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Even for Barolo, Oddero’s are some of the most uncompromisingly old-fashioned wines we know, with brooding structure that demands many years in the cellar. For example, two recent tastings of Oddero 1989 Barolo Vigna Rionda showed that wine to be just entering early maturity. Thus I expected the 1995 Barolo to be interesting to taste, but it turns out to be a quite perfect and approachable wine that I will have trouble not grabbing off the shelf here for dinner. Jamie Wolff
One of the largest family landowners in the region, Oddero has the advantage of being able to blend wines from several exceptional vineyards to make their Barolo. The 1995 is a blend from La Morra (Brunate, Cascina Convento, and Rocchettevino), and Castiglione Falletto (Rocche di Castiglione), and Monforte (Bussia). The wine is delicious, and it shows all of the balance and complexity that a Barolo can acheive when vineyards are blended. This batch comes from spending many years in the importer’s climate-controlled cellar, and the bottle I tasted was in perfect shape. It’s a pure expression of old-school Barolo, wonderfully aromatic with dried rose, orange peel, balsam, and chalky stone; these follow through on the palate with cherry and ferrous notes, and fine tannins. First get the wine, then figure out what’s for dinner. Jamie Wolff