A Journey Through Heritage and Excellence: Borgogno’s Barolo Wines.
Barolo wines are an inspiration and pleasure to so many people all over the world. And if you talk about Barolo there is a winery which you cannot miss out on, Borgogno, Barolo’s largest and oldest winery. The perfectly matching venue, La Liguria in The Hague, Netherlands, was a great canvas for the presentation of these qualitative wines. The pleasant opportunity to meet Borgogno’s winemaker, Andrea Farinetti, and export manager, Luca Collia, turned the lunch into a joyful and mostly educative afternoon with a proper amount of Italian passion.
During an exquisite three-course lunch winemaker Andrea explained the ins and outs of the winery since his family took over the winery in 2008. As dessert an impressive vertical tasting of Barolo Riserva’s was served, where each wine was described in detail.
Join us on a journey to Barolo the home of great wines and truffle!
Borgogno, the Tradition of Barolo
Being the most historical winery in Barolo since 1761, Borgogno shines with over 250 years of experience in winemaking. Even though the winemaking decisions and processes have been critically analysed and experimented with, the techniques nowadays are based on tradition. Most of the wines are made with spontaneous fermentation (without adding yeast) on concrete barrels and aged for longer periods of time in large Slavonian oak barrels without toasting. Borgogno embraces terroir and the expression of history and tradition. By taking great care of their vineyards, Borgogno has been certified organic since the harvest of 2019. Borgogno is responsible for planting two new forests in order to create a higher level of biodiversity. The forests provide the different vineyards with more diversity when it comes to soil, but also functions as a way to cool down the middle areas.
A selection of Borgogno Greatness
Over a 3-course lunch we had to opportunity to further engage with the Borgogno team, a great way to experience their wines in an authenic setting, with tradtional Italian dishes. Our dessert was one we will not easily forget, a vertical of historical Barolo Riserva’s. Join us as we walk you through the selection of greatness.
Colli Tortonesi Timorasso DOC Derthona 2021
We had the pleasure to be introduced to the only white wine the winery produces, made of 100% of the Timorasso grape. Winemaker, Andrea, explained that this wine is a result of his own mother not preferring red wines. This white wine was introduced especially for her.
The grape variety Timorasso is a local grape variety with roots in Italy. It is described as the “white Barolo” and is blessed with equal ageing potential compared to red Barolo wines. The variety does have a significant similarity to Riesling wines, which is noticeable in the nose and the vivid acidity of the wine. The glass offers an interesting nose with mineral and citrus tones.
On the palette this wine gives a full body and crisp, long after taste. This interesting combination provides the perfect bridge between full bodied wines and aromatic, crisp wines such as Riesling. Interesting enough, the full body is not a result of malolactic fermentation or steering the yeast during the fermentation.
The ageing potential of this wine is very much present, however, in the glass you will already be surprised with a complete set of aromas and different layers on the palette with pleasant intensity.
This wine was paired with a finger licking pulpo tempura served on a smooth, black garlic cream.
We award this wine with a 92-point DWA score
All Barolo’s described below are made from 100% Nebbiolo. Evidently the year differed considering climate, but also in winemaking techniques.
Barolo DOCG 2019
Being the classico, this wine proves that classic is classic for a reason. After fermentation on concrete barrels for 30 to 40 days, the wine is aged on Slavonian oak barrels without toasting. The winemaker called this the 2016 Barolo DOCG, a magnificent production year, but enriched with additional body. The wine is elegant with soft tannins and fruity finesse.
A glass of this wonderful wine was paired with a primi of truffle pasta with sage butter.
We award this wine with a 91-point DWA score
Barolo DOCG Liste 2017
Wines from Liste are considered to be the first single vineyard wines produced by Borgogno. Liste is situated between the two forests mentioned earlier. The forests, the wind direction and altitude of the vineyard together imply that the temperature is structurally 3 degrees lower compared to other parts of the Barolo area. 2017 is the year where the new way of winemaking is represented. An important technique that has offered this wine its wonderful structure is malolactic fermentation as well as post maceration where the skins are left in the wine for two months. This unusual technique results in tannins and colour being taken back by the skins leaving a harmonised and delicate sensation on the palette.
To accompany this wine, monkfish was served together with courgette and a cream from purple carrots.
We award this wine with a 95-point DWA score.
What follows is a reflection on a vertical of Barolo Riserva wines. All Barolo Riserva wines are made from a thorough selection of grapes from vineyards in different subregions of Barolo. Where each subregion brings its own characterics, for instance Liste is compared to the spine of the wine to set the basis of a good quality wine.
Barolo DOCG Riserva 2015
This Riserva was made according to the same traditional methods as the Barolo from 1982 described later on in this article. The wine has had extensive periods of ageing, again, on concrete barrels and large Slavonian oak barrels after the spontaneous fermentation. This wine is iconic for its smooth experience on the palette and incredible length. The pleasant acidity is guided by tones of ripe red fruit such as cherry, and a certain level of spices. This typical yet outstanding glass of wine provides a pleasurable length, great intensity and complexity.
We award this wine with a 95-point DWA score.
Barolo DOCG Riserva 2005
This must be the most original wine of the tasting. Being aged on stainless steel barrels with higher temperatures, this wine expresses oxidative tones. Imagine what a blend of Barolo, Sherry and Port wine would taste like. You got it? That is what this wine resembles. There are some notes of iron, but on the other hand sweeter tones. The tannins cannot be ignored in this wonderful glass of wine. This is a very unique and atypical glass of wine leaving enough space to think outside the box for dishes to pair it with.
We award this wine with a 91-point DWA score.
Barolo DOCG Riserva 1998
Despite its impressive age, this wine still held some acidity since it was bottled in 2003. Andrea described this wine being the “white truffle of Alba”. In the nose this wine has endless complex aromas like chestnut and a high level of tannins on the palette. This wine is perfect to share over dinner while enjoying the complexity.
We award this wine with a 90-point DWA score.
Barolo DOCG Riserva 1982
Being produced in the same way as the Barolo Riserva 2016, this wine demonstrated what ageing actually means ever since the bottling in 1988. This is probably not a favourite for everyone, but it is a powerful, complex glass. The structure consists of high levels of acidity and tannins. Compared to 1998, the tannins remaining on the palette were more pleasant. In the nose earthy as well as fruity tones were present giving this wine even more potential to age.
We award this wine with a 93-point DWA score.
Borgogno’s wines at their Prime
The complexity of the wines, the layers, the evolved winemaking techniques, staying true to tradition while also centralising innovation and organic wine production is what makes every wine lover fall in love with wine again.
These wines offer incredible complexity and a great ageing potential. There is a romantic heartbeat in this winery and each glass of wine reflects that.
Savouring Tradition and Innovation: A Toast to Borgogno’s Timeless Barolo Wines
The exquisite experience provided by Borgogno, underscored by the winery’s dedication to tradition and innovation, leaves an indelible impression. Each wine, a testament to the craft and passion of winemaking, offers a symphony of complex flavors and remarkable ageing potential. This, combined with thoughtful food pairings and the charm of La Liguria, embodies the essence of Italian winemaking excellence.
Borgogno’s commitment to organic production and biodiversity further elevates their wines, not only as products of heritage but also as harbingers of sustainability. The intimate knowledge shared by winemaker Andrea Farinetti and export manager Luca Collia has undoubtedly enriched the understanding and appreciation of Barolo, inviting us to savor each moment with these exceptional creations.
As Borgogno continues to weave the narrative of Barolo into every bottle, wine lovers are reminded of the romance that fine wine offers, a romance that Borgogno narrates so eloquently with each vintage.
Borgogne is imported and distributed in the Netherlands by Wine & Spirits NL and available through selected partners in hospitality and retail. This article is written by our own Marlon Rouw.
We would like to thank Wine & Spirits NL and Today’s Special PR for organizing this event and La Liguria for the outstanding lunch. Of course a special thank you to Borogno, in particular Andrea Farinetti Borgogno’s winemaker and Luca Collia Borgogno’s export manager.