Michele Chiarlo 'Tortoniano', Barolo 2015
92 points by Robert Parker 2019
A full, traditional and complex Barolo, well structured with hints of dark liquorice and leather through to a dry, long finish.
Michele Chiarlo is one of Piedmont's most prestigious winemakers, producing outstanding wines from some of the most exceptional sites in Piedmont, including Barolo’s world famous Cannubi and Cerequio vineyards. Founded in 1956 by Michele Chiarlo and now run by his sons Alberto and Stefano, the Chiarlo philosophy “is to capture the terroir” and with judicious use of oak they develop some wines for ageing and some which can be enjoyed earlier. Their stunning collection of Barolo and Barbera wines consistently receive 90+ points from Wine Advocate, James Suckling and Wine Enthusiast.
A not excessively cold winter, but heavy rain and snow created an abundant water reserve. A mild spring led into a warm summer with a complete absence of rain from mid-June until 10th August, which contributed to the grapes' perfect ripeness. September saw excellent diurnal temperature differences leading to the development of vibrant aromas and excellent phenological ripening of the red grapes. 2015 is being hailed as one of the greatest vintages of the last two decades.
The vineyard sits on a southeast to south westerly orientation and the vines are trained according to the Guyot method. The vines are thinned during the summer months to control the health and vigour of the vine. The soils are from the Tortonian geological area of La Mora and Barolo, which is characterised by sedimentary clay and Sant'Agata marl interspersed with grey-blue sandstone. A significant presence of microelements specifically magnesium and manganese enhances the soil's complexity. The grapes are manually harvested at optimum maturity.
Fermentation took place in temperature controlled tanks with 17 to 18 days' maceration on the skins. A gentle 'shower system' of wetting the cap was used during fermentation which took place at between 27 to 32°C. Malolactic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. The wine was then aged for two years in oak casks, followed by a further 12 months in bottle prior to release.
A complex and full bodied wine with inviting aromas of deep fruits, rose petals, juniper berries and hint of fine spice. The palate shows a wonderful harmony, with silky tannins and remarkable elegance and persistence.
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Stefano Chiarlo & Gianni Meleni Piedmont Barolo Italy