Two Faces of 2013 Barolo at Exceptional Pricing: Oddero & Allesandria

Posted on: 04/4/18 9:00 PM


This will be brief. 2013 is an epic year in Barolo. The kind of year you should load up on cases and cases of the stuff. Sure, drink some now and in the medium term, but buy enough that 20 years from now, on a snowy night you’ll trundle down the stairs and emerge with a 2013 that, by then, will be oozing with secondary and tertiary flavors, having mellowed into the joyous and exultant wines the young examples show all the promise of becoming.

As it happens, we had the pleasure of tasting these two side by side on Monday. Both estates – Fratelli Allessandria and Oddero – are bastions of traditionalist winemaking and among the most respected names in the region. But we have two very different faces of Barolo here.

One, an entry-level bottling from Verduno, where Alessandria has made wine since the 1870s. Their Barolo DOCG is a blend of fruit from five different vineyards in Verduno, with varying altitudes and expositions; plus a small amount of fruit from ‘Gramolere,’ in Monforte d’Alba. The elegant heart of Verduno smiles through this bottle, with soft tannins and a less compact expression of Barolo.

Oddero’s Rocche di Castiglione, on the other hand, is one of the Grands Crus of the region. As Golloni describes the vineyard, Rocche is among the most regal and sensual expressions of the region. With lifted aromatics and an elegance to the depth of the wine, Rocche has a profound sense of place. And Odder’s is no exception! Leaping out of the glass, this is sensuality defined.

These both deserve a place in your cellar, and at the price offered, you really shouldn’t let them pass you by!


2013 Fratelli Alessandria Barolo 

Antonio Galloni: “Fratelli Alessandria’s 2013 Barolo is fabulous. Scents of orange peel, cardamom, dried flowers, mint and dried cherries give the 2013 a decidedly exotic flavor profile that will only gain in sweetness and perfume as the wine ages. Mid-weight structure gives the wine considerable appeal, but readers who can cellar the 2013 will be in for a treat. Alessandria’s straight Barolo remains one of the most fairly priced wines in all of Piedmont. Don’t miss it.” 92+ pts.


2013 Oddero Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 

Wine Spectator: “High-toned aromas of floral, sandalwood, cherry and spice are matched to a supple texture and elegant profile. Lean, firm and lingering, with an aftertaste of fruit, spice and mineral. Best from 2021 through 2036. 400 cases made.” 94 pts.

Kerin O’Keefe: “Rose, perfumed berry and exotic spice aromas take center stage on this fragrant elegant red. The structured virile palate delivers strawberry compote, red cherry, licorice and crushed herb framed in firm fine-grained tannins. It’s well balanced, with vibrant acidity. Hold for even more complexity. Drink 2021–2033.” 94 pts.

Posted in Reserve List By Ian Halbert