Barolo 2007; summary

Barolo 2007; summary

Wednesday 27th July 2011
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

I had already tasted a few cuvees of 2007 last year, the quality seemed unbelievably good at the time almost too good, too easy. 

So I came out here with a degree of suspicion, wondering how the wines had evolved, were they too opulent or had they faded in any way? The answer, resoundingly, is no. This is a special vintage. The wines are so inviting and alluring. So easy to taste. There is plenty of tannin but it is a sweet sumptuous tannin. The wines are as effortless as Barolo can be at this early stage but more encouragingly they show every sign of ageing well. They have more freshness than I expected and very ripe clear fruit flavours. As well as enthralling Nebbiolo lovers, this vintage, I am sure, will bring the region many new friends. That mix of approachability and ageability is what makes this special. When asked, growers themselves struggle to come up with another vintage to compare it with, 07 is unique.

I have aslo relooked at several 2006s out here and I am every bit as confident in them, if not more so, as I was this time last year. Of course they were more rigid and classic to taste upon release, though they are already shaping up well and in time could well prove to be the equal of 2007. For the time being, though, we should revel in the 2007s, they are a delight.

The season started early, summer was sunny and dry but never hot and whilst this aided ripening, the cool nights extended the ripening period. So even after an early start, vintage took place at the usual time - during the first week of October. Growers say that long, gentle seasons like this are the best, certainly 07's ripening conditions have resulted in wines of smooth, shapely tannins without sacrificing any power.

In early September 2011 we will present 2007s from all of the growers mentioned in this blog, our greatest ever offering of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero, it should prove a fitting celebration to the Piedmont and its great wines.