1994✭✭
1995✭✭✭✭
1996✭✭✭✭✭
1997✭✭✭✭
1998✭✭✭✭✭
1999✭✭✭✭
2000✭✭✭✭/1/2
2001✭✭✭✭✭
2002✭
2003✭✭✭
2004✭✭✭✭✭
2005✭✭✭✭
2006✭✭✭✭✭
2007✭✭✭✭
2008✭✭✭✭✭
2009✭✭✭1/2
2010✭✭✭✭✭
2011✭✭✭/1/2
2012✭✭✭/1/2
2013✭✭✭✭
2014✭✭✭
2015✭✭✭✭1/2
2016✭✭✭✭✭
2017✭✭✭
2018✭✭✭1/2

Best 20 Barolo – Recommended by Jean Marco Palmieri

Which are the best Barolo wines?

Let’s find out together the updated list of the 20 best Barolo wines with photos and tastings, so that everyone can find the best Barolo that suits their tastes.

To learn more, also discover the articles dedicated to Barolo producers, where you will find information on the history, terroir and business philosophy of the individual companies.


Barolo Bussia Riserva 2015 – Livia Fontana 

Description: Galvanizes the nose with a kaleidoscope of scents ranging from intense hints of ripe berries, plum allusions embellished with humus, camphor and pine resin.

On the palate it has a very thick and silky tannic texture which is counterbalanced by an important acid shoulder that gives it freshness and drinkability. Voluminous and harmonious finish, of extraordinary persistence.

A wine with an enthralling and expansive sip that maximizes the eloquent and elegant character of Nebbiolo. Imaginative and exciting, fully qualified among the best Barolo wines for taste-olfactory finesse.

Barolo 2017 – Bartolo Mascarello

Description: The bouquet is articulated on intense tones of ripe red fruits, withered flowers, continuing its evolution towards notes of roasting, tobacco, returns of camphor and sylvan suggestions of autumnal woods. The mouth is full and dry, the powerful and material tannins in progress spread over the palate and are well balanced by a strong acidity. The finish is of great persistence with delicate references to fruit and spices.

A classic and sincere wine of extraordinary evolutionary potential born from one of the most iconic wineries in the Langhe.

Ineffable expression of the varietal character of Nebbiolo. An icon of Italian enology, deservedly among the most famous, historic and best producers of Barolo.

Barolo ‘Marcenasco’ 2018 – Renato Ratti

Description: The nose is slender, with a well-defined fruit combined with sensations of rose and violet potpourri and nuances of wild mint and licorice.

On the palate it is juicy, rich, with a warm and soft finish with long balsamic echoes.

A winery that never ceases to amaze enthusiasts.

A sensational interpretation, with an intriguing multifaceted bouquet, a prelude to a vibrant sip. Fully among the best Barolo wines.

Barolo ‘Ravera’ 2015Marziano Abbona

Description: On the nose there are notes of violet and small red berries and juniper enriched by balsamic brushstrokes of licorice root, resin and well-integrated woody notes.

The drink envelops the palate in a dense sip with perfectly dashed compact tannins. Excellent salty trail on the finish that leaves the mouth fresh and satisfied.

An interpretation of Barolo of sensational elegance, an example of how the prominent phenolic component of Nebbiolo can enter into synergy with the minerality, giving an unprecedented and exciting sip. Deservedly among the best Barolos.

Barolo ‘Ornato’ 2018 – Pio Cesare

Description: Multifaceted and passionate bouquet: on display it outlines raspberry and cherry in alcohol to which roasting sensations, goudron and tobacco are linked.

On the palate it is material with dense tannins of great thickness. Long, clean and enveloping finish.

One of the most important historic cellars of the Langhe, founded in 1881.

An expansive but also vertical wine, fully qualified among the best Barolo wines for sensational dialectic between structure and elegance.

Barolo ‘Lazzarito’ 2018 – Vietti

Description: Layered sensations on clear scents of wild strawberries and raspberry to which are added suggestions of officinal herbs, orange peel, blood reminiscences and empyheumatic notes.

The sip is smooth with a well-defined tannic texture which contrasts with a pacing acidity and a sensationally dashed compact tannin.

Among the best expressions of Barolo from one of the most iconic wineries in the Langhe. Elegantly whimsical wine sui generis, adamant and emphatic with pressing tannins: great territorial identity. Fully among the best Italian and most iconic red wines.

Barolo ‘Bricco delle Viole’ 2018 – Vajra

Description: Titillates the nose with incisive notes of dried roses and cherries in alcohol, followed by nuances of candied orange peel embellished with tones of cocoa powder and well-integrated wood tones.

Galvanizes the palate with a thick but smooth tannin synergistically linked to a strong acidity that favors drinking. Very persistent finish in which the varietal of Nebbiolo is the protagonist.

One of the greatest representatives of Langhe wines. Lysergic character, the sense of smell is a delicate prelude that spreads sensationally opulent on the sip. Fully among the best producers of Barolo.

Barolo Brunate 2017 – Roberto Voerzio

Description: It is articulated on the nose with penetrating notes of wild raspberry and red plums, followed by succession of coffee powder, dark cocoa and candied orange peel.

The sip is expansive and enveloping, the tannic texture is compact with excellent progression and evolves towards a finish of good persistence embellished with balsamic echoes

Undisputed protagonist in the history of the Langhe: titanic, exciting and sensational persistence. Without any doubt among the best producers of Barolo.

Also of great interest are the Barolo crus from Serra, Cerequio, Sarmassa, Fossati and Case Nere.

Barolo Cannubi 2017 – Borgogno

Description: It is articulated on the nose with intense notes of red flowers and berries, followed by succession of sweet spices, aromatic herbs and grapefruit peel.

On the palate it is dense and enveloping, with compact tannins that evolve towards a finish of good persistence and spicy echoes.

A powerful, complex and iconic wine of the Langhe.

Among the best Barolo wines for seductive and multifaceted drink, with great character.

Barolo Ravera 2018 – Sordo Giovanni

Description: Smell initially played on notes of plum, violet and sour cherries embellished with more enigmatic hints of wild catmint, resin and toasted timbres.

On the palate it is characterized by well-dashed and compact tannins, backed by a very pleasant savory vein that gives smoothness and depth to the sip.

An iconic and intoxicating wine, one of the best expressions of Nebbiolo for its olfactory complexity and material and penetrating palate. Unexceptionable value for money. Without a doubt among the best wineries that produce Barolo.

Barolo Riserva ‘San Bernardo’ 2016 – Palladino

Description: It articulates on the nose with tones of ripe cherry, blackberry, mulberry and raspberries followed by suggestions of sweet spices, wild mint and toasted notes.

On the palate it is vigorous, with compact tannins that evolve in progression towards a finish of excellent structure and persistence.

Intoxicating and long-limbed, among the best Barolo wines for the inexhaustible persistence in which the varietal character of Nebbiolo echoes the protagonist.

Excellent value for money.

Barolo Ravera 2016 –  Lo Zoccolaio

Description: It has an intense ruby ​​red color, the nose opens wide and complex ranging from intense hints of ripe berries, allusions of plum embellished with alpine flora, sweet spices and tobacco.

On the palate it is enveloping with a very thick but velvety tannic texture assisted by an important acid shoulder that gives great freshness and drinkability.

Without a doubt one of the best Barolo wines for elegance and eloquence of aromas. Voluminous and harmonious finish with a balsamic note, of great persistence. Excellent aging potential. Deservedly among the best wineries in Barolo.

Barolo Ravera 2016 – Abrigo Fratelli

Description: The nose is refined and complex, outlining intense hints of wild berries in alcohol, allusions of plum, dates, sweet spices and tobacco and ethereal notes.

On the palate it is enveloping with a very thick but extraordinarily silky tannic texture linked synergistically to an important acidic shoulder that gives it freshness.

A voluminous and harmonious wine with a sensational balsamic persistence.

Deservedly among the best Barolo wines.

Barolo Bussia 2016 – Marrone

Description: Visually presents an intense garnet red color, the nose seduces with ripe woody nuances, plum allusions echoed by well-integrated woody notes, cocoa and camphor.

Compact and ripe tannins and very addictive acidity of backbone.

Excellent aging potential.

A Barolo with eloquent aromas and velvety enveloping on the palate with a sensational persistence. Undoubtedly among the best Barolo wines value for money.

Barolo ‘Tettimorra’ 2017 – Vinicola Scarpa

Description: On the nose it convinces us with nuances of dark ripe fruit and in alcohol embellished with woody nuances, incense and tobacco.

On the palate it is savory and fresh, with a well-dashed and smooth tannic texture Slightly balsamic finish of excellent persistence and precision

A sensational and sincere wine: among the best Barolo wines for its ability to combine richness and elegance with a focus on the clarity of the fruity-floral varietal character of Nebbiolo. One of the best wineries in Barolo.

Barolo Cannubi 2018 – Poderi Luigi Einaudi

Description: Ripe berries and licorice on the nose leave room for more austere tones of goudron and spicy and toasted notes. On the palate it is opulent, the tannic texture is velvety and envelops the mouth in a very long and exciting sip.

From the famous Cru Cannubi comes a wine for connoisseurs, with an aristocratic, powerful but refined character.

A riot of fruit and balsamic, fully qualified among the best value for money Barolo wines. One of the most historic and best wineries in Barolo.

Barolo Bussia 2017 – Prunotto

Description: The bouquet is articulated on delicate nuances of ripe cherry, dehydrated figs continuing its evolution towards notes of sweet spices, incense and cocoa with returns of officinal herbs.

The mouth is full and dry, the sculptural tannins softly envelop the palate and are well balanced by a strong acidity. The finish is of great persistence with delicate spicy references.

A vibrant Barolo, which wisely combines fragrance and strength, a final in which the fruit echoes intensely.

Among the best producers of Barolo for harmony and balance.

Barolo ‘Sorano’ 2018 – Claudio Alario

Description: The bouquet is characterized by notes of small red fruits in jam, embellished with earthy brushstrokes and tertiary hints of graphite, licorice and autumn spices.

The sip is full and enveloping, supported by well-marked tannins and an acidic shoulder that culminates in a fresh and very pleasant persistence finish.

An interpretation of Barolo that expresses the quintessence of Nebbiolo’s potential.

Certainly among the best Barolo wines for its refined character and powerful extract that makes us assume an excellent aging potential.

Barolo ‘Aeroplanservaj’ 2018 – Domenico Clerico

Description: Stratified nuances of cherry in alcohol, plum, potpourri of dried flowers and aromatic herbs that stretch towards balsamic resins, ethereal shades and undergrowth.

The palate is characterized by strong, clear and smooth tannins, well integrated by an acid vein that gives great freshness.

One of the greatest representatives of Langhe wines. Lysergic character, the sense of smell is a delicate prelude that spreads sensationally opulent on the sip.

Fully among the best producers of Barolo.

Barolo ‘Sarmassa’ 2016 – Marchesi di Barolo

Description: The nose is played on delicate red fruits and flowers, with references to orange peel, eucalyptus and balsamic and sylvan hints.

In the mouth it stretches fresh and ample towards a persistent and fruity finish.

A slender, fresh, elegant wine, embellished with captivating mineral suggestions and great intelligibility of the fruit.

Among the best Barolo wines for their ability to amaze with their unusual elegance.

Barolo Cannubi 2017 – Damilano

Description: On the nose there are notes of violet and small red berries and juniper enriched by balsamic brushstrokes of licorice root, resin and well-integrated woody notes.

The drink envelops the palate in a dense sip with perfectly dashed compact tannins. Excellent salty trail on the finish that leaves the mouth fresh and satisfied.

An interpretation of Barolo of sensational elegance, an example of how the high alcohol content can enter into synergy with the minerality, giving an unprecedented and exciting sip. Deservedly among the best Barolo.

Which are the best Barolo?

Which are the best Barolo? Choosing is a difficult undertaking, which however inevitably is subject to the limits of a subjective opinion, which as such, by definition, is deficient and arbitrary.

We have simply compiled a list of our favorite interpretations according to our evaluations. However, it remains essential to underline that wine is not born as a status symbol, to be exhibited or flaunted coram populo.

But to excite us and be shared in a genuine way with the people we love, binding ourselves to contingent situations and to the unrepeatable and intimate moments of our life.

Therefore, we invite you to visit wineries and get to know the producers who produce wines in their uniqueness, so that you can independently discover and choose the wine that can be counted for you among your personal favorite wines. If you have had the patience to read this far, thank you for your attention, but now is the time to fill the glasses and cut the distant hopes, and therefore:

Cheers, Salute, Santé

Jean Marco Palmieri

BAROLO FOOD PAIRINGS

What to combine with Barolo?

Now that we have seen which are the best Barolo wines and the best Barolo producers, the question arises: what are the best food-Barolo combinations?
Discover the best Barolo food pairings and the rules to follow to combine Barolo and Barolo Chinato in the dedicated article.