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The Society's Exhibition Barolo 2016

Red Wine from Italy - NW Italy (Piedmont)
Our flagship-bottling of Barolo is seductive and delicious now, but with a great future ahead of it too. Velvety, rich, harmonious and still with youthful vigour, this is a red for mushrooms or game.
Price: £26.00 Bottle
Price: £312.00 Case of 12
In Stock
Code: IT28741

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Nebbiolo
  • 14% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2030
  • 75cl
  • Cork, diam

North West Italy

The most renowned of the north western wine regions of Italy is Piemonte, and it is arguable that it is the most renowned of all Italy’s wine producing regions. Home to Barolo and Barbaresco, both made solely from the nebbiolo grape that performs particularly well on the slopes around the town of Alba, Piemonte produces some of the most famous, and increasingly sought after, wines in the World. These are wines that manage to harmonise power and finesse, harnessing the abundant tannins of nebbiolo to richness and concentration but, in good examples, never tipping over into heaviness. They have all the components necessary to make wines that can age for many years and achieve a silky elegance that reminds many of the finest Burgundies. The climate is largely continental with a little influence from the Mediterranean over the hills helping to maintain the long, warm autumns that nebbiolo needs to reach full ripeness on the limestone, clay and sandy soils not far from the Alps to the...
The most renowned of the north western wine regions of Italy is Piemonte, and it is arguable that it is the most renowned of all Italy’s wine producing regions. Home to Barolo and Barbaresco, both made solely from the nebbiolo grape that performs particularly well on the slopes around the town of Alba, Piemonte produces some of the most famous, and increasingly sought after, wines in the World. These are wines that manage to harmonise power and finesse, harnessing the abundant tannins of nebbiolo to richness and concentration but, in good examples, never tipping over into heaviness. They have all the components necessary to make wines that can age for many years and achieve a silky elegance that reminds many of the finest Burgundies. The climate is largely continental with a little influence from the Mediterranean over the hills helping to maintain the long, warm autumns that nebbiolo needs to reach full ripeness on the limestone, clay and sandy soils not far from the Alps to the north.

Besides nebbiolo the Piemontese also make wines from varieties that give them something to drink while the Barolos and Barbarescos mature gracefully in vat and bottle. Dolcetto (little sweet one in Italian) and barbera are the principal varieties, best known for producing fruity, lively reds to match the foods of the region but which are also now being taken more seriously and given the treatment that can turn them into something far more refined and structured through lower yields, better sites and oak ageing. Beside them growers persist with the lesser known but just as fascinating freisa, rouchet, grignolino, brachetto, pelaverga, bonarda, croatina and vespolina, and the white varieties cortese and arneis. Lastly, but these days not necessarily least, Moscato d’Asti and Brachetto d’Acqui are two wines that, when made well, can be a delight – frothy, sweet and fragrant bubblies of low alcohol and gentle fizz for enjoying with a range of desserts when lightness of touch is called for or for drinking in the garden on a warm Summers’ evening.

North of Piemonte is the Valle d’Aosta, the smallest wine region in Italy squeezed into a valley abutting the Alps almost in the shadow of Mont Blanc and reaching out to the French border. Here, on steep Alpine slopes, varieties like petite rouge, fumin, malvoisie and petite arvine sit alongside a few plantings of chardonnay and make characterful wines with a mountain freshness that goes delightfully with the local cuisine. Slightly to the east a scramble of small appellations such as Gattinara, Ghemme and Lessona produce perfumed and fine boned variations on nebbiolo, here known as spanna and sometimes blended with other local varieties, that were once more famous than Barolo.

In the north-east of the region on the border with Switzerland Valtellina Superiore also majors in nebbiolo of excellence, this time within the region of Lombardy. Head south from Valtellina Superiore to the hills around Lago d’Iseo and the méthode traditionelle sparkling wines of Franciacorta are made from pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot bianco grapes. Throughout Lombardy still wines are made from an assortment of varieties in several different appellations without any making a stand as the focal point of regional production. Perhaps the closest to achieving such recognition, besides the increasingly well-known Franciacorta, is Lugana just south of Lake Garda where turbiano (aka verdicchio) can produce some excellent, fragrant whites on a flat glacial plain where the lake acts as a moderator of temperatures, cooling the air with its breezes.

Liguria, famed more for its picturesque and exclusive Riviera resorts than its wines, runs in a strip from the French frontier to the border with Tuscany. Vineyards are small and fragmented due to the rugged terrain as the Ligurian Appenines finally curl and dip towards the sea and because of this Liguria’s production is tiny, if interesting. Vermentino, rossese, sangiovese and dolcetto are all grown but the most famous wine, oft seen by the tourists who consume most of it, is Cinque Terre made from bosco with either vermentino or albarola blended in.

Finally, the wines of Colli Piacentini, Oltrepo Pavese and Gutturnio close to the city of Piacenza on the edge of the Emilia-Romagna, if chosen carefully, can provide much pleasure with wines made from barbera, bonarda and a number of international varieties. However, much of the crop and the wines made here are destined for spumante producers or blenders based elsewhere.
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Silvano Bolmida

Curiosity may have killed the cat but in the case of Silvano Bolmida it has produced a string of world-class wines instead. His Barolo wine is certainly crafted with all the skill of a consummate winemaker but this skill is backed up by an almost forensic attention to detail and a desire to learn empirically from what happens in his vineyards and winery, and he leaves no stone unturned in his quest to understand the processes involved. This perfectionism shows itself when you taste the wines.

He set out on his own by taking on a few hectares from his father and brother-in-law in 1999, though he had learned his trade at the wine school at Alba and at another Barolo winery for ten years prior to that. His first release was in 2003.

He is based in Montforte d’Alba and cultivates his vineyards with environmental concerns very much to the fore, though he seeks no organic certification. His five hectares of Bussia vines are a great passion for him, back-breaking as the slopes are, and he works every inch personally, nurturing, observing and improving everything from the cover crops and canopy management to green harvesting in June and the manual harvesting of the grapes in September and October.

In the cellars he ferments for a long time with skin contact, resulting not in over-extracted tannic wines but in wines of finesse and smooth tannins that support the fruit without dominating, even in youth. A year in small oak barrels is followed by two in 3,000-litre botti before...
Curiosity may have killed the cat but in the case of Silvano Bolmida it has produced a string of world-class wines instead. His Barolo wine is certainly crafted with all the skill of a consummate winemaker but this skill is backed up by an almost forensic attention to detail and a desire to learn empirically from what happens in his vineyards and winery, and he leaves no stone unturned in his quest to understand the processes involved. This perfectionism shows itself when you taste the wines.

He set out on his own by taking on a few hectares from his father and brother-in-law in 1999, though he had learned his trade at the wine school at Alba and at another Barolo winery for ten years prior to that. His first release was in 2003.

He is based in Montforte d’Alba and cultivates his vineyards with environmental concerns very much to the fore, though he seeks no organic certification. His five hectares of Bussia vines are a great passion for him, back-breaking as the slopes are, and he works every inch personally, nurturing, observing and improving everything from the cover crops and canopy management to green harvesting in June and the manual harvesting of the grapes in September and October.

In the cellars he ferments for a long time with skin contact, resulting not in over-extracted tannic wines but in wines of finesse and smooth tannins that support the fruit without dominating, even in youth. A year in small oak barrels is followed by two in 3,000-litre botti before bottling without filtration. 14 months in bottle ensues and the wines are approachable even on release but have the structure to age beautifully. Only 6,000 bottles of the Barolo Bussia are produced from just under 14,000 square metres, a tiny amount that speaks volumes about the low yields and the attendant perfectionism of Silvano Bolmida.
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2016 vintage reviews
2015 vintage reviews
2014 vintage reviews

Club Oenologique

Both spicy and floral with typical nebbiolo perfume, the well-judged veneer of oak brings addedseasoning to the spicy, full-bodied cranberry and sour cherry fruit in this Bussia vineyard Barolo from...

Both spicy and floral with typical nebbiolo perfume, the well-judged veneer of oak brings addedseasoning to the spicy, full-bodied cranberry and sour cherry fruit in this Bussia vineyard Barolo from Silvano Bolmida, ably supported by an appetisingly savoury dry finish that makes Barolo such a knockout red with food such asseared beef. Serious value here.

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92/100 Anthony Rose

decanter.com

Super value here, fora Barolo that's drinking beautifully at the moment but has the structure to last. Made for the Society's top own-label Exhibition range by Silvano Bolmida, grapes come from the lauded ...

Super value here, fora Barolo that's drinking beautifully at the moment but has the structure to last. Made for the Society's top own-label Exhibition range by Silvano Bolmida, grapes come from the lauded Bussia vineyard which, in the near-perfect 2015 vintage, show delicious ripeness. Inviting aromas of musky spice, red cherry and rose petals then a supple, complex palate with beautiful spiced oak integration and dusty tannins alongside sour cherry concentration and savoury leather notes. A delicious drop that punches above its weight for the price.

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93/100 Tina Gellie

JancisRobinson.com

Brick red. Gorgeously scented: delicate and complex aromas of tart red fruit such as cranberry and just starting to show some tertiary notes of dried cherry and leathery sweetness. Subtle and distinctive. ...

Brick red. Gorgeously scented: delicate and complex aromas of tart red fruit such as cranberry and just starting to show some tertiary notes of dried cherry and leathery sweetness. Subtle and distinctive. Still  firm, very dry tannins but elegant. Absolutely needs time but the balance is all there: fine dry tannicfinish, lovely freshness and lightly floral wild red fruits. Good value. 

16.5++/20

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16.5++/20 Julia Harding MW

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