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Burlotto, Barolo Acclivi, 2017


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Burlotto is the flagship producer from Barolo’s Verduno area. This is a property of enormous historic importance, fabulously delicious wines, and outstanding value. The Commendatore Giovan Battista Burlotto, one of Barolo's great characters, founded the estate back in 1850. The labels still commemorate the royal house of Savoy’s fondness for Burlotto wines, as well as the winery’s exclusive presence on Duke Luigi Amedeo's 1899 North Pole expedition. The Duke lost two fingers to frostbite, but wrote to the Commendatore a year and a half into the trip that “[t]he wine has been conserved in perfect condition.” G.B. Burlotto was also a pioneer of selling wine in bottle (rather than in cask or demijohn), as well as a champion of a now-rare but still-ravishing grape, Pelaverga Piccolo. Four generations later, G.B.’s great-great-nephew, Fabio Alessandria, has changed little at the winery, doing some of the crush by foot, fermenting the wine in upright wooden vats, using indigenous yeast and little temperature control. We love these wines for their history, but even more for their diversity, their pure fruit, delicate structure, and signature Verduno floral aromatics and spicy palate. The family's single-vineyard Barolos, especially the culty Monvigliero, are some of Piedmont's most lauded wines, critical and collector favorites year-in and year-out. But they continue to make extraordinary wines for Piedmont's more humble grapes (including Dolcetto, Barbera and of course, that Pelaverga), wines that don't attempt to turn those grapes into Nebbiolo blockbusters but rather that show their unique charms and terroir transparency. The sheer drinkability of these "lesser" wines is is tremendous, and the pricing for such special bottles from such top-rank grower, is shockingly accessible.

Professional Reviews

Antonio Galloni

AG 93
"The 2017 Barolo Acclivi is rich, enveloping and so expressive. Black cherry, lavender, spice, menthol and licorice fill out the layers nicely. Medium in body, with soft contours for a young Barolo, the Acclivi is so expressive today, before it starts to shut down with air. That bodes very well for its future. As it has been for a number of years, the Acclivi is the hidden gem in this range. The 2017 is a blend of Monvigliero, Neirane and Rocche dell' Olmo, with less Monvigliero than normal because the younger vines went into the Langhe Nebbiolo, and a correspondingly higher presence of Rocche dell'Olmo." -Vinous

Robert Parker

RP 95
"The Comm. G.B. Burlotto 2017 Barolo Acclivi (with 7,000 bottles produced) represents a blend of selected fruit from various sites around Verduno, including old vines in Monvigliero, Neirane, Bocato and Rocche dell’Olmo. The wine shows that electric and jazzed quality that we see from the other wines in this portfolio, only here you get additional concentration and structure at the back. That muscle power is actually quite contained, but given the context of these super fine and nuanced wines, Acclivi shows special determination. To the palate, this wine delivers a more lasting structural and textural impact."


D 96
"Acclivi comes partly from Boscato and Rocche Olmo, which are cooler and later ripening areas in Verduno, so better suited to hot vintages such as 2017. Indeed, there is a remarkable energy of wild strawberry, liquorice and chocolate alongside bracing acidity and ripe, dusty tannins. The savoury character stretches the length, and it displays good concentration for the long haul."

Wine Spectator

WS 93
"Lithe and spicy, offering cumin, cardamom and white pepper accents to the core of cherry fruit. Turns firmly tannic yet never overbearing, with a dense, compact finish."

Wine Enthusiast

WE 97
"Perfumed berry, truffle, violet and balsamic aromas of camphor are just some of the aromas you'll find on this gorgeous wine. Full-bodied, it's loaded with flavor and finesse, doling out juicy raspberry, ripe Morello cherry, licorice and tobacco alongside tightly knit, refined tannins. It's absolutely delicious and will continue to develop beautifully over the next decade."


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