The wines of Marchesi di Barolo draw from a long and established history of winemaking in Piemonte. Although the estate traces its history back to the twelfth century, the modern chapter for this producer begins in 1929 when a young Pietro Abbona purchased the cellars and eventually all of the vineyard holdings from the Marchesi di Barolo. Today, it is the fifth generation of the Abbona family who run the business, which comprises approximately 175 hectares, 75 of which are owned by the family.
The name Marchesi di Barolo is forever entwined with the Barolo we know today. In the early nineteenth century the estate was the first to produce a powerful dry style of Nebbiolo and to label it as Barolo. The wines of Marchesi di Barolo being served at diplomatic and royal occasions further cemented the position of this producer in vinous history and the esteem in which the wines are held continues to the current era; Monica Larner, of Wine Advocate, described the Barolo Riserva 2004 as “an amazing wine with a full load of mint, cassis, liquorice, tar, cedar and cola. You need to go back to the glass time and time again to fully comprehend the enormity of the bouquet.” Adding to the chorus of positive reviews, Walter Speller in writing for Jancis Robinson MW finds the 2010 Barolo possessing a “multi-layered nose” with “Lots of concentrated fruit, which is a solid buffer for the rich, stalky tannins”, awarding it 17 points.
The jewel in the crown of Marchesi di Barolo is their holdings in the highly regarded cru of Cannubi. Barolo released prior to 1975 was a seductive blend built around a core of Cannubi perfume and complexity. From the mid-70s Marchesi di Barolo released their Cannubi as a separate bottling and as one might expect the wine has been met with considerable praise. When tasting the 2011, critic James Suckling described the wine as having “tension and form with beautiful blueberry, spice and mineral character. Full body, polished and chewy tannins and a long and flavourful finish...” Suckling went on to include the wine in his Top 10 Barolo from the 2011 vintage.
Barbaresco, Barbera and Dolcetto also sit within the Marchesi di Barolo portfolio, the estate having enhanced their Barbaresco and Dolcetto holdings in 2016 through the acquisition of Cascina Bruciata, including a parcel of Nebbiolo vines more than 85-years-old. This addition will build on an already established reputation for Barbaresco with the more recent releases finding favour with the critics.
The future looks set to continue the legacy of Marchesi di Barolo in style with the current generation at the helm producing wines that are, in the words of James Suckling in reference to the Cannubi 2012, “complex and impressive … full and velvety texture yet fresh and very fine. … So balanced that it's wonderful to drink..."
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