Barolo is named after the town of Barolo in the region of Piedmont.
The wine Barolo is grown only in approved areas of Piedmont and only in approved vineyard sites that must be on hillsides in the approved areas.
Barolo wines are always made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, which are never irrigated. The crop must be limited, and the finished product must be aged in for 38 months for the regular Barolo and 62 months for Riserva - of that time, 18 months must be in oak.
Barolos tend to be rich, deeply concentrated full-bodied wines with pronounced tannins and acidity. Barolo's have the potential for a wide range of complex and exotic aromas with tar and roses being common notes. Other aromas associated with Barolos include camphor, chocolate, dried fruit, damsons, eucalyptus, leather, licorice, mint, mulberries, plum, spice, strawberries, tobacco, white truffles as well as dried and fresh herbs.
The tannins of the Barolo add texture and serve to balance Barolo's moderate to high alcohol levels. A big, powerful tannic wine, Barolo needs to be matched with foods of similar weight. In Piedmont, the wines are often paired with meat dishes, heavy pasta and rich risottos, the tannins bind to the food proteins and come across as softer.
Barolo had a cult following not just because of the greatness of the wine but because of the complexness and variation because of the sub-zones and the styles
La Morra and Barolo these two zones tend to be more elegant, soft and need less aging
Montforte, Serralunga and Castiglione Faletto. These three sub-zones tend to be more powerful, concentrated, and need more aging.
Old Style, It has long maceration of as long as thirty days to extract more tannins and Flavors. These wines require long aging after release. Very few currently use this style
Traditional. This style uses large oak casks that showcase the Nebbiolo fruit.
Barrique. This style ferments the grapes in 60-gallon French barrels. The results are a more international style wine