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  • Writer's pictureKate Simpson

Virtual Tasting: Barolo 2010 & Barbaresco 2012

Who doesn't like a smidge of Nebbiolo on a glorious October evening in Toronto? Tonight we got to taste 4 Barolos from 2010 and 4 Barbarescos from 2012.

Tonight we had Ian Thresher, the Brand Ambassador and Sommelier with Nicholas Pearce Wines (, to guide us through these Italian beauties. Nebbiolo is a food-wine, and the fattier the better. Anything butter-based is the perfect food pairing; pasta with sage and brown butter perhaps? Yum. Barolo is often called the King of Italian wines and Barbaresco the Queen. Whatever words you choose to use though, I think the point is that we are amongst royalty when we get to taste such exceptional wine-making.

Ian began by describing the vintages that we were being treated to: 2010 was an incredible vintage for Barolo - as near perfect as you can get. Not too hot; not too cold. A great Summer and a not too cold Autumn. 2012 for Barbaresco was a warm one which has given more weight to the wine. Ian then outlined the major soil differences between Barolo and Barbaresco. I scribbled notes hoping that I might detect both the similarities within the regions, and the differences between them.

There was much discussion during the tasting about the more traditional methods of some growers versus the more modern wineries, and whether we could (or should) be able to taste such differences on the palate. The more traditional methods tend to leave the skins much longer than in more modern practices, so those wines with more extraction (time on skins) should be darker in colour and have a deeper tannin structure in the mouth. Could you tell? Could you distinguish between the Barolos and Barbarescos? And between the more delicate and broad-shouldered wines? This was a fantastic education for my palate - I hope it was for yours too!

This was a very strong line-up of wines and the pace of tasting by Ian was well-received. His knowledge and willingness to answer all sorts of questions from our members means we will be inviting him back again to help guide us through another tasting that's for sure!

Below was our line-up, with the Barolos and Barbarescos taking it in turns in tasting order.

Here are the full scores from the evening. How did your scores fare compared to Guest and the rest of the Group?

And see the original tasting notes for these 8 beautiful wines below:

2010 Barolo & 2012 Barbaresco
Download PDF • 114KB

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