Happy summer! For this column, I wanted to take on a very difficult task. Barolo has been called “the King of Wines” for a very long time, and they don’t come cheap. My goal was to find three good Barolos at a reasonable price. I hosted a tasting of six Barolos, all less than $45 retail, and all with reviews of 90 points or more. Six advertising colleagues, all who like wine, but none who are aficionados, did the judging.
Ascheri 2012 Barolo
A blend of premium Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Alicante Bouschet, and Viognier that’s lively and delicious with ripe blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry fruits. The wine received a review of 91 points from The Wine Spectator. The wine retails for $30.
A 93 rating from wine expert Robert Parker, with an amazing nose and notes of tobacco. It has a soft finish, which is the factor that differentiated it from the remaining wines we tasted.
The wine retails for $42.
Bruna Grimaldi Barolo Bricco Ambrogio 2013
The Wine Enthusiast gave this wine a 93. Truly my favorite of the group. This wine has an amazing bouquet, a beautiful red color, and intense flavors including lots of fruit and a hint of pepper. The finish is fresh and pleasant. I will likely buy a case. The wine retails for $40.
Pro Tip: One of the things that raise the price of the wine is the finish. Many reds have a somewhat unpleasant aftertaste. You can save a bundle by selecting a nice red with a great nose and a smooth and pleasant flavor, but which is marred by a poor finish. Serve it with food…and the finish is no longer an issue.