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.
2017 saw a mild winter with less than average rainfall, which led to limited soil water reserves. Mild spring temperatures set the growing season off early; however an extremely unusual night frost occurred during April, which led to significant frost damage in some areas. This has not occurred on this scale for 50 years. The summer was dry, temperatures stabilised and the growth cycle continued. Harvest took place earlier than usual, although the yields were down the quality of the remaining grapes was high.
Produced in the municipality of Barbaresco, the grapes for this wine come from the Cascina Minuto C.E.G., which includes approximately three hectares of Nebbiolo purely for the production of Barbaresco wine. Situated on a notable slope, the vineyard has excellent exposure to the sun. The vines are grown in a bluish-grey calcareous marl soil, with clay, which is poor in organic substances but rich in calcium and magnesium.
Vinification took place in temperature controlled tanks with maceration lasting for 17 to 18 days on the skins. A gentle ‘shower system’ of submerging the cap was used during fermentation which took place at between 27 to 32°C. Malolactic conversion took place in tank, before the wine was racked to large oak casks for 18 months. Further refinement took place in the bottle for a minimum of six months.
This elegant and refined garnet coloured wine delivers delicate, complex and refined aromas, with ethereal notes of rose petals and tea layered upon small red berried fruits. On the palate, it is silky and beautifully balanced with soft, fine tannins and remarkable length on the finish.
• 92 Points, James Suckling, 2021
• 93 Points, Robert Parker, 2021