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Top Six Barolo Crus - Part 2: The Crus of the Future

With the rise and rise of Barolo, we set our own Master of Wine, Ned Goodwin, the tough task of highlighting the Top Six Barolo Crus. With such a dynamic region, we’re splitting this report into two lists, focusing on the established and those crus one the rise. Read the Top Six Barolo Crus - Part 1: The Establishment here
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We’ve looked the The Establishment, now Ned Goodwin MW highlights his Crus of the Future.


1. Bricco delle Viole


The name means ‘violet hill’. It speaks for itself suggesting that I could end my introduction there. However, aside from the highly aromatic wines that it spurs, this site is notable as much for its elevation, among the very highest in Barolo. Altitude and exposure to cooling winds augurs well for a climate challenged future and bright wines of an indelible freshness.


2. Monvigliero


Monvigliero is not only defined by its more northern aspect, but by soils heavy in limestone with friable chalk veins running throughout, This translates into elegant and perfumed wine of a diaphanous tannic veil and crunchy red fruit accents that gives clout to the oft-made comparisons with great Burgundy. This is a dynamic cru of the present that will only grow in repute as the better wines grow in stature with time.


3. Ginestra


At 300-350 metres, Ginestra is among the Barolo region’s highest sites, auguring well for the future. Heavy with compact clay and active limestone at the centre, dissolving into sandy marl around the edges. A steep south to south-east facing site, Ginestra is responsible for impeccably architected wines that are firmly in the Monforte vein, but strident and lively across the mouth. Elio Grasso’s expression, exemplary.


4. Lazzarito


The Lazzarito name is restricted to a very precise amphitheatre of vineyards on the western slope of Serralunga, just about in the middle of that large commune’s north-south axis, circa 300-400 metres. The soils are heavily calcareous, with fossils smattered throughout. The hillside undulations serve as a heat trap, suggesting that the challenges of global warming may well see the better grapes come from the shaded, lower segments of the vineyard, including a prized portion by the road known as Lazzairasco (see wines from Guido Porro). The wines are perfumed, very ripe and underlain by the ferrous tannins that characterise Serralunga.


5. Ravera


Somewhat controversially, I have nominated this Novello cru over the eponymous cru in Barolo, arguably the more established. High altitude and subject to fog and cooling air. The result is one of a fresh, spellbinding, high acid and brilliant fragility that personifies the oft-made comparison with Pinot Noir. Vietti’s iteration has improved over the last decade, but Elvio Cogno, based in Novello, sets the pace with his high wired version tuned to the seldom found clone of Rose, the most transparent (and rare) clone of all of Nebbiolo.


6. Villero


Akin to Monprivato, this site boasts south-west exposures and altitudes around 280-300 metres on average. The soils are heavy clay with fissures of sand, supplying highly aromatic, almost ethereal wines marked by dried rose and strawberry. This is a case where concentration is supplanted by finesse, or at least belied by it. I love the wines from this cru.

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