At its pinnacle 2013 is an excellent Barolo vintage. Stylistically the wines are in the classical mould without being as daunting in their youth as other old-school greats such as 2006 and 2010. They offer crisp, crystalline flavours wrapped in tight-knit, intense but refined structures. They favour energy over weight but don’t lack for depth and transmit a very transparent vineyard character. Such is there finesse that they should start to drink well in the medium term however they have the structure and intensity to last into the next two decades. Whilst not quite as consistent across the board as 2010 or 2004, the general quality level is high and the wines of the very greatest crus are nothing short of outstanding.
The vintage got off to a slow start, the season was initially characterised by cool and wet weather, particularly in Spring and early summer when there was intense disease pressure in the vineyards, this affected yields. Whilst much drier, mid-summer was still cooler than average, helping to keep the grapes fresh, and then followed by a bright and sunny September with good day/night temperature differences, allowing Nebbiolo grapes to continue ripening and build up aromatics. Harvest was characterised by very fine conditions, allowing growers to pick when they wanted. Harvest was late, even by Piedmont standards, starting early October and lasting throughout the whole month. There were fewer grapes than the two previous years but the health of the berries was excellent. These long, slow ripening conditions are just what the late-ripening Nebbiolo loves and have resulted in some great wines. The very best and most consistent wines of all have come from the top crus where sun exposure and good drainage has made all the difference.