75cl * 14.5% ABV * Barolo, Italy
Tenuta La Volta, described by Master of Wine Nicholas Belfrage as a 'pillar’ of traditional Barolo, celebrated its centenary in 2020 and has resolutely focused on the production of just one wine over its long history.
This wine is blended from multiple Barolo ‘Crus’, or vineyards. Other estates, if they discover they have one outstanding parcel of fruit from a particular cru, bottle it separately and sell it at a premium. This is economically understandable, but this means that the “average” of their regular blend is brought down. At Tenuta the winemakers strongly believe that blending from multiple sites – and always including the best grapes, too – gives you a better blend on average and helps you manage in more difficult years. Once blended, the wine spends three years in old oak barrels.
There was no price hike on the 2016 vintage, despite it being the vintage of a lifetime, being ranked 97/100 by Robert Parker. As a way of quantifying how good 2016 was, the consortium of wine makers in Piedmont worked with the University of Turin. They took grape samples at 15 strategically chosen sites across the region measuring sugar levels, acidity and other ripeness markers though the season. The 2016 grapes scored 99.3% overall, showing it was scientifically as near as it could be to the perfect season. Sadly that year was followed in 2017 by the Lucifer heatwave, which meant the grapes were very much the opposite, so stock up on 2016 while you can!
This charmingly traditional Barolo is elegantly transparent in colour but also decidedly robust, savoury and chewy, and envelops with its kaleidoscopic scent of rose, violet, morello cherry, earth and leather.
Serve at 16°C – 18°C in large wine glasses with any roast of red meat or game, or medium or hard ripening cheeses.
Drink to 2035.