Michele Chiarlo 2009 Barolo Tortoniano
The Chiarlo style has always that of producing greatly elegant and complex wines with a tendency to excellent longevity and at the same time, featuring all the characteristics of the vineyards and soil from which they claim their origin. In the cellar, winemakers Stefano Chiarlo and Gianni Meleni pursue the goal of being faithful to the Chiarlo style: a moderate and careful use of wood for their red wines so that the varietal and the soil characteristics remain evident. Michele Chiarlo worked tenaciously together with other prestigious producers to raise the level of the noble Barolo, making it less austere and with smoother tannins, but always maintaining its original characteristics and extraordinary longevity. The determining factor for Barolo in the vineyard was the drastic reduction in the grape bunches, while in the cellar the fundamental thing was controlling the temperature of fermentation and reducing the musts contact with the skins. The Tortoniano’s refinement in wood occurs exclusively in large 700-litre barrels, of which 50% are new; this style of production was introduced in 1988 and has never changed.
Opening the classic Barolo wine, produced from of 100% Nebbiolo grapes, and after a one hour decanting, I noticed a deep vibrant ruby color and a bouquet of berry fruit aromas, mostly cherries. Aged in large oak cask for two years, the taste was bold and complex with cherries, plums and blueberries flavors with a hint of smoke and spice. Crisp acidity and graceful tannins gave the wine elegance in structure on the long finish. I picked up a few more of these gems to put down in my cellar for a later date as I believe this Barolo will age well for years to come.