The verdict is in, and Barolo's 2016 vintage is one of the greats. Antonio Galloni, one of the most respected Barolo experts writing today, calls it "a vintage full of truly spectacular, breathtaking wines that captures all the pedigree that Nebbiolo and Barolo are capable of." Even considering the string of very good years Piemonte has seen recently, 2016 stands out as a vintage where everything just fell into place. In 2016, Brovia turned out a landmark lineup of wines. Even in "off" years, Brovia can be relied upon to produce great wine, but in 2016 they launched themselves into the stratosphere.
Today, we're pleased to offer Brovia's stunning 2016 Barolo lineup, featuring what might be the best value in the region, as well as their highly coveted single-vineyard bottlings.
The Brovia family laid down their roots in Castiglione Falleto, one of the most revered hamlets of Barolo, in 1863. Giacinto Brovia revived viticulture on the property in the 1950s. Since then, Barolo has seen many stylistic swings, but the Brovia family has always remained committed to the classical winemaking traditions that Barolo's reputation rests upon. Macerations are long, aging takes place in massive botti and there's not a stave of new French oak in sight. Their long history in Castiglione has allowed them to amass an incredible stable of holdings in some of Barolo's most celebrated vineyards. When Giacinto's daughters Elena and Cristina – and Elena's talented husband Alex Sanchez – took over, the Brovia wines really reached a new level of complexity and elegance. Now the wines combine a traditional sensibility with a modern attention to detail, and they are beautifully pure expressions of the place they come from. For me, Brovia is something like platonic ideal of Castiglione Falletto Barolo: big structure and deep minerality combined with lifted florals and lovely, warm fruit.
Every year, it's a joy to taste the Brovia wines. But the 2016 vintage sees Brovia operating at the peak of their powers, and their quintet of Barolo are a high watermark for the estate. The growing season was a perfect storm of favorable conditions: a mild spring with adequate rainfall; a warm, luminous summer with no catastrophic weather events; and a relatively cool September with wide diurnal shifts, which pushed the harvest date into October—not a common occurrence in today’s warm climate. The finished wines combine the drive of a cooler, later-harvested vintage with the concentration and richness of a more solar year. The sense of energy and clarity running through all of Brovia’s 2016s is thrilling; even in the context of their typically terroir-evocative style, the crus are particularly well-differentiated in 2016, and they possess the structure to age for decades with ease. And the Barolo normale represents one of the best values in the whole region, as it hails from a combination of Brovia's most prized sites. It offers a complexity and sense of terroir normally found only in other producers' single-vineyard wines. It's an "entry-level" Barolo that's fantastic at every stage of its life, both upon release and with many years of age.