Barolo Is Not A Grape
Many wine consumers think that Barolo and Barbaresco and even Gattinara are grapes or types of wine. Wrong! In the northwestern corner of Italy in Piedmont there is a Grape Varietal called “Nebbiolo” and it is used 100% in the Villages named Barolo, Barbaresco and Gattinara. Above is an aerial shot of one of my favorite producers of Nebbiolo, Cabutto La Volta.
Tenuta Cabutto La Volta
In 1920, Domenico Cabutto bought the farmstead of La Volta, that later would become Tenuta La Volta, straight from Marquis Gastone di Mirafiori who was the Nephew of the King of Italy!. In 1954, Domenico was joined by his son Bartolomeo. In 1976 Bartolomeo’s sons, Osvaldo and Bruno, entered the company to help his father’s work. With the evolution of a company come structural and role changes: Osvaldo took care of the wine making process while Bruno engaged in commercial promotion. In 1980, was their first participation at Vinitaly, the most important international exhibition of wines and spirits. Where are they today? They are one of the most well known, sustainably farmed estate bottled Barolo producers with 95% of their wines being exported to countries including USA and Canada and now even available in Korea and Japan.
2017 Cabutto La Volta Langhe Nebbiolo
Most wine consumers asking for a Barolo or Barbaresco for the first time, are in for some sticker shock, either in a restaurant or retail shop. Retail you are looking at $45-$80 and Restaurants $125-$400. Remember however, that Barolo or Barbaresco are not grapes. They are villages. In 2017 a great warm vintage, the Cabutto family had some really good yields of Nebbiolo and decided to bottle some young juice under the D.O.C. Region of Langhe Nebbiolo. Many producers in Barolo do this on great vintages. It gives you an entry level Baby Barolo, if you will, at a reasonable price. This wine is $19.99. It may not be as elegant and complex as a properly aged Barolo or Barbaresco but on a good year it can be a great drinking wine with many of the nuances of a Barolo at 1/2 the price. This wine spends less time aging by D.O.C. rules and just like Barolo aged in larger Oak Casks so there is not a strong presence of Oak to mute the flavors.
At a recent wine class introducing ABC Wine Specialists to new wines, I never got to taste this wine as we got a Cork Tainted one. It takes about a solid hour for this young Nebbiolo to Aerate and open up. The color is similar to Barolos with that dark garnet leaning towards orange/brown tinge on the edge from the terroir of the Langhe Region high up in the mountains. 14% ABV gave this a solid medium plus body. Very powerful violets, roses and potpourri aromatics with marasca cherries, red raspberries and leather. On the palate, a very, fresh, bright red berry astringency with hints of nutmeg and a juiciness to this pretty wine finishing with austere grippy tannins. It’s young, ripe and could use about another 2-4 years in the bottle to soften up. By hour number 2, the floral notes were even more present but the solid tannin grip made this one heck of a Nebbiolo on a Budget as well as a great match for, Reggiano Parmigiana, Taleggio Cheeses, Risottos with Mushrooms or Truffles or son of a gun even a great wine with All Beef Hot Dogs on a Sunday afternoon. It’s a food wine for sure. I will score the wine 89 out of 100 and would like to re-visit in a couple of years. Cabutto in the State of Florida is yet another fine wine exclusively imported and distributed by Alberello Imports and a selection of Nadia Galati. Thier Barolo and Langhe Nebbiolo are Sourced and Certified Exclusive Wines in Florida to ABC Fine Wine and Spirits.
It’s really a no brainer with this wine. Let’s face it. Barolo is not your everyday watching Netflix wine at $42 per bottle. Now you have the option of getting 100% Nebbiolo from Langhe from one of the most respected producers of Barolo for $19.99… I don’t think there will be any questions except how many cases do you have Larry? A very pretty wine!!
Grape-fully yours, Larry
I Want To Shake Mr Cabutto’s Hand!!