Mission Codename This is (hazel)nuts!
To this date, we were under the impression that a great Barolo could not be had for under $30. We were wrong - so wrong! Had to ask twice - they were not half bottles! Had to taste thrice to assure how good it was… a renaissance enlightening us with a Barolo so affordable. Pure Nebbiolo from the township that defines it, thoroughly collectible, truly delectable, just like the truffles and the hazelnuts of Piedmont, some of the best in the world. The Stroppiana family, by the way, is equally famous for their hazelnuts, isn’t that nuts?
A charming crimson rim surrounding the ruby core, deep while translucent and mesmerizing. The nose puts forth the unmistakable perfume of dried cherry, orange peel, rose petals, and dusty earth throughout. Within the embracing texture and authoritative mouthfeel, there’s an excellent balance of bowlful of fresh wild raspberries and the tarry, chewy tannins. Full, racy and fresh, the impressive finish is echoing with power and finesse, with mineral-infused blackberries galore. If you can’t find the truffles this was meant for, dried porcinis in a rich creamy pasta would do. Whatever you do, grate fresh Parmigiano too.
Well, it is a 2015 after all, James Suckling explains best why such a “great year” it is; “The full capability of the Nebbiolo grape’s expressive nature is alive in Barolo 2015 and it is a vintage to really celebrate. In general, the wines are exuberantly fragrant and show fresh clear fruit on the nose with abundant aromatic complexity. Structurally they are rich in ripe, fine and powerful tannins. They are toned, muscular and athletic, coupled with freshness, a keen sense of focus, great length, and an astute balance. They also have the great fortune of offering instant appeal as well as more in-depth attraction, which is the hallmark of a truly great vintage. These wines will satisfy both the experienced palate and educated connoisseur. But if there was one attribute to single out, it is the way in which these wines combine power with elegance. They are thrilling to taste. It’s a great year, clearly the best since 2010, perhaps better. Buy some and see for yourself.”
Finally, the Stroppianas have done Piedmont great service by paying the noble Nebbiolo and Barolo a deserving homage in English (rare in these parts!) on their website here worth a visit.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
92 Points – James Suckling - “A very ripe and overt style of Barolo that shows balsamic, tar, dried-cranberry, dried-nut and fruitcake character. Full-bodied and strapping on the palate with big, juicy tannins and a fruit-driven finish. Drink from 2021.”
What the Winery Says
2015 ‘Leonardo’ Barolo DOCG
- Dario Stroppiana
- 100% Nebbiolo
- Barolo, Piemonte
- Localities of Rivalta di La Morra and Verduno
- Year planted
- 24 months in French barriques