Beautiful Barolo: Vietti’s Castiglione 2009
Vietti’s beautiful Baroli need no introduction. Suffice it to say, this iconic Piedmont estate has spent generations crafting finely-etched, harmonious wines. “Iconic” may be bandied around, but the pioneering of single cru Barolo - now commonplace - all began with Vietti’s Rocche di Castiglione 1961. For connoisseurs, Vietti had elevated Nebbiolo’s standing, shone a light on the Langhe hilltops’ striking vineyard mosaic, and inspired an ambitious cohort of terroir-focused young winemakers.
In 2017 it is single cru Barolo that is most highly sought after. Yet the real soul, the beating heart of the region, is still traditional blended Barolo, enjoyed by the drinkers. From top producers, these offer early enjoyment, reliable quality and generous, younger vine fruit; often from crus of stellar repute. Such is the case with Vietti’s Castiglione - an entry-level Barolo blended from vineyards entirely in the Castiglione Falletto commune, including, in 2009, the outstanding Villero.
Raised in traditional oak casks for 30 months before bottling, the 2009 is gentle, sweetly-fruited, open for business now, and all the better for it. Enjoyed over a hearty lunch in good company, it is a fine reminder that reputations are made here, in delicious wines one wants to drink, as much as they are in the stars.