King of Wines

Barolo is a wine worth devoting yourself to.

Battista Rinaldi

Today’s Story: Oddero

Oddero is one of the great, historical producers of Barolo and Barbaresco, with the family owning property in Piedmont dating back to the 18th century. This being said, Giovanni Battista Oddero started producing wines in the commune of La Morra sometime between the 18th and 19th centuries, kicking off what today marks seven generations of winemaking for the Oddero family.

As Oddero’s wines found their way into the world, first by small barrels, bottling began in 1878 under Giacomo Oddero and the winery recently discovered that their Barolo was exported to the Americas via small barrels as early as the late 19th century. This is in stark contrast to today’s winery, which is impacted immeasurably by another Giacomo (grandson of the above).

The second Giacomo worked tirelessly during the 1950s to renovate the farm and winery, meanwhile fighting to demonstrate the quality of Piedmont wines to the world. In doing so, Giacomo helped lay the foundation for DOC and DOCG certifications for wines of the Langhe and guided agricultural regulation for products such as cheese, nuts, and vegetables.

Today, Oddero is led by his daughter Mariacristina and two grandchildren, Isabella and Pietro.

Today’s Wine: 2010 Oddero Barolo

100% Nebbiolo; 14.5% ABV

2010 was a fantastic vintage for Piedmont (just wait until I review a 2013 Barolo!) characterized by a long, cool growing season that allowed for late harvesting of the fruit. Many of these wines seem to be structured and bold, yet elegant at the same time. Age-worthy is almost an understatement…

Our wine today appears a beautiful clear ruby in the glass with, as expected, no signs of aging near the rim. Still somewhat tight on the nose, we get aromas of black cherry, plum, eucalyptus, and leather. After two hours of air, the wine softened a bit and some early alcohol on the nose wore off. On the palate this is a bold, food-worthy Barolo with notes of cherry, dried strawberry, tobacco, just-past-its-prime red licorice, and loamy earth. Medium- to full-bodied with mouthwatering high acidity, medium (+) tannins, and a medium (+) finish that seems to go on for over half a minute. I think this is just starting to enter its drinking window but has plenty of gas left in the tank.

Price: $50. This is an outstanding value to me, in one part due to the quality of Oddero as a producer and another the ability to pull this off the shelf with 9 years of age. Let this breathe while you cook gamey meats, steak, or red sauce meat pastas.

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