Winery of the Year 2013

Rewarding consumers with consistent quality and value

In truth I’ve wanted to name Commendatore G.B. Burlotto as winery of the year since I first thought of the idea. If I had we'd be talking about lower prices for sure, but even with the delay Burlotto still produces terrific wines are fabulous prices. Consider the line-up. 
Barolo from the famed Cannubi vineyard, and it’s the lowest priced Cannubi on the market.
Barolo Monvigliero, an iconic wine and one of the greatest expressions of terroir and classic winemaking left in the marketplace.
Barolo Aclivi, a precocious Barolo that represents the essense of Verduno. 
The full portfolio of Piedmontese varieties, all expertly produced and offered for about $20 a bottle or less.
Of course this is not Value Winery of the Year we’re talking about, it’s plain old Winery of the Year and for that you have to produce wines of quality and distinction. Fabio Alessandria does a brilliant job on that front, using a mix of techniques and resources to produce what he feels are the finest expressions his vineyards are capable of.
What does that mean exactly? In the case of Barolo we have a variety of styles. From the classic foot treading and 60 day maceration practiced with Monvigliero, and Neirane, when it was made, to a more updated 15 day fermentation, always in upright wood fermenters, for the other wines.  The choice of wood, larger formats of either 3 to 5 hectoliters or 35 hectoliters that are mostly now in French oak, also shows a willingness to adopt what is best for the wines. There is no dogma here.
What’s best for the wines in the case of Burlotto can be summed up in few words. These are wines that are bright, supple, aromatic and precise. Fabio isn’t reaching, or pushing the wines to do something they would rather not do. More than a winemaker he is a tour guide, showing off his cellar to the product of each vintage. It is naive to suggest that some wines do not show winemaking, they all show winemaking but in the case of Burlotto the signs are relatively subtle.

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  • Snooth User: outthere
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    324443 2,824

    Wow! Great write-up GDP. Though I would expect nothing less from you when it comes to Barolo. Well done.

    Oct 30, 2013 at 10:14 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 184,273

    Thanks OT! Easy to do when you write about something you're passionate about.

    Oct 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM

  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 968

    Love the article. More important is that a few of your selections are my favorites.

    Oct 30, 2013 at 3:07 PM

  • Snooth User: Zuiko
    Hand of Snooth
    540750 687

    I expected something esoteric and you delivered. Great article. My personal pick- Morris Wines of Victoria, Australia. Great fortified wines, especially their Tawnies. Tied for second place- J. Koegler and Karl Johann Molitor of the Rheingau. Also in the running- Frank Schiffmann's wines (Schiffmann-Junk) Brauneberg, Mosel.

    Oct 30, 2013 at 7:42 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 184,273

    Thanks Zinfandel! great wines that everyone can and should try!

    Thanks Zuiko. I see a pattern in your choices!

    Oct 31, 2013 at 9:18 AM

  • Snooth User: pjc1414
    200254 1

    question : when did you taste these wines? all in same time period this year? please pardon my fear of assuming something, that is probably obvious to others. ( i am assuming all wine notes were from tasting in 2013. I am most curious about the older Barbera and Dolcetto. thanks

    Nov 01, 2013 at 12:20 PM

  • Snooth User: JonDerry
    Hand of Snooth
    680446 2,578

    Great stuff GdP...thanks for turning me on to these and other great values in Piedmont. Can't wait for the 10's!

    Nov 01, 2013 at 4:04 PM

  • Snooth User: Raphael Au
    1393710 4

    Thanks for introducing me to Burlotto's wines. I especially love the Barolo Monvigliero. It was your earlier article about the top 12 barolos that influenced me to stay at Burlotto's Agriturismo Locanda dell'Orso Bevitore.

    I am currently building my collection from 2006 to 2009 back home in Toronto!

    Also, it was very nice to meet you (if you remember me and my friend, we met at BArtolo Mascarello in May, then met again at Roberto Voerzio). Cheers.

    Nov 01, 2013 at 11:46 PM

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