Barolo special reserve or riserva

barolo vineyard

Barolo wines carry a prestige that is respected in Italy and beyond, often referred to as the ‘king of wines and the wine of kings.’ Among the esteemed producers in the Barolo region, Aldo Conterno holds a prominent position. The winery’s jewel is arguably the Granbussia Barolo, a testament to the region’s winemaking potential.

What is Barolo and what is different from Barolo special reserve?

Barolo is a rich, full-bodied red wine produced in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, made entirely from the Nebbiolo grape variety. This variety thrives in the region’s chalky, clay soils, lending Barolo its characteristic traits. Known for its deep garnet color, intense tannins, and high acidity, Barolo offers complex flavors of cherries, roses, anise, and often, truffles and leather. When young, its tannins can be very robust, but over time, they soften, and the wine develops further complexity and nuance.

Barolo wines are subject to strict production regulations. They must be aged for a minimum of 38 months after the harvest, with at least 18 months in oak barrels. This process results in a wine that is both powerful and elegant, celebrated for its longevity and complexity. A Barolo Special Reserve, like the Aldo Conterno’s Granbussia, goes above and beyond these requirements.

Special Reserve wines are produced only in the best vintages and undergo a longer aging process compared to standard Barolo wines. In the case of the Granbussia, the wine is aged for a total of seven years before release, significantly longer than the minimum requirement for standard Barolo. This extended aging period allows the wine to develop deeper flavors and complexities, contributing to a truly exceptional tasting experience. Discover all the best Wines from Barolo and What is Barolo: Its Speciality, Comparisons, and Characteristics. Therefore, while both Barolo and Barolo Special Reserve wines share common traits, the Special Reserve represents a higher echelon of craftsmanship, quality, and aging potential, offering an elevated expression of the Nebbiolo grape and the Barolo terroir. Where can I drink Barolo in Italy?

Barolo special riserva

Barolo special reserve
Barolo ‘Bussia’ Riserva

The Barolo Special Reserve is a distinguished wine hailing from the famous Italian region of Piedmont, specifically the town of Barolo. This wine stands out from other Barolo wines due to its extended aging period, thus falling under the category of ‘Riserva’. Barolo wines are made entirely from Nebbiolo grapes, a red grape variety known for its robust tannins, high acidity, and the complexity of its flavors. The ‘Special Reserve’ tag refers to wines that have been aged for a minimum of five years, as compared to the standard three years for regular Barolo.

This extended aging period allows the wine to develop a greater complexity of flavors and softer tannins, making it a richer, smoother drinking experience. The Barolo Special Reserve is known for its deep garnet color and powerful aromas of black cherry, roses, anise, and leather. It’s a highly sought-after wine due to its rarity and exceptional quality, and is considered a prized addition to any wine cellar. It’s best enjoyed with hearty dishes like truffle risotto, braised meats, or strong cheeses, and has an impressive aging potential, with some vintages capable of aging gracefully for several decades.

As always, when selecting a bottle of Barolo Special Reserve, it’s important to consider the producer and the vintage, as these factors can significantly impact the quality and character of the wine. Why is Barolo so expensive?

The best Barolo special reserve wines

The best Barolo special reserve wines are often those produced from top vineyard sites in exceptional vintages. Here are a few examples of outstanding Barolo special reserve wines:

  1. Giacomo Conterno ‘Monfortino’ Barolo Riserva: Known as one of the very finest wines from Barolo. It’s only made in the best years and ages incredibly well.
  2. Aldo Conterno ‘Granbussia’ Barolo Riserva: This wine is a blend from three different vineyard sites and is only made in the best years. It’s known for its powerful yet balanced style.
  3. Bruno Giacosa ‘Le Rocche del Falletto’ Barolo Riserva: This single vineyard wine is made only in the best vintages and is known for its depth and complexity.
  4. Roberto Voerzio ‘Brunate’ Barolo Riserva: Voerzio is known for low yields and meticulous vineyard management, resulting in powerful, concentrated wines.
  5. Bartolo Mascarello Barolo: While not labeled as a reserve, Mascarello’s traditional-style Barolo, made from four top vineyards, is always a top performer with incredible aging potential.
  6. Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Riserva: Known for their traditional and long-aging style, Rinaldi’s Barolos are highly sought after by collectors.
  7. Paolo Scavino ‘Bric del Fiasc’ Barolo Riserva: This single-vineyard wine from Scavino is only produced in the best vintages and is known for its richness and complexity.
  8. Vietti ‘Villero’ Barolo Riserva: This special reserve wine is made only in exceptional years, with incredible complexity and aging potential.

The best Barolo Riserva Wine Making producer

  1. Giacomo Conterno: This winery, founded in 1908, has been a standard-bearer for traditionally made Barolo for decades. Monfortino Riserva: Considered by many as the epitome of Barolo, these wines are made only in the best vintages.
  2. Aldo Conterno Gran Bussia: The Granbussia is made from a selection of the best grapes from three of the estate’s top vineyards.
  3. Vietti: With a history dating back to the 19th century, Vietti is a legendary producer of Barolo, crafting wines that beautifully express their terroir. Monfortino Riserva: Considered by many as the epitome of Barolo, these wines are made only in the best vintages. Rocche di Castiglione: Known for their range of single-vineyard wines, the Rocche di Castiglione is one of Vietti’s top Barolos.
  4. Paolo Scavino: This family-run winery is renowned for their elegant and refined Barolo wines. Bric del Fiasc: The Bric del Fiasc vineyard is Scavino’s flagship, producing wines of great depth and power.
  5. Pio Cesare: Established in 1881, Pio Cesare is one of the oldest producers in Barolo, known for producing traditional, long-aging wines. Ornato: The Ornato vineyard is one of the top sites in Serralunga d’Alba, producing wines with great depth and structure.
  6. Bruno Giacosa: Bruno Giacosa was a master of Nebbiolo and his Barolo and Barbaresco wines are considered some of the finest expressions of these varieties.
  7. Elio Grasso: Known for producing top-quality Barolo wines, Elio Grasso is a must-mention for any Barolo wine enthusiast. Ginestra Casa Maté: Elio Grasso is known for their elegant, aromatic Barolo wines, and the Ginestra Casa Maté is one of their best.
  8. Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio: Renowned for the quality of their vineyard holdings, and their traditional winemaking style. Monprivato: This vineyard has been in the Mascarello family since 1904 and produces wines with great complexity and depth.
  9. Bartolo Mascarello: Bartolo Mascarello was a towering figure in Barolo, and his wines remain testaments to the traditional style. Barolo: Bartolo Mascarello’s wines are loved for their elegance and traditional style. They only make one Barolo, but it’s a classic.
  10. Elio Altare: Elio Altare is one of the leading figures in the modernist movement in Barolo, producing rich, full-bodied wines. Arborina: Elio Altare was one of the leaders of the modernist movement in Barolo, and their Arborina vineyard produces wines of great finesse and elegance.
  11. Gaja: Although more famous for their Barbaresco wines, Gaja also produces Barolo from vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba. Although Gaja is more known for their Barbaresco, their Sperss Barolo is a wine of extraordinary depth and complexity.
  12. Michele Chiarlo: Known for producing a range of elegant, aromatic Barolo wines that highlight the diversity of the Barolo region. Cannubi: One of the oldest and most prestigious vineyards in Barolo, Chiarlo’s Cannubi is known for its elegance and complexity.
  13. Oddero: This historic winery has been producing wines in Piedmont for over a century, and is known for their traditionally made Barolo.
  14. Marcarini: Located in La Morra, Marcarini is known for their expressive, aromatic Barolo wines.
  15. Francesco Rinaldi & Figli: This historic estate in the heart of Barolo has been producing traditional, age-worthy Barolo wines for six generations.
  16. Gianni Gagliardo – Falletto: Known for their modern style of Barolo, offering approachability without sacrificing the wine’s inherent complexity and depth. Gagliardo’s Falletto vineyard produces Barolo that balances modern fruit concentration with traditional structure and complexity.
  17. Rocche dei Manzoni: This winery is known for its rich, modern style of Barolo.
  18. Cascina Chicco: Located in Roero, north of Barolo, Cascina Chicco also makes a small quantity of Barolo from the Bricco San Pietro vineyard.
  19. Conterno Fantino: Known for their modern-style Barolo wines, full of ripe fruit flavors balanced by strong tannins.
  20. La Spinetta: Although originally from Tuscany, La Spinetta’s Piedmont branch also produces a handful of stellar Barolo wines.
  21. Poderi Luigi Einaudi: Founded by the first President of the Italian Republic, this winery has a history of producing stellar wines, and their Barolo is no exception.
  22. Schiavenza: Based in Serralunga d’Alba, Schiavenza is known for producing robust, powerful Barolo wines.
  23. Silvio Grasso: This family-run winery has been producing wines in the Barolo region since 1927, and they make their Barolos in a more modern style.
  24. Cavallotto: Known for their beautifully crafted, traditional-style Barolo wines, especially from the historic Bricco Boschis vineyard.
  25. GD Vajra: This family-run winery produces a range of Barolo wines that are known for their elegance and finesse.
  26. Fiorano: This winery is known for their beautifully balanced and complex Barolo wines, made in a traditional style.
  27. Roberto Voerzio – Cerequio: Voerzio’s wines are known for their extreme concentration and power. The Cerequio vineyard is considered one of their best.
  28. Domenico Clerico: Wine Percristina: Clerico’s wines are modern in style with great concentration and power. The Percristina is made from 60-year-old vines and is known for its complexity.

The Barolo “Riserva” is a captivating symphony of sensations, designed to elicit deep emotion in every sip. Its visual allure begins with an intense garnet red hue, subtly accentuated with flickers of ruby that dance in the light. As it breathes, this exceptional wine begins to unravel its intricate narrative. It boasts a bold and robust aroma, dominated by the luscious scent of black cherry. This fruity note is complemented by a whiff of tobacco and the earthy undertones of dried mushrooms, creating an intriguing medley of natural fragrances.

The Barolo “Riserva” doesn’t stop there – it further entices the senses with a sprinkle of exotic spices. The warm hint of nutmeg blends effortlessly with the piquancy of pepper, adding a spark of excitement to the aromatic profile. This is beautifully balanced with balsamic aromas that bring to mind images of resin and mint, leaving a refreshing trail in their wake. This sophisticated harmony of scents encapsulates the essence of the Barolo “Riserva,” making it a wine of unforgettable character and unmatched elegance.

Exploring the Unique Terroir of Barolo 🌍

One of the factors that makes the Barolo Special Reserve so special is the unique terroir of the Barolo region. Located in the hills of Piedmont, this region is characterized by its calcareous-clay soils and cool, continental climate, which contribute to the intense aroma and complex flavor profile of Barolo wines. The combination of sunny days and cool nights helps the Nebbiolo grapes to retain their acidity, while also allowing them to fully ripen and develop their unique flavors.

Pairing Food with Barolo Special Reserve 🍽️

Given the robustness and complexity of the Barolo Special Reserve, it pairs well with equally rich and flavorful dishes. Traditional Piedmontese dishes, such as ‘brasato al Barolo’ (beef braised in Barolo wine) or ‘tajarin al tartufo’ (thin pasta with truffles), make an excellent match. The wine’s rich, fruity flavors and high acidity cut through the richness of the food, while its complex aromas complement the earthy flavors of the dishes.

Collecting and Aging Barolo Special Reserve 🍷

The Barolo Special Reserve is not only a fantastic wine to drink, but also an excellent wine to collect. Due to its extended aging period and the high quality of the Nebbiolo grapes, it’s a wine that can age gracefully for several decades when stored under the right conditions. If you’re planning to age your Barolo Special Reserve, it’s important to keep the wine in a cool, dark place with a consistent temperature and humidity. Remember to store the bottles horizontally to keep the cork moist, and try to minimize vibrations that could potentially damage the wine.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.