Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2016
Antonio Galloni94 points
Monica Larner94+ points
"Vietti's 2016 Barolos are stratospheric." - Antonio Galloni
The 2016 Barolo Castiglione is a dazzling wine that will show
readers just how compelling this vintage is, even among
entry-level wines from top producers. Rich, ample and
explosive, the 2016 possesses tremendous richness and
resonance from the very first taste. Bright red cherry and red
plum fruit, wildflowers, mint, blood orange and spice build as
this sumptuous, dramatic Barolo shows all it's got. As always,
the Castiglione is built on a core of fruit from Ravera. In 2016,
the Castiglione benefits from the inclusion of several new
sites, including Ginestra, Mosconi, Bricco Ravera (in
Monforte), Le Coste, Costabelle, Meriame, Briccolina and
Codana. All I can say is: What a wine! - 94 points, Antonio Galloni
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- Red Meat
Critic Scores & reviews
"The 2016 Barolo Castiglione is a dazzling wine that will show readers just how compelling this vintage is, even among entry-level wines from top producers. Rich, ample and explosive, the 2016 possesses tremendous richness and resonance from the very first taste. Bright red cherry and red plum fruit, wild flowers, mint, blood orange and spice build as this sumptuous, dramatic Barolo shows all it's got. As always, the Castiglione is built on a core of fruit from Ravera. In 2016, the Castiglione benefits from the inclusion of several new sites, including Ginestra, Mosconi, Bricco Ravera (in Monforte), Le Coste, Costabelle, Meriame, Briccolina and Codana. All I can say is: What a wine!"
"The Vietti 2016 Barolo Castiglione opens to a grounded and authentic profile with hints of mint, balsam herb and tilled earth. The primary fruit is neatly folded into all those other components, and all received equal billing when the final results are counted. The entry-level Castiglione is always the most accessible of Vietti's Baroli, but this vintage shows a heightened level of intensity, complexity and freshness. Those silky tannins are followed by beautiful menthol brightness. This is a real charmer."
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Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.
The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.
Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) is probably the finest wine region in all of Italy, and has laid claim to this since Roman times. It has a continental climate influenced by the surrounding Alps and Ligurian Apennines, and is located in the north-west of Italy, bordering both France and Switzerland.
Piedmont has only 1% of the total vineyards of Bordeaux and 15% that of Burgundy. So while a top Chateaux may produce upwards of 35,000 cases a year, leading Barolo producers will often make only 800 cases. More than half of its vineyards are registered with DOC designations and many are in the Apennine or Alpine foothills, from 300-600m above sea level. Most of the wines are produced by smaller family estates rather than larger holdings.
Piedmont has 46 different DOC and four DOCG regions, and produces the largest number of well known, world-recognized, prize-winning wines. The most famous would have to be Barolo or Barbaresco, whose power comes from the Nebbiolo grape variety. The most widely planted red variety is Barbera although Dolcetto, Muscat, Shiraz and Bonarda are also produced.
The white variety most well known is Moscato, which is often made into frizzante (bubbly) wines known as Asti. Cortese is made into the popular Gavi wines, and smaller amounts of Chardonnay and high quality Sparkling are also produced in the far north of Piedmont.
Located in the North-West rolling hills of Piedmont, Italy just south of Alba 'Barolo' is an appellation steeped in tradition and history. The now DOCG status region is renowned for producing some of Italy's finest red wines from 100% Nebbiolo.
The wines made are typically fragrant and tannic with a depth of flavour and finesse like no other earning them the coveted title of ‘the King of Wines’ for centuries. Winemaking practices vary within the defined methods that the DOCG allows but there is a distinct modern and traditional divide in preferred styles.
The region has two major soil types - a sandy Tortonian marl producing a softer wine and a Helvetian sandstone clay that is known for a more robust style. The continental climate, with a long summer and late autumn, enables the fickle grape to reach the perfect ripeness to create these stunning wines.
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About the brand Vietti
Vietti is among the most esteemed producers in Barolo, releasing no fewer than six different bottlings of each vintage. The estate's history can be tracked back to the 19th Century, but they only bottled wines under their own name since the beginning of the 20th century. Alfredo Currado also called the "father of Arneis" (for his rediscovery of the nearly-lost varietal) grew Vietti in to one of the top-level producers in Piemonte and was pivotal in the early export of its products to the USA market. Alfredo was also one of the first to make wines from single plots (such as Brunate, Rocche and Villero), which was a radical concept at the time, a move that followed what Burgundian winemakers were doing. Today virtually every vintner making Barolo and Barbaresco wines offers 'single vineyard', 'cru-designated' wines. Sadly Alfredo Currado - one of Piedmont's pioneers - passed away in April, 2010, but he would no doubt be proud of his son Luca's achievements since he took over.
The vineyards that make up the Vietti holdings are some of the finest in Piedmont; Le Coste, Liste, Bricco Boschis, Ginestra, Rocchettevino, Ciabot Berton and Bussia. The winery is an elite producer who has made very serious, 100 point rated Barolos, outstanding Barberas, and the consistently excellent Barolo 'Normale' called Castiglione. The wines come from Castiglione Falletto vineyards in the hearth of the Barolo zone where the soils have unique, sandy-calcareous qualities. Since 1974 certain Vietti wines have been adorned with labels that are specially-designed original works (lithographs, xylographies, etchings, silkscreens & linocuts) inspired by the wined of that particular vintage.