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Burlotto, Barolo Monvigliero, 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 96
"The 2017 Barolo Monvigliero is such a classy wine. Light on its feet and beautifully perfumed, the Monvigliero is superb. The whole clusters are very nicely integrated. Rose petal, mint, sage and bright red berry fruit all run through this supremely gracious, deceptively mid-weight wine. It will almost certainly gain in volume over the coming year. As always, Monvigliero is done with 100% stems." -Vinous

Robert Parker

RP 96
"The 2017 Barolo Monvigliero opens to a fine and light ruby color. This whole-cluster wine is elegant from all sides no matter how you approach it. To the bouquet, it offers smooth berry and spice, with lots of blue flower, dried lavender and lilac. A second aromatic layer centers on dry stone, limestone and some crushed white pepper. To the palate, it shows fine but tight tannins that are still nervous, like a closed fist. What I find most interesting about this warm-vintage expression from Monvigliero is that although the floral imprint is intact, the bouquet is broad enough to make room for spice, cherry and grilled herb. It feels like this bouquet operates on a bigger platform in 2017, but it requires patience nonetheless."


D 98
"Fabio Alessandria is one of the most talented wine producers at present in Barolo. If Monvigliero is recognised for its particular elegance, the interpretation at GB Burlotto adds depth and consistency to it. The harvest, which in Monvigliero is rather early, 'has been brought forward almost one month in 2017,' according to Alessandria. 'We finished picking the Nebbiolo on 31 September.' In this vintage he preferred selected yeast over indigenous yeast due to the heat and the potential alcohol. He fermented the wine in Slavonian oak vessels without destemming and let the malolactic conversion occur spontaneously, still in oak. It has a crystalline purity on the nose of peony, orange peel and red berries, embellished with cinnamon and rhubarb flavoured boiled sweets. Fleshy and earthy strawberry flavours are joined by lavish, almost silky, tannins of great volume on the mid-palate, and lifted acidity that will keep it going strong for decades."

Wine Spectator

WS 95
"Perfumed, this red features rose, cherry and strawberry aromas shaded by sandalwood and five-spice powder. Bright, well-delineated and harmonious, with both structure and finesse. The aftertaste echoes floral and spice elements."

Wine Enthusiast

WE 98
"The aromas alone will stop you in your tracks thanks to a compelling combination of pressed rose, crushed mint, pine forest and a whiff of woodland berries. Full-bodied and elegantly structured, the firm, delicious palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, licorice and salt alongside tightly wound, noble tannins."


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