2019 Barolo 'Bricco delle Viole' 97VM
97 pts Vinous
The 2019 Barolo Bricco delle Viole offers a beguiling combination of depth and energy. Dark and potent in the glass, yet also quite reticent, the 2019 is going to take a number of years to come around. Black cherry, graphite, crushed rocks, mint, sage and incense all open in the glass, but only with quite a bit of reticence. I especially like the way the 2019 opens up on its resonant, expansive finish, but it remains a decidedly brooding Barolo whose best days are far off in the future.
Bricco delle Viole Cru
Its name, “Hill of Violets”, originates by the flowers that here blossom early due to the perfect south exposure. Up above the fogs, Bricco delle Viole enjoys the earliest sunrise and the last sunset every day. Thanks to its vines dating back to 1949, a dramatic diuturnal temperature range and this pure light, Bricco delle Viole generates a sophisticated and profound Barolo of bright aromatics, chiselled tannins and subtle minerality.
Bricco delle Viole is one of the last vineyards to be picked, usually around mid of October. Grapes are sorted manually three times: directly on the vine, as whole clusters on the sorting tables, and lastly as single berries after destemming. Vinification is traditional, and is carried in customdesigned vertical tini, with gentle punch down and rinsing of the cap, followed by an extensive period of maceration under submerged cap (cappello sommerso). Malolactic in stainless steel, the following spring. Bricco delle Viole is aged in large Slavonian casks, mostly 25 and 50 hectoliters. Aging varies between 30 and 42 months and was of almost 32 months in 2016. Raking is an individual choice, cask by cask. 2016 was bottled on July 30th 2019.
VINOUS on Vajra
The 2019 Barolos at Vajra are seriously impressive. These wines need a ton of air to show all they have to offer, something readers who want to taste them at this stage should bear in mind. The classicism of these wines is quite appealing for the future. "It was a year with an early bud break but with late flowering and a late harvest; in other words, a year with a long growing season, one of the longest of the last decade." Giuseppe Vajra explained. "We had challenges with heavy rain in spring, but 2018 helped us understand we had to act quickly and decisively, so we did," he added. Harvest took place between October 7 and 23. "The wines extracted easily," Aldo Vajra opined. "We gave the 2019s 25-31 days on the skins, less than 2018 and 2017 and far less than years like 2010, with submerged cap maceration for all the top single-vineyard selections. Time in wood was about 28 months for the vineyard designates.”
- By Antonio Galloni on November 2022