Borgogno Barolo

Borgogno Barolo has been enjoyed in these parts since production began in 1761 making Borgogno one of the oldest winemakers in the region. Giacomo Borgogno e Figli, to give the company its full name, is a traditional style Barolo producer who were exceptionally trendy and revered in the 50’s and 60’s and their bottles, with or without the wine inside, are traded as artistic pieces here in Italy and even in the USA. Borgogno, despite real pressure from the new breed of Barolo producers have never veered from their traditional, Barolo crafting, routes although the new generation at the company, Cesare & Giorgio Borgogno, are taking the company forward in huge leaps and bringing the company back to the forefront of Barolo production with some exceptional recent vintages.

Borgogno is slap bang in the heart of Barolo land with vineyards in Cannubi, Liste, Rue, Fossati and San Pietro. Here the company are famous for keeping and releasing many older vintages from their huge cellars. Borgogno is the most traditional of all producers and perhaps the one the Italians themselves are most proud of.

With this huge legacy to protect the new Borgogno wines are surpisingly fairly priced and actually pretty high quality. The traditional Barolo style is perhaps most obvious in Borgogno wines (even more so than Cavallotto) and the attention to detail in vinification is extreme. The main focus here is obviously Barolo and the company does not produce many different wines but in a good vintage you can pick up a very nice Barbaresco and acceptable Barberas, Langhes and Dolcettos.

Borgogno wine comes entwined with a beautiful history and a sense of bourgeois wonderment and if you were in such a mind, you could pretend to yourself that you are some notable noble of Italian parentage as you sip and contemplate over your ruby nectar. I like to gaze lovingly in the distance but am then sad to awake and find I have clearly fallen on harder times. *slaps self* Away from the whimsy, I’ve had the chance to try a couple of Borgogno Liste Barolos and here are my musings! (Tasting date – May 2008)

Giacomo Borgogno Barolo Liste 1997BUY – €100
A very attractive dark ruby red with huge powerful aromas of traditional Nebbiolo at its finest. Black Cherries, crushed forest fruits, a clear mineral element, a little soil like. The wine itself is huge, full bodied on the palate, very deep and hung on a complex structure. Super smooth and silky and an achievement within a wonderful vintage. I am lucky enough to be drinking this at a perfect age. Phenomenal. 96 Points

Giacomo Borgogno Barolo Liste 2001 PASS – €60
Another dark ruby red effort that looks fantastic in the glass. This wine is a little hot and a little bigger than the 1997, a real fruit bomb lovers treat, dark fruits a plenty with cherries, plums and spices coming thru in spades on the nose. The palate is a little simpler than the 1997, rounded and packing more of a punch, nice length to the finish and a very pleasant taste and mouth feel but less finesse than I like from a Barolo. Needs a few more years. Not all that for the vintage. 92 Points

Where can I buy this wine?
The Liste cru only produces very small amounts of wine and it is seldom imported to the states, so I’m afraid unless you have some very very good friends, you might have trouble getting hold of this wine. Try wine auction website, Winebid. I also found a bottle of the ’98 at a good price of $80 at Wine Access (94 point WS).

5 Comments Add yours

  1. jjnewman says:

    i have an opportunity to purchase two bottles of borgogno classico 1993 vintage. i see that 1993 was not a declared vintage by this producer. however parker scores 89 points (above average to excellent) for 1993 piedmont wine. should i go ahead and buy this wine? can anyone advise me please? regards, jjn

  2. jjn_72 says:

    i have a chance to purchase two bottles of borgogno classico 1993. i see that the producer did not declare this vintage. should i go ahead and buy? parker scores piedmont 1993 as a 89 (above average to excellent. can anyone advise me please? regards, jjn.

  3. Michael says:

    I was lucky enough to find a couple of bottles of the 1997 for under $70 each. As you put it, phenomenal.

  4. anthony says:

    u should buy the 93s. i've heard when they were released no one wanted them, but people are discovering over the last year or 2 that they have evolved into beautiful wines and are drinking great right now.

  5. Adrian says:

    what are the chances of an '84 still being drinkable?


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