Made from the Nebbiolo grape in Piedmont, north-western Italy, Barolo is one of the country’s most esteemed wine styles. But it’s not for everyone. You see, traditionally Barolo can be fiercely tannic, especially when young.
These days, most Barolo tends to spend less time fermenting on the skins and more in oak barrels, resulting in softer, more accessible drinking — a move that’s angered the purists. Let’s face it though: purists are always cranky about something.
Politics aside, Barolo is still a resolutely old-world wine, and this Tesco Finest Barolo 2014 exhibits the style’s characteristic translucent, medium-garnet colour, with red fruit, chalky tannin and leather notes. Strong in alcohol but medium in body, I’d recommend breathing it for at least 45 minutes to soften it up a scratch.
Tesco are justifiably proud that their Finest Barolo 2014 had a gold medal pinned on it at the 2018 IWC (International Wine Challenge) Awards. And you can see why it was honoured.
While its subtlety of flavour, prominent tannin and high acidity mean this isn’t what I’d call a “beginner’s” wine (if you know what I mean), it certainly exudes the taste of Italy’s cooler climes. I’d pair it with some venison ravioli and a generous drizzling of olive oil. And with that image in mind, I’m off to EasyJet to check out flights to Turin. Ciao.
4 NINJA STARS
Tesco Finest Barolo, 2014. £16 at the time of writing. 14% volume.