"2016 is the vintage we are all waiting for"

Not my words, but the words of Luca Currado.  Most famous for his Vietti wines, and a very knowledgable and inspiring winemaker.

Simply put, a long growing season is what makes a Barolo vintage stand out from others.  The nebbiolo grape is a primadonna, and like the weather to be "normal", not too much of anything, just enough of everything.  A dry spring, followed by a summer with above average temperatures, but with low humidity and without excessive heat, made for a great start for the vines and their grapes.  Interestingly, one of the make or break conditions is night temperature in August and September.  A nice and hot fall is OK if the evening and night temperature drops.  One of my first vintages of Barolo was 2003, and the hot days and nights were not optimal for the thin skinned nebbiolo grape.  Cool nights make for late harvest, and according to Alessandro Masnaghetti (a guru on terroir and winemaking in Langa) the 2016 harvest began 5 days later than the average in the region.  Finally, there was no rain to speak of during the harvest period, and the stable weather in late September and October secured a vintage for the ages.

And the wines?  Aromatic, almost at the point where the wines are jumping out of the glass.  Adds Antonio Galloni, "harmonic and balanced.  Agree, these are wines that are hard to put down. And with the pedigree (structure, depth) to live a long life in your cellar.

To me, the sign of a great vintage is the quality of the "entry" wines.  In other words, in a vintage like 2016 the gap between the wines from "grand crus" and the "lesser" vineyards is smaller than usual.  Making a case for those seeking value wines for their immediate pleasure as well as cellaring.

We at Mantenere have been lucky enough to work with winemakers that made career-defining wines in this vintage.  We are happy to connect wine lovers in Norway with the following winemakers and their Barolos:

Francesco Borgogno Barolo Brunate

Gianfranco Alessandria Barolo

Gianfranco Alessandria Barolo enPiasi (hand-destemmed one grape at the time - magnum)

Gianfranco Alessandria Barolo San Giovanni

Cristian Boffa Barolo Del Comune di La Morra

Cristian Boffa Barolo Capalot

Diego Morra Barolo Zinzasco

Diego Morra Barolo Monvigliero

Giovanni Corino Barolo Del Comune di La Morra

Giovanni Corino Barolo Bricco Manescotto

Giovanni Corino Barolo Giachini

Giovanni Corino Barolo Arborina

I have personally tasted all these wines multiple times, and over time as well.  And find the typical qualities of a great vintage (body, grip, balance and harmony) in all of them.  And, yes, they all come highly recommended.

For those interested in our take on 2016 Barolos not in our portfolio, check out our Instagram account, as well as the Barbaresco and Barolo group on Facebook.