Piedmont Roundup

Barolo brings home the goods

Revisiting the 2012s at our London tasting reaffirmed our early impression that this is a vintage with a huge amount of early appeal. From the top producers in Piedmont, the 2012s convey an attractiveness that we’ve not seen in recent vintages, as the wines unfurl with seductive mid-weight fresh fruit and steady, ripe tannins, offering, in the best examples, a slender framework characterised by sprightliness and drinkability. Like 2000, 2001, and 2005, 2012 is a vintage that will provide something of a harbour in which to moor, while the more stoic vintages require an extended period of ageing. As is typical of noble Nebbiolo however, the majority of 2012s, approachable as they are, will continue to age gracefully for 10-15 years.

We have highlighted today a selection of our favourite 2012s; wines that we believe have earned a place in the discerning collector’s cellar. These are wines that, amongst many others, stand out for being well made with marked vineyard characteristics, wines that are agile, intense, and praiseworthy examples of the vintage.

From Luigi Azelia’s Serralunga d’Alba vineyard, the San Rocco is a dark and complex wine, with spicy, salty elements that underpin intense wild hedgerow fruit and black cherry liqueur, while Fratelli Brovia’s Roche di Castiglione offers up open-knit soft candied raspberry, rose petals and wild strawberry, married to a soft, full body, and silky, velvety tannins. We are pleased too to highlight the jointly successful Marco Marengo crus of Bricco Viole and Brunate - perennial Justerini & Brooks favourites - as well as Paolo Conterno’s brambly, stony, mineral-inflected Ginestra from Monforte d’Alba. From the legendary Roberto Voerzio we have Cerequio, one of the highlights of the vintage, and from Paolo Scavino, a very accomplished straight Barolo, a wine of grace and charm, from a blend of seven vineyard sites across the Barolo region.