Morrell & Co. Wine Catalog

FALL 2018

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| 81 MORRELL FINE WINE AND SPIRITS V ISIT u S AT MORRELLWINE .c OM cALL 800.96.WINES (800.969.4637) ITA l Y : P I e D mo NT T H e Ti M e FOR Ba ROLO iS N OW T here was a time when the argument could be made that Barolo was not Italy's greatest wine, instead that its "Wine of Kings and King of Wines" title was the result of brilliant marketing. l ooking back only fifty years, vintages of Barolo would sit in winery barrels and demijohns, waiting for an order to come in, while producers paid their bills by selling Barbera and Dolcetto. That time is long gone. Today, Barolo has reached a new level of popularity with collectors and wine lovers around the world, and, as a result, prices continue to rise while allocations shrink. Producers are constantly at work to keep up with demand and expanding markets. However, with international interest from investors at an all-time high, real estate has become nearly impossible to acquire. And so, Barbera and Dolcetto are pulled out to plant grapes for Barolo, while vineyard sites are studied in hopes of finding new locations that will properly ripen the fickle Nebbiolo grape. The good news is that there has never been such a feeling of togetherness and community among the region's producers. The bad news is that the days of finding our favorite wines in quantity are coming to an end. From one collector and lover of Barolo to another, the time to fill our cellars is now. ✦ R ea L i T ie S OF TH e 2014 V i NT a G e W e have been spoiled with a string of good-to-great vintages for the last four years. The classic 2010s will give us pleasure for decades. The decadent 2011s will please us while we wait on structured vintages to mature. The remarkably pretty 2012s should enjoy a long and pleasurable drinking window. m eanwhile, the vibrant yet structured 2013s may never truly shut down; instead they will consistently impress us throughout their entire lives. Then there was 2014, a vintage that deserves more credit than it has been given, yet one where the producer and how hard they were willing to work was just as important as the season. The 2014 Barolo vintage suffered through the summer months with regular rain and cold weather, as well as three devastating hailstorms between July and August. As a result, producers had to play triage in the vineyards as the pressure of vine disease was constant. The only silver lining was the onset of favorable weather in September and through harvest. However, the damage had already been done, pushing production down anywhere from 20-40%. m any producers sold off their juice in bulk or decided to declassify to Nebbiolo l anghe. However, some went on to create a vintage of wines, both blended and single-vineyard, which are best described as "throwback" versions of classic Barolo. These wines are like something from the seventies or eighties, when difficult vintages were more common. m any have the potential to mature into something very special, yet it's important to choose wisely. ✦

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