Near the top of Paiagallo - at about 400 metres, some of the higher-elevation vines in the area. The town of Barolo is below.

Canonica Barolo, 2013

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Gianni Canonica is one of my wine heroes. He makes uncompromising, great wine in every vintage, and he seems happy in his work, taking a calm and harmonious view of the swirling world around him. His wines have been discovered – fundamentally because of their quality, but also because some key Italian tastemakers have a better understanding and feeling for naturally made, traditional-style wines than in the past. Given the craze for G. Rinaldi, B. Mascarello, Accomasso, etc, it makes sense that another natural wine Barolista would find a ready market. If there’s a problem, it’s that Canonica has a tiny amount of land and his production is a fraction of the others; I live in anxious anticipation of a super-high score, which, à la Burlotto Monvigliero 2013, might finally spoil the party for all of us. Meanwhile, Gianni continues to make transparent wines of exceptional purity.

Canonica in Paiagallo

I am a big fan of 2013 Barolo in general – my favorite wines have balance and cut that reminds me most of, dare I say it, 1989. Instead of visiting with Canonica, at the last minute I had to make a Solomonic decision, and I went to meet the local collector with a large cellar that might be for sale. I was very sorry to miss what my friends reported to be an outstanding visit: “One of the best ever,” said Gregory Dal Piaz, with whom I have tasted at Gianni’s for at least 8 years running. We’ll see if the cellar of old wine ever bears fruit. For now we are grateful to Gregory for sharing his notes, which you can read below; now that the wines arrived we will add our own soon. Jamie Wolff

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Canonica, Giovanni 2013 Barolo Grinzane Cavour - Limit 1 Per Customer, Please!

50 year old vines with a good percentage of Rose [the clone of Nebbiolo]. Delicate, earthy and fairly light on the nose, with a gentle intensity to the ferrous mineral base notes. Light bodied, very pretty and long in the mouth, with an open, delicate character.  There's a real depth to the fruit on the palate, slightly dusty, red-toned, with hints of rosehips, though this is a bit short today revealing only a lingering licorice note on the finale. Gregory Dal Piaz

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Canonica, Giovanni 2013 Barolo Paiagallo

Wow, this is performing at another level entirely [from the Barolo Grinzane], with lots of camphor, and real intensity to the earthy underlay and herb-framed cherry fruit. Bright, juicy, and showing lovely purity in the mouth, this is vibrant and nervous with dusty ripe tannins. This is delicious, the tannins have a little herbal note that lends freshness. There’s a slight natural feel to this, but with such purity and persistence to the fruit. Gregory Dal Piaz

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  • $199.99

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