2016 Barolo: Right Place, Right Time
In so many ways, 2016 is all about being in the right place at the right time for Barolo. An ideal growing season with all the prerequisites for a great vintage comes at a time when so many winemakers are in their primes, past the stage of experimentation and settled into their own personal styles. The result is a vintage full of truly spectacular, breathtaking wines that captures all the pedigree that Nebbiolo and Barolo are capable of.
The 2016 Growing Season and Wines…
Two thousand sixteen is a classic, late-ripening year characterized by a leisurely October harvest and no real shock events to speak of. The year got off to a slow start. Only April saw temperatures above the ten-year average, while the first part of the year was also quite dry. July, August and September all saw above average temperatures, but without excessive heat. What I remember most about that summer was the unusually low humidity and incredible purity of the light, which combined to give spectacular views that are typically only seen in the winter. Well-timed rains in July and August helped keep things in balance. Most importantly of all, evening temperatures began to drop in September, creating the perfect conditions for a late harvest. The chart below shows the average start of the harvest over the last ten years (green dot) compared to 2016 (red dot). In other words, in 2016, harvest began about 5 days later than the average. Many producers extended their macerations always a sign of healthy grapes and a high-quality year.
By Antonio Galloni | Vinous
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