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Focus on: the 2019 vintage in Barolo

Get the lowdown on the excellent and classical 2019 vintage in Barolo from Swig Italian wine buyer, Nelson Pari

What makes a classic vintage?
A "classic vintage" in Barolo typically refers to a good quality vintage with cool temperatures, reminiscent of the vintages of the 1980s, when picking took place in late autumn. 
What about 2019?

The 2019 vintage was marked by a long winter, followed by incessant spring rains that delayed harvest by approximately two weeks. The summer was mild, interrupted by two brief but intense heatwaves. Many plots were successfully harvested by mid-October, before the arrival of two consecutive weeks of autumn rains. 

The rains that followed October 16th were a decisive factor in determining the characteristics of the wines produced that year. 95% of winemakers managed to pick everything before that date, but some, usually the largest holders with many single vineyards to harvest, were caught late and produced wines that are lighter or with a watery mid-palate. 

Overall, the vintage is excellent and classic in style.

And how does it compare to other vintages?

It is important to note that many critics, suppliers, and wine merchants will make comparisons, particularly with the critically acclaimed 2016 vintage. 

However, it is worth noting that 2019 has more climatic similarities with 2013 than 2016. Despite this, many may tend to not mention the 2013 vintage at all. The reasons for this are simple: 2013 is not as important for the press as 2016, not many wines from this vintage are currently available on the market, and for younger producers, winemaking and knowledge were not as advanced. The real comparison to make here is by looking at the quality of these vintages in relation to what came before: 2013 and 2019 are both excellent, classic vintages that followed balanced vintages with a sufficient amount of water storage.

Nelson with Federico Moccia, head sommelier of 67 Pall Mall London after tasting around 40 2019 Barolo del Comune

You can sign up to read Nelson and Federico's excellent full report on the Comune wines of the 2019 vintage, and support Nelson's writing and work by clicking here

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