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Boroli Barolo DOCG 2011, Italy
Cost: $39-41
I have been drinking a lot of Italian wine lately, for several reasons.
First, the Italians make outstanding wine at a reasonable price.
Second, there are a lot of Italian wines that I have to get familiar with.
Finally, I want to prepare myself for my role as the wine steward in Augusta University’s production of the opera The Marriage of Figaro, Feb. 12-14. What better way to prepare than by drinking Italian wine?
Deep dish pizza with Italian ceramic tiles.
Deep dish pizza with Italian ceramic tiles.

My explorations have led me to many wines that are new to me, and this is one of the better ones. Barolo is one of the legendary red wines of Italy, produced in the chilly foothills of the alps. Traditionally, you had to age the wine in the bottle at least 10 years before it was ready to drink.
Made only from the nebbiolo grape, it was loaded with harsh tannins that took a long time to mellow. But, because modern tastes lean toward the drink-it-now style of wine, Barolo producers have learned techniques to temper the tannins and bring out the fruit.
The law still requires Barolo must be aged a total of three years in barrel and bottle or five years for Barolo riserva. Many producers add another year onto that.
The Boroli, for instance, spent 24 months in barrels and barriques and another 18 months in bottles. The wine is worth waiting for.
Boroli Barolo
Boroli Barolo

It is a gorgeous garnet red in the glass, with subtle aromas of red fruit, tobacco, leather and hints of oak. On the palate you pick up flavors of cherry, raspberry and white pepper, with a high acid content. While this wine was excellent now, it would benefit from another 3-5 years of aging. I would serve it slightly chilled and let it warm in the glass.
Nebbiolo sometimes is compared to the pinot noir grape because for centuries each grape was found only in a small area, pinot noir in Burgundy and nebbiolo in the Barolo region of the Piedmont in the northwest of Italy. It still is rarely seen anywhere else.
Both are finicky grapes and need lots of care to grow and ripen properly. Nebbiolo is grown on south or southwest-facing slopes between 800 and 1,500 feet elevation. It needs a lot of sunshine to ripen. The word nebbiolo is thought to come from nebbia, the Italian word for the autumn fog that clings to the hills.
Barolo and Brunello generally are thought to be the two kings of Italian red wines, but they are quite different. Brunello di Montalcino is made in Tuscany from 100 percent Sangiovese grapes. Its tannins are more moderated and it often is a smoother wine with lighter tannins.
Winery: The Baroli family has been in business in the Piedmont region since 1831. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the family starting looking for a business that would bring them closer to nature and away from the demands of the modern business world.
Being in Piedmont, Italy, the choice seemed natural. It seems as if everyone in the region has a passion about wine.
Silvano Boroli founded the winery in 1997 and developed a reputation for bold, complex and affordable Borolo, Barbera and Dolcetto wines. Although new to the business Baroli established itself as a serious winery when the family bought land in two of the region’s most celebrated cru vineyards: Villero and Cerequio.
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It was later discovered that one of the oldest named vineyards within the Castiglione Falleto area, Brunella, is located entirely with the Boroli land holdings, making it a monopole, which means all the wine in a named area is produced by only one company. It is a rare occurrence in Europe.
The La Brunella estate in Castiglione Falletto, sitting about 1,000 feet above sea level, includes a state of the art winery that is visually unique. It uses repurposed oak barrel staves as vertical clapboard siding. The winery now is owned and operated by Achille Boroli, the third of Silvano’s four sons.
Besides several different Barolos, the winery producea a nebbiolo, two Barbera d’Alba, a Moscato d’Asti, a Dolcetto and an unusual dessert wine called Barolo Chinato DOCG, made with wine, herbs, quinine, sugar and alcohol.
The family also owns Locanda del Pinone, a farmhouse inn and Michelin-starred restaurant. It has panoramic views from on top of Madonna di Como in Alba.
Michael enjoyed the pizza and the wine.
Michael enjoyed the pizza and the wine.
Goes with: We had this wine with deep dish Chicago pizza, a perfect meal to match with this rich, full-bodied wine. The Barolo is such a powerful, complex wine you need something strong to stand up to it.
The deep dish pizza from Uno Pizzeria and Grill in Columbia, S.C. is full of spicy sausage and rich tomato sauce that begs for a full-bodied wine like this. Each bite seemed to call for another sip of the wine and after tasting the many flavors of the wine, you just wanted another bite of food.
This is a franchise of Pizzeria Uno that has been famous in Chicago for 70 years. I love Chicago pizza and often have a couple of them in the freezer, either from Uno or from my favorite, Lou Malnatti’s in Chicago. Who says you have to put up with the snow and cold of Chicago to enjoy one of their signature dishes?
This also would pair well with a thick steak or other beef dishes, game, a rich stew or ripe, strong cheeses.

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