Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.

Stephen Brook reviews the vintage and picks out wines to consider buying for your cellar...

best barolo producers
Vineyards at Enrico Rivetto

Stephen Brook picks out wines to buy...

The post Top Barolo 2011 Riservas: Riding the rollercoaster appeared first on Decanter.


Stephen Brook reviews the vintage and picks out wines to consider buying for your cellar...

best barolo producers
Vineyards at Enrico Rivetto

Stephen Brook picks out wines to buy...

The post Top Barolo 2011 Riservas: Riding the rollercoaster appeared first on Decanter.

Stephen Brook reviews the vintage and picks out wines to consider buying for your cellar...

best barolo producers
Vineyards at Enrico Rivetto

Scroll down to see Brook’s favourite Barolo 2011 Riservas


The vintage

This was a rollercoaster vintage, with fluctuating weather conditions – wet March, hot April, cool and sometimes stormy early summer, and a hot August.

Cooler, damper conditions in September slowed the ripening but led to ripe grapes with excellent colour and tannins. The harvest was about two weeks earlier than usual and completed by the end of September.

Uneven ripening was a characteristic of the vintage, but conscientious growers could rectify that in the vineyard and by sorting.

The wines

Like the 2007s and 2009s, these are wines packed with fruit, which makes them accessible relatively young, although they have the structure to age. Acidity is generally higher than in 2009.

Elisa Scavino of the Scavino estate sees the wines as ‘aromatic, with rounded fruit, lower in tannins than 2010 or 2013 but more structured than 2012. They’re elegant wines with silky tannins.’

The quality seems to be consistent across the region.

To buy or not to buy

The Riservas are now coming onto the market, and a selection, from which the following recommendations was made, was tasted blind in Alba, and non-blind in London.

Riservas, with their longer ageing (62 months in all) and, one hopes, stricter fruit selection, are inevitably more expensive than the regular Barolos, but such is the appeal of the latter, that the additional outlay for a Riserva may not always be justifiable. It’s an individual decision.

Certainly, the best wines are excellent and will repay cellaring.


Costa di Bussia, Barolo, Bussia, Piedmont, Italy, 2011

Voluptuous raspberry and cherry nose, heady and beguiling. Rich and suave, this is harmonious and has no rough edges. The fruit is...

Points 95

Rocche Costamagna, Barolo, Rocche dell'Annunziata Bricco

Intense raspberry nose with lovely purity of fruit. The attack is lean and fresh, showing precision and zest. Although very...

Points 94

Barale, Barolo, Bussia, Piedmont, Italy, 2011

Smoky and leathery on the nose, but the palate has a fresh attack. It's lean and limpid for Riserva, invigorating and zesty...

Points 93

Cavallotto, Barolo, Vignolo, Piedmont, Italy, 2011

Pungent raspberry and redcurrant fruit on the nose, but the palate shows more richness, with very ripe fruit, assertive tannins...

Points 93

Oddero, Barolo, Bussia Mondoca, Piedmont, Italy, 2011

Red fruits nose, with some smoky, leathery tones too, but not too evolved. Dense and opulent, a full-bodied wine with...

Points 93

Dosio, Barolo, Fossati, Piedmont, Italy, 2011

Brooding cherry nose with impressive density of fruit. Rich, juicy, and velvety, very concentrated with powerful tannins yet...

Points 93

Curto, Barolo, Arborina, Piedmont, Italy, 2011

Toasty raspberry nose, lifted and stylish. Rich and full-bodied, this is powerful yet not too dense, and there's terrific weight of...

Points 93

Paolo Scavino, Barolo, Rocche dell'Annunziata, 2011

Voluptuous raspberry nose, packed with ripe fruit. Very rich but has underlying acidity, and the sweet fruit is supported by...

Points 93

Mauro Sebaste, Barolo, Ghè, Piedmont, Italy, 2011

A monopole site on sandy limestone soils. Cherry and raspberry nose, with light mocha tones. Full-bodied and imposing, but...

Points 92

Bric Cenciurio, Barolo, Coste di Rose, Piedmont, Italy, 2011

From a small site near Monforte. Lush, intense raspberry nose. Very concentrated and suave, this has depth and power but not...

Points 92

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Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.