I don’t want to assume anything about those who read our blog, so I’ll open up with the fact that 2010 was a banner vintage for much of Italy. The 2010 Brunello, Barolo, and Barbaresco have all been hailed as one of the best in years, and part of the hype is that many are just being released now due to DOCG requirements. Today I’m just focusing on the 2010 Barolo.
So first, why the hype around any vintage? What’s the difference? For a moment, picture biting into a perfectly ripe peach, watermelon, strawberry, raspberry, or cherry. Now picture drinking a juice with more complexity and history behind its production than the perfectly ripe fruit we’ve imagined enjoying just now.
What makes a vintage great? In the end, it comes down to the weather and the fruit. There are many other factors of course in play, but let's not overcomplicate things. The weather in 2010 was superb- allowing grapes to ripen much later into October than in past seasons. The ripening of the fruit into late October, and subsequent harvesting into November allowed the fruit to mature into something that has seldom been seen in the last 10 years (although other vintages have been well received including 2004 and 2001.) Wines like the 2010 Barolo continue to ‘soften’, that is become less tanic and increase in their complexity with years of bottle aging so long as they are stored well.
The vintage as of the writing of this posting is still available but very scarce, due to its popularity. Fortunately for our readers, we do have a (very) small supply still in stock.
Much of the information in this article was taken from the 2014 article “Your Guide to Top-Rated 2010 Barolo” in Wine Enthusiast by Kerin O’Keefe.