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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

Worth the Hype: Oddero Barolo 2016

A view of La Morra's Bricco San Biagio, in the frazione of Santa Maria, where Oddero's winery is located

You've heard us say this before: vintage matters less than people and places. In Barolo, there has not been a genuinely disastrous vintage since 2002, though there have certainly been diverse weather patterns through the years, and certain growing seasons have been easier than others. When it comes to Oddero, one of Barolo's best, we won't be skipping any vintages, but we will rarely get as excited as we are now about the 2016s that presently grace our shelves. The 2016 vintage is special for Barolo; we will not and cannot deny it.

Warmer and drier than usual, but cooler than has been the recent norm, the weather of 2016 allowed Nebbiolo to ripen slowly and steadily, which is exactly what a Barolo grower wants. Autumn brought cool temperatures and extended the season into October, when harvest for Nebbiolo began. We have tasted many a fine 2015, 2017 and 2018 Nebbiolo, but the 2016s have an extra degree of aromatic intensity and a dynamic freshness on the palate, and these characteristics are without a doubt derived from the qualities of the long growing season.

Enough about vintage though. Did we not just say that it's not so important? Oddero is important to us, and certainly to the region of Barolo. One of the leaders in estate-bottled Barolo, the Oddero family has been selling their estate-grown wines to the world longer than just about anyone in Barolo. They adhere to traditions developed in the late 19th century, favoring long macerations and extended time in large (sometimes very large) barrels. They continue to tweak their processes and techniques, with the entire estate in conversion to organic certification, and experiments with new coopers and clay vessels ongoing. Though they are steadfast in their devotion to a bright and firm style of Barolo, the wines are perhaps less austere than in the past, with deeper fruit profiles and more supple tannins. Don't get us wrong, we love a burly Barolo redolent of mushrooms and leather, but we also regale in the glorious fruit and flowers that make Nebbiolo so distinctive; Oddero combines the best of these worlds, and you owe it to yourself to check a bottle out soon.

We have a limited amount of 2016 Oddero in stock, and we will not be able to get more. We offer 10% off 6 bottles and 12% off 12 bottles, so we would suggest that you mix some 2016 Oddero into a case, bringing the price down. Oddero's prices are already some of the most reasonable in the business, but a bottle of their fabulous Barolo Classico at $40.48 (that's with the case discount) must be considered especially fair. Each of Oddero's 2016s will age brilliantly for decades, but the Villero and Brunate will be especially long-lived.

Oddero Barolo 2016 - $46

Oddero Barolo Villero 2016 - $80

Oddero Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2016 - $88

Oddero Barolo Brunate 2016 - $120

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