“The 2016 Barolos are fantastic. One of the longest and latest vintages in recent memory, 2016 offered perfect conditions for the fickle Nebbiolo grape.” Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast
2016 Barolo’s are something to behold. After a run of very good vintages, 2016 blew it out of the park, with near perfect conditions, generous fruit and opulence, hallmark firm tannin and bright acidity providing balance and age-ability. Most major media rated this 5 out of 5 or 98+/ 100 as far as vintages go (2017 is a different, and very warm, story).
One our reference points for Barolo and Brunello media is the insightful Kerin O’Keefe who writes independently but also for Wine Enthusiast magazine. She gave two 100-point wines for the vintage (she has only given 4 since she began reviewing professionally in 2013). One of these was the producer of this week’s wine, Giovanni Rosso.
Giovanni Rosso is an incredible, honest, traditionalist in Barolo’s famed town of Serralunga. They have been farming 12 prized hectares since the 1890’s and are now managed by mother and son team Ester and David Rosso, with David managing the winemaking which he has done since he took over as a 27-year-old in 2001. When we say ‘traditionalist’ in Barolo, we mean there is a strong winemaking philosophy of reflecting vineyard and terroir through their wines. Letting the fruit do the talking, and not masking it with winemaking artefact. This is contrary to ‘modernist’, which is a riper, darker expression of Barolo that often ferments in small, new oak barrels, that often mask the perfume, red fruits and prettiness of the best Barolo. We like wines of purity, finesse and balance at Press Wines, and are firmly in the ‘traditionalist’ camp.
O’Keefe gave Giovanni Rosso’s top single vineyard wine 100 points, but this wine is a blend of a few estate sites all in the Serralunga commune. For a 2016 Barolo under $100, she has still rewarded it with 96 points, and we think it is the pick of the Rosso offerings for quality and relative value. Her notes: “Iris, woodland-berry and pine-forest aromas shape the nose. On the focused, vibrant palate, mint and star anise notes accent a core juicy Marasca cherry. Taut polished tannins and bright acidity provide balance and a firm lithe structure. Drink 2024–2031.”
Other reviewers joined the chorus with 96 from Robert Parker, 94 from Italian guru Suckling and 93 from Spectator. Words like sage, mint, dark fruit, cherry, tar, cedar and spice are common.
We’d leave this wine for a few years and then enjoy over the ensuing decade. It will build heft and savoury character and continue to fill out its body. Always decant for 30 minutes to 2 hours and enjoy in Burgundy stems. A delicious food wine for braises, ragu and mushroom based dishes.
We appreciate the price tag here, so if you want to purchase this in two, three or four bottle lots, please just shoot us an email directly.
Tom and Dan