2016 Bruna Grimaldi, Barolo DOCG, Bricco Ambrogio, Piedmonte, Italy.
These 2016s are easy to love Nebbiolo wines, even now there is a lot of pleasure to be had, especially Barolo offerings like this Bruna Grimaldi, a producer I haven’t had much experience with, it drinks silky and complete and was excellent with a simple and hearty meal. The Grimaldi family has been in the Barolo business since 1957, but the modern version of this property really got started as a producer of fine wine with Bruna Grimaldi in 1990 and this label has gained a solid reputation over the last two decades. Now, winemaker Franco Fiorino crafts these wines with a passion for transparency and precision, as this pretty Bricco Ambrogio shows with a clarity of purpose, it delivers Classico Nebbiolo layers and highlights the vintage’s charm and substance very well indeed. This delicately perfumed and stony 2016, dark garnet and brick edged in the glass is very supple and flows smoothly on the full bodied palate with black cherry, damson plum, red currant and strawberry fruits, with a hint of earthiness, minty anise, cedar and dried lavender notes. This is not a blockbuster or one that begs for long term cellaring, but is a very nice value, I got it for under $40, and will be a rewarding and elegant traditional Barolo for the next 3 to 5 years.

Fiorino says, the Bricco Ambrogio is a Barolo of great elegance, which I can confirm with a satiny ripe profile, the vineyard set on blue Marls (clay and limestone) has a perfect exposure to the sun and a hot microclimate where Nebbiolo clusters are always picked a bit earlier, giving polished tannins, while retaining a good natural acidity. Going on, the winery adds that this Barolo is distinct with warm feel and has an open nose that is beautifully floral, tending towards ripe red fruits and spices notes. The palate captures the essence of the site nicely and allows for early drinking, which in some cases is very agreeable and this 2016 is expressive and has enough depth to keep your interest throughout the meal. The Bruna Grimaldi Barolo are made with a nod to the regions history with grapes that are harvested by hand and carefully sorted both in the vineyard and in the cellar before the clusters are all de-stemed and gently crushed. Fiorini uses a temperature-controlled fermentation with, as he notes, a long skin contact maceration that lasts 20-30 days, sometimes employing a submerged cap for perfect extraction of color and structure. The primary ferments of the must happen in a combination of stainless steel and concrete, after which the Nebbiolo gets aged and matured in large Slavonian oak Botti for between 24 and 30 months. Before release the Grimaldi wines see an extra bit of rest in bottle, with this one seeing close to a year, that helped it integrate all of its elements, making for a tasty treat on release.
($47 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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