So here is the thing about Barolo. It's stubborn, that's why I like it so much! Early in my career I would attend professional tastings and hear "critics" wax poetically about new releases, showing off their 800 verbal SAT scores.
Tasting and evaluating young wine is EXTRAORDINARILY difficult, especially when that wine's destiny is to age, and I MIGHT go so far as to call it BS. Conversely, drinking perfectly aged wine is the most rewarding experience in an oenophilic career. Fasc was here the other night and appropriately said regarding a young Burgundy, "Why are you choking the children?"
The problem with Nebbiolo, and thus Barolo, is that Nebbiolo produces wines that are simultaneously tannic and light-bodied. That's very rare in the grape world. People often compare Pinot Noir to Nebbiolo and that is certainly fair when both age out, but I'm not so sure it's true in infancy. Baga from Portugal is probably the only thing close. Young Nebbiolo can be like a terrible two-year-old.
It's not every day we get to offer quality Barolo WITH AGE at a killer price from an emerging producer that is drinking PERFECTLY. In a region plagued with inflated prices, Michele Chiarlo produces top-quality Baroli at a fraction of the cost of the big names. Normally this Barolo from Chiarlo would be around $70 for the bottle, and that is the CURRENT release which is 2016. Today you can get the same wine FROM THE GREAT 2012 vintage, with bottle age, in perfect condition for under $50!!! Insanity. But don't let the price fool you, this is SERIOUS BAROLO and the reason the price is so good..... well because This Is The Land Of Opportunity. HAPPY ELECTION DAY. It's pasta and truffle and BAROLO SEASON!! Come on let's go!!
Michele Chiarlo 2012 Barolo Tortoniano $70
6-PACK PRICE $270 - $45/Btl - 35% OFF
MICHELE CHIARLO is a name on the rise. Recently Anotonio Galloni said, "I am very encouraged by what I am seeing at Michele Chiarlo of late, as quality appears to be on the rise....quality is moving in the right direction." And a year later he reiterated, "These are some of the finest wines I have tasted from Chiarlo in some time. The Chiarlo family owns plots in some of the very best vineyards in both Barbaresco and Barolo."
Michele Chiarlo is known for making quality Baroli that are approachable in their youth. He was one of the first in the region to adopt malolactic fermentation, which helped create more stable wines that are ready to pop shortly after release. Add a few years, and you got a perfectly aged bottle of wine. This is an EXCELLENT wine to drink over the next 5-10 years because it will continue to develop. Grab em up, once they're gone...THEY'RE GONE!
Barolo is rarely a category where we see this type of value. For those of you who enjoyed the Vajra Albe or the Brovia Normale, this is an ideal wine to add to the mix. These types of wines do not come around often...especially with age. We say it time and time again - our favorite type of wine is aged wine. BUT aged wine doesn't necessarily mean 10 or 20 years after release. In many cases, you only need a few years for the wine to resolve and start drinking in harmony. And that is exactly what you have here - a few years turned this wine into a stunner!
A Wine's Quality Is Determined In The Glass.
Shane Benson | Owner | New York Vintners
ABOUT MICHELE CHIARLO
Since 1956, Michele Chiarlo has been vinifying the essence of Piedmont, loving and developing the most incredible wine region in the world. There are 110 hectares of vineyards between Langhe, Monferrato and Gavi. These crus respect both ecological criteria & the expression of the terroir.
Michele Chiarlo has not abandoned his philosophy. Rigorous selection of the best grapes from only the most reputable growers in the most favored vineyard areas and longer aging in oak and then in bottle prior to release were measures he adopted before the DOC laws. Michele Chiarlo is also credited with being one of the first producers to introduce malolactic fermentation to Italy, thereby achieving wines of greater stability, lower acidity and easier accessibility in their youth.
Today, the Michele Chiarlo winemaking facilities consist of the home winery, cellars and bottling facility at Calamandrana; a second facility at Gavi, for the vinification and bottling of the DOCG Gavi wine; and a third facility adjacent to the Cannubi vineyard to accommodate vinify and mature wines from the Barolo zone and its "crus." These installations are among Piedmont's most technologically advanced, allowing Michele Chiarlo wines to be produced according to the quality principles that Chiarlo helped to innovate in the region, which today are commonplace, including soft presses, controlled temperature fermentation to conserve the grapes’ original fragrances and flavors, maceration with rotating sprayers, and temperature and humidity controlled cellars. Each wine type can be given specific treatment to maximize its potential.
From the beginning, Michele Chiarlo has directly managed or personally overseen every aspect in the productions of his wines. Since the early 1990s, his sons, Alberto and Stefano, have also held management roles. Alberto, the elder, directs Marketing and sales; Stefano, an oenologist by profession, manages vineyard operations and collaborates in production in the cellars
THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND...
Son of a small vigneron, 2015 marks his 60th harvest, Michele Chiarlo is today one of the most respected producers of fine wines in Piedmont and a leading figure in its viticultural industry.
Chiarlo’s first vintage was 1956, shortly after graduating from the Oenology College of Alba. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he was one of the first Italian wine producer to export Piedmontese quality wines to the US and Europe. He has always been considered a “classic” producer of Barolo; introducing temperature control, moderating oak use and limiting vineyard yields to make a much more accessible style of wine with a true identity.
Chiarlo’s ceaseless innovation, both in production and in marketing, has gained him the respect of his industry. He is currently on the board of “Grandi Marchi Institute” a group of 19 top wineries in Italy’s various wine regions. As well as the Vice President and co-founder of “Accademia del Barolo”, a prestigious group that puts together 11 Top Barolo producers. He recently served as the President and co-founder of Nizza Association, the “Premium” Barbera Association.