Pelassa Barolo DOCG 2016

  • 93/100 Wine Advocate
  • 95/100 Decanter- Gold Medal WWA
  • This promises great aging potential.
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Robert Parker
    93 points
  • Decanter
    95 points
  • James Suckling
    93 points
  • Cameron Douglas
    93 points

Editors notes

93 Wine Advocate. 95/100 Decanter- Gold Medal WWA. A deep and alluring nose, with typical roses and tar aromatics and hints of crushed cherry, violets and balsamic. Rich, bold and powerful on the palate with an impressive level of tannins. Expect flavours of blood orange, macerated strawberries, cranberry and cherry, all done up in new leather and clove spice. With a firm structure and plentiful acidity, this promises great aging potential.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Earthy
    • Roses
    • Tar
  • Palate
    • Floral
    • Savoury
    • Tar

Food Pairings

  • Game
  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Robert Parker

    "Here's a wine that shows the dark berry fruit, smoke, tar and licorice of a classic Nebbiolo. The Pelassa 2016 Barolo reveals tart cherry and dried blackberry, with delicate background tones of smoke, tar and powdered licorice. There are touches of rusty nail and candied lilac as well. This is a steady and nicely balanced Barolo that has just started its bottle evolution, and that should continue well beyond the 10-year mark."
  • Decanter

  • James Suckling

    "Sweet berries and strawberries with notes of smoke and slate. It’s medium-to full-bodied with chewy, creamy tannins. Needs time to soften, but impressive. Try after 2023."
  • Cameron Douglas MS

    "The bouquet of this wine is one that will either attract you or compell you on the first sniff. I do hope it attracts you - there’s aromas of blood orange and iron, cherry and desicated fruits, date and old plum, garrigue and chalk soil, there’s some floral tones and barrel spice. Dry, firm, higher acidity and salivating. Flavours repeat many times over, a wine of persistency and impact on the palate, it challenges the senses and tannins dissovle saliva. There’s no mistaking this wine has earthiness and barrel impact, the fruits do have a voice with a mix of light red fruits, mostly dried. A lovely wine with a complex lengthy finish. Great drinking from today and through 2030+."

Other vintages

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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.

About the brand Pelassa

Pelassa is a small family-owned winery located in Montà d'Alba, a picturesque town nestled in the Piedmont region of Italy. The estate was established in the 1950s by Mario Pelassa, who, at the tender age of 10, was advised to help his family's finances by selling Nebbiolo, a grape variety indigenous to the area. He cycled into Turin with a few flasks of Nebbiolo and sold them, thus laying the foundation for what was to become the Pelassa winery.

Today, Pelassa's 12-hectare vineyard is run by Mario's sons, Daniele and Davide. They have modernized the winery while still maintaining the traditional winemaking techniques passed down from their father. The brothers have also decided to focus on producing three grape varieties that are most suited to the unique soil of the region: Arneis, Nebbiolo, and Barbera. These varieties are known for producing wines that express the terroir of the area, meaning that the wines are true reflections of the land and climate where they are grown.

Pelassa is a family-owned winery with a rich history dating back to the 1950s. The winery's founders, Mario Pelassa, started the business by selling Nebbiolo as a young boy. Today, his sons continue his legacy by producing wines that express the terroir of the region. With a focus on Arneis, Nebbiolo, and Barbera, Pelassa is a true reflection of the Piedmont region's unique grape varieties and winemaking traditions.

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