Marchesi di Barolo winery is the oldest winery in the region and the Abbonna family are in its 5th generation of operation. I first had these wines in Ontario at the Italian wine show. Their single vineyard Cru Cannubi left an impression with me, full of power and built for aging.
I sent an email to the winery requesting a visit with a tour and tasting. Every correspondence from Marchesi di Barolo was kind and enthusiastic for our visit. I was surprised to learn they have a restaurant and we were were able to choose a multi-course menu of Piedmonte dishes paired with their wines.
The tour took us through their cellars that housed a variety of different vessels for fermentation and aging. I was amazed by the size of the 185hl oak casks and learning that their bottling facility is located 1km away and the wine is transported by an underground pipeline!
We were hosted by Ilaria who set us up with a tasting comparison of three cru Barolos from the 2011 vintage: Coste di Rose, Cannubi, Sarmassa. She selected these three out of a possible six to best demonstrate the differences in their terroir. The cru wines are all vinified the same, with one third in barrique and two thirds in large oak cask. Barolo is in a microclimate. Vineyards are planted over the hilly region and is protected by mountains in the north and south. The soils are a mixture of clay, limestone marl, blueish marl, tuff, sandstone and sand. The three cru wines had different aromas and personalities that changed their expressions over the course of our tasting.
With our teeth turning a slight black/purple, we were escorted to an elegant dining room for our four course lunch. Every bite was a delight!! I was especially blown away with the Albese style raw meat. I have not been a tartar fan in the past but this was a palate changing experience. So delicious with a beautiful texture. To follow was Risotto cooked in Barolo with sausage of Bra, then the main couse, Brasato al barolo (Veal cooked in Barolo wine).
Our entire visit was a delight with many discoveries!!!