2017 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli, Barolo DOCG, Piedmonte, Italy.
The sultry, delicately floral and ripe 2017 Borgogno Barolo Normale is full of classic flavors and is a pure and comforting Nebbiolo that has plenty of structure, but can be enjoyed in its youthful stage as well with supple tannins and a beautiful layering of red fruits and contrasting savory elements, it is a wine that gets better with every sip and especially good with meaty cuisine. The Borgogno Barolo is usually chewy and forceful with dusty tannins, but 2017 was a warm vintage and the yields were much reduced, allowing for a more approachable version of the King of Wines, it shows off a lush full bodied palate of bramble berry, plum, cherry and strawberry fruits along with a hint of iron, some earthy tones, melted black licorice, lavender, minty herbs and cedary wood. In the glass this dark ruby and brick edged Barolo gathers itself nicely and provides the same kind of joy as a Premier Cru Burgundy from a top producer, this Borgogno is impressive and while not quite up to the 2016 in age ability it delivers everything that is expected and looks to please the Nebbiolo enthusiasts for 3 to 5 years and maybe longer. I took a while to fully appreciate these Borgogno wines, but now I am a huge fan and tasting the latest set at Slow Wine brought even more admiration of this great producer and their full collection of wines. The Borgogno Barolo really captures a sense of place, pedigree and embraces traditional winemaking, and if you’ve not had their wines, it is a great time to discover them.

The historic Giacomo Borgogno & Figli winery, which was founded back in 1761, is one of the best and most famous Barolo producers, making a gorgeous collection of Nebbiolo bottlings, including this one, that comes from a selection of top sites in the appellation. Borgogno, as noted here in prior reviews, is all organic these days and continue to employ old school and traditional methods in the cellar, which are cooly located underground, with long spontaneous or natural fermentation(s) in concrete tanks without the use of selected yeasts, and with long elevage(s), exclusively in large Slavonian oak casks. In recent years, alternative grapes have had some moments to shine in this lineup, including Borgogno’s Timorasso DOC Derthona, one of Piedmonte’s most intriguing whites and their beautifully aromatic Langhe Freisa. The Barolo DOCG comes from vines set on classic calcareous and clay marls (soils) with a southerly exposure and from parcels in great crus, like Cannubi, Fossati, Liste, San Pietro delle Viole. The 2017 saw, as the winery notes, a spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts for about 12 days in concrete tanks, with a lengthy submerged cap maceration period before being racked to large Slavonian oak casks (4500L) for an elevage of 4 years, after which a further cellaring in bottle, lasting for 6 months. It is always a treat to sample these Borgogno wines, for which I am always grateful for, especially this bottling. I highly recommend getting to know these Borgogno wines, in particular of course the Barolo offerings, like this one, and the mighty Cannubi cru, as well as their set of Barbera, Dolcetto and Langhe Nebbiolo, which are exceptional values.
($89 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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