Damilano Barolos – Lecinquevigne and Two from Cannubi   

Thomas Cuni, the Brand Manager for Damilano Azienda Agricola srl was really pouring some stellar wines at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. Damilano is located in the La Morra district of Barolo, and Barolo is so revered in Italy, that when they created the DOCG status, only Barolo and two other areas were awarded.  There are twelve parishes of Barolo, and it is almost to the layman’s eye as Byzantine as Burgundy.  The area has a very complex topography with countless small hills, and the southern exposures are planted in Nebbiolo and the northern exposures are planted with another varietal.  Even the soils and meso-climates can very between the communes.  In fact, there is an informal “cru” status, based on the official, structured model used in Burgundy, and winemaker Renato Ratti was instrumental in this map and designation for : Cannubi, Sarmazza, Brunate, Cerequio, Rocche, Monprivato, Villero, Lazzarito, Vigna Rionda, Bussia, Ginestra and Santo Stefano di Perno.

The first of the Barolo wines was Damilano “Lecinquevigne” Barolo DOCG 2016.  Lecinquevigne is made from five distinct Nebbiolo sites in Barolo, and the fruit is from five vineyards in four different parishes: Barolo, Grinzane Cavour and Monforte, and they all are on elevated sites with southern exposure with calcareous and clay soils.  The vineyards were planted from 1970-1990, hence the average age for the vines is around forty years. The first vintage of this wine was 2002.  Initial Fermentation is done for fifteen days in Stainless Steel with an additional ten days of maceration.  Then the juice is aged for twenty-four months in a mix of 20 hl to 100 hl barrels.  This is followed with an additional twelve months of aging in the bottle, before being released.  The ruby red wine offered an intense nose of roses, leather, tobacco, violets and tar.  On the palate tones of black cherry, cranberry, with really tight tannins and a nice long-count finish of dried fruit and terroir.  I am sure as this wine matures more, the tannins will open up with secondary and tertiary tones of truffles and chocolate.  This may have been opened early, as 2016 is considered one of the best vintages for Barolo.

Then we had a real treat as we tried Damilano Cannubi Barolo DOCG 2017, followed by Damilano Cannubi Barolo DOCG 2016.  Cannubi “Cru” is found within one of the six core zones which comprise the fiftieth UNESCO site in Italy.  An elevated hillside vineyard with a southern exposure on soil that is a mix of Calcareous Marl of Clay, Limestone and Sand with low potassium and a high calcium/magnesium content that offers unique notes and tones to the wine.  The first vintage of this single vineyard “Cru” wine was 1935.  The vineyard underwent replanting from 1970 – 1990, and now the average age of the vines are forty years.  This wine is pure Nebbiolo and the Initial Fermentation is for fifteen days in Stainless Steel, followed by ten days of Maceration using the Submerged-Cap technique.  The wine is then aged for twenty-four months in a mix of 20 hl to 100 hl barrels, with an additional twelve months of aging in the bottle.  We started with the 2017, a nice ruby-red wine that offered notes of black fruits, leather, tobacco and menthol (tar).  On the palate tones of cherries, plums/prunes, spices, and tight tannins, and a nice long-count finish of dried fruit, some heat and some terroir.  The 2016 had similar offerings, but on the palate, it was a bigger wine that was really chewy, a term that I learned fifty years ago, and I still like using it, when a wine is very expressive.  I think that both wines were still youthful, the 2016 has been outstanding each time that I have had it, and I am reading that some feel that the 2017 may end up being another stellar vintage.     

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
This entry was posted in Wine and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.