Castellero is the ridge in the foreground, with Bussia, Bricco Rocche, Villero, Perno, and many other grand vineyards in the background.

Barale Barolo

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"Barolesi! [Citizens of Barolo!] Unite in defense of <BAROLO>

Don't miss the asssembly of the Committee "For Barolo.' (Dated June 6, 1909)"

As you can see, the Committee was made up of several familiar names; some of these families are still making very good wine today. Carlo Barale signed the notice; his father founded the winery in 1870, and Carlo's grandson Sergio took over in 1978.

Sergio Barale in Castellero                                             

 

Barale’s recent wines are still resolutely old-school (30-day macerations with indigenous yeasts, 3 years in 30HL barrels with minimal racking, and no fining or filtration). We are big fans: they are not flamboyant but are consistently expressive of site and vintage, and they clearly have the material and structure to age well for years. Make no mistake, the Barales are producing excellent wines.

Sergio & Eleonora are coming to visit!               

 

 

 

Another exciting thing about Barale today is that Sergio's daughters, Eleonora and Gloria, are fully prepared to take over and carry on; having women in line to direct operations is still a relatively rare thing in the wine world. The winery and wines are in good hands, as the younger generation respects tradition and the best qualities of the wines of the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Barales have vines in Bussia Soprana (some adjacent to the fabulous Francesco Clerico), in Cannubi, and in Castellero, where they are the largest owner (Brezza and Giacomo Fenocchio also produce very good Castellero). Castellero covers the northern end of the ridge between Cannubi and Bussia; the soils are the same Sant’Agata fossil marne as Cannubi, and the exposures are very similar – all in all, a very prime location. The vines of Nebbiolo Michet and Rose (from selection massale) range in age from 25 to 40 years old, and have always been farmed organically (and are now certified organic).

 

 

At the top of Castellero, looking south-east towards Bussia; you can see how rich in limestone the soil is.             (Thanks to Gregory Dal Piaz for the photo!)                                                                                                      

My experience of older Barale is limited to Barolo 1961, 1964, and 1971, all of which have been excellent, indicating that the wines are on a par with some of the best of the era. So I’m very excited to have been able to gradually accumulate enough wine to offer a dinner featuring a vertical of Barolo Castellero, and, even better, to do so in the company of Sergio and Eleonara Barale; we do lots of dinners and know that there is no substitute for having the owner / winemaker present. We will taste Barolo 1958, and Barolo Castellero from 1964, 1967, 1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 1999. Dinner will be at Maialino on January 30th, $300 includes their great food (plenty of maialino!), wine, service, and tax.

The cheerful crowd at another of our dinners at Maialino

 

Meanwhile, we have fine selection of older Barale to offer – as always, all bottles are guaranteed. Jamie Wolff

 

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