~ Vineyards in Barolo ~
With almost an uncanny flair for the dramatic, as the winds grow colder and the food gets more comforting, the 2009 Barolo have begun arriving on retailer’s shelves.  I always love the arrival of the newest vintages and this time, I set out to get my first taste of the recent Nebbiolo releases from the time honored house of Oddero. 
I was fortunate enough to interview Cristina Oddero this past year and have been eager to try some of her new releases ever since. When I came across her estate 2009, I was anxious to try it.

The 2009 vintage in Piedmont, like in much of the rest of Italy, was very hot.  Growers had to be very careful with water stress and canopy management to avoid the grapes getting sun burned.  Enrico Scavino, the Patriarch at Paolo Scavino,  commented to me in so many words:  “It was important to take extra care in the vineyards during the hotter months and keep the foliage on the vines to protect the fruit from too much exposure to the sun.”    Most producers were able to manage the extremes in weather successfully. In fact, one told me that “the fruit was very healthy and that the wines show fresh acidity, ripe tannins and good color.” 
With this early vestige of 2009,  it seems these comments were not out of place in the least.  The 2009 Oddero Barolo shows a bright, violet color trending to a slightly red color toward the rim of the glass.  Decanted for 60 minutes, the wine’s aromatics are bright and prevalent.  In addition to the core of bright red fruit are aromas of flowers, spice and fresh herbs. On the palate, the wine is rather elegant, with no sense of being overripe or “baked”.   A full bodied and ripe core of sweet crushed red fruits are backed by wonderfully fresh acidity, slight earthy notes and hint of tobacco leaf. Well balanced and more than moderately tannic,  this could use another year in bottle to come together and should drink well over 7-10 years.  This is also quite the value in Barolo given it’s price.  91 points, about $34. 
~ The 2009 Oddero Barolo.  Aged exclusively in Grandi Botti ~
This wonderful wine paired exceptionally well with some comforting food.  Roasted Pork Chops with mushrooms, accompanied by escarole & beans and parmigiano potato “chips”.  
~ Perfect foil for the Oddero Barolo 2009 ~

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