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8th Wine: Barolo Ciabot Berton

  • Barolo is made from the grape Nebbiolo.
  • Nebbiolo is thought to derive its name from the Italian word nebbia which means “fog .”
  • During harvest , which generally takes place late in October, a deep, intense fog sets into the Langhe region where many Nebbiolo vineyards are located.
  • Alternative explanations refers to the fog-like milky veil that forms over the berries as they reach maturity.
  • Or that perhaps the name is derived instead from the Italian word nobile, meaning noble .
  • The first explicit mention of Nebbiolo dates to 1268 where a wine known as “nibiol” was growing in Rivoli near Turin .
  • In the 15th century, laws in the region of La Morra (in what is now the Barolo zone) demonstrated the high esteem that the Nebbiolo vine had in the area.
  • According to these laws, the penalties for cutting down a Nebbiolo vine ranged from a heavy fine to having the right hand cut off or hanging for repeat offenders.
  • Let that be a lesson to you. Don’t criticise Barolo!
  • Plantings of Nebbiolo continued to grow during the 19th century until the phylloxera epidemic hit.
  • With vast swaths of vineyards devastated by the louse, some vineyard owners decided to replant with different grape varieties. Today, Nebbiolo covers less than 6% of Piedmont vineyards.
  • Barolo DOCG requires 1 year in oak and 3 years total ageing for normale Barolo and 57 months total ageing for riserva.
  • The Oberto family can claim to have early origins reaching as far back as 1200.
  • By the end of the 1950s, Luigi Oberto, along with his father Giovenale, was cultivating the 2 hectares of Nebbiolo.
  • Luigi decided to create his own winery and produce the wine himself, aiming to optimise the value of his own work.
  • The first years’ production of Barolo were bottled from 1961 onwards.
  • From the 1990s, Luigi’s children Marco, and Paola, an agronomist, began working with him.
  • Increasingly aware of the quality and full potential of the vineyards and their Nebbiolo grapes, they decided to vinify the grapes of the different vineyards separately, selecting the best batches of Barolo for bottling.
  • In this way, by making a few important adjustments in production to add to Luigi’s great experience, the wines of Ciabot Berton have become steadily more widely known and appreciated.
  • Maceration on the skins for 16 – 18 days in fibreglass lined concrete vats.
  • The wine is aged for 24 – 30 months in Slavonia oak casks, for 6 months in steel vats.
  • Slavonia oak casks are used because of their slightly different qualities. The oak helps to impart less tannins and forms a different spectrum of toasty aromas.
  • Tasting Notes: Red garnet colour with ruby reflections. The nose is full-bodied, with scents of tar, rose and spices. The tannic structure is markedly present but soft, with a persistent finish.
  • Ideal with roasts and red meats, braised beef and seasoned cheeses.
  • Will improve for up to 10 -12 years.
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