The Barolo wine region is arguably the most famous DOCG in Italy. It’s located in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, south of Alba, and has UNESCO World Heritage status.
Beyond the subtle differences in tradition and culture in these to locales, here are the physical differences that result in different tasting Nebbiolo wines in both locations.
The main difference in Barolo and Barbaresco is in the soils. Barbaresco’s soil has more nutrients and, because of this, wines don’t exude as much tannin as Barolo. Both wines smell of roses, perfume, and cherry sauce — and they both have a very long finish. The difference is in the taste on the mid-palate; the tannin won’t hit you quite as hard in the Barbaresco.
The wines are rich and full-bodied, with a strong presence of acidity and tannins. Barolos are often compared to the great Pinot Noirs of Burgundy, due to their light brick-garnet pigments and bright acidity – plus the region it’s made has a lot that is aesthetically common to Burgundy too, but we’ll get to that later. Rose flower, tar, and dried herbs are aromas frequently associated with Barolo wines. According to DOCG regulations, the wines must be aged for at least two years in oak and one year in bottle, with five years of age (three in oak) required for Riserva labeling, both with a minimum 13 percent alcohol content.