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Historic Barolo Cuvée Recalls the Glories of the 1950s – Under $40
April 17, 2020

New Arrivals. A Historic Barolo Cuvée from 2016 Recalls the Glories of the 1950s – Under $40. Plus, the Classic 2013 Year in Piemonte Delivers Oddero’s Finest Barolo Riserva in Sixty Years.

“In so many ways, 2016 is all about being in the right place at the right time for Barolo…the vintage is full of truly spectacular, breathtaking wines that capture all the pedigree that Nebbiolo and Barolo are capable of.” - Antonio Galloni

No doubt about it, all eyes are deservingly on the late-ripening 2016 vintage from the Langhe Hills, the classic year is already being compared to the epic performances set in 2010 and 2013 — and for good reason. We might add that there is more balance and generosity of fruit here and less austerity thanks to the long growing season. In fact, many producers have told us that they believe it’s the best vintage they have seen. This is one of those rare universal vintages where Mother Nature blessed the vineyards from Napa Valley to Bordeaux, and Bolgheri to Barolo. The IWM team has been tasting through and certainly, the greatness of the 2016 vintage begins with the traditionally spirited, signature bottling, the 2016 Oddero Barolo at under $40. Alongside the straight Massolino Barolo, it is our favorite value interpretation of classic Barolo. But today’s offer goes beyond the historic Barolo cuvée and legendary vintage in the making; we are including a Barolo Riserva from the celebrated Bussia vineyard that left us speechless — the 2013 Oddero Barolo Riserva Bussia Mondoca.

The historic Oddero house is back on track and recapturing the former glories of the 1960s and 1970s, thanks in part to the dedicated efforts of Maria Cristina Oddero at the helm. With a little age, these wines are autumn in a glass personified — a cornucopia of dried fruit, citrus rind, brown spices, forest floor, smoke, and truffles that transport you to the Langhe Hills with one pull of the cork. And much in the way that many enthusiasts and collectors took for granted the vintage Riojas of Lopez de Heredia a decade ago, where you can find Old World charm delivered with value — we see this in the wines of Oddero. These are some of the great values in traditional Barolo and Barbaresco, especially with the estate back on track.

Featured Wines: A Historic Cuvée Meets a Grand Cru of Barolo (Click to Order)

Historically, the Oddero estate was prized for its singular Barolo cuvée, but starting in the 1950s, the prized vineyard holdings of such legendary crus such as Brunate, Vigna Rionda, Rocche di Castiglione, and Villero became the highlights and focus of the estate. And while it is easy to gravitate to the grand cru-like vineyards of Brunate and Vigna Rionda, the sleeper cru that has captured our attention is the single-vineyard Riserva from a classically built vintage – the 2013 Barolo Riserva Bussia Vigna Mondoca. While we agree with Antonio Galloni that 2013 as a whole is “a vintage of austere, classically structured wines built for cellaring.... 2013 is a thrilling Barolo vintage,” we found the 2013 Barolo Riserva Bussia Vigna Mondoca to have immediate crowd appeal. The wine was born from the celebrated Bussia vineyard, which is home to the great wines of Aldo Conterno and Prunotto. Here the Odderos have essentially created a monopole, a singular 1.13-hectare parcel of Bussia called Vigna Mondoca with vines averaging 35 years in age. A mere 300 cases are produced, and we are now pleased to present a mere five cases at some of the best pricing in the country!


"Cristina Oddero… is now making the most consistently outstanding wines I have tasted here since I first visited the estate nearly twenty years ago. The trajectory in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable. Readers who enjoy fine, classically built wines will want to check out Oddero. Bravo!"Antonio Galloni, Vinous

2016 Oddero Barolo
Christopher Deas, IWM: “This is the perfect follow-up to Oddero's success with the 2016 Barbaresco Gallina. This is classic, old school Barolo that's under $40, just the way we like it, and it recalls the Oddero style that built this great Barolo house in the early 1950s. Before all their grand cru-like bottlings, this cuvée was the signature of the house, and while there is a generous mouthful of 2016 fruit, this is a high-toned Barolo. Expect to find nuances of red and blue fruit, wild berries, strawberries, dried cherries, cranberries, blood orange, rose petals, cinnamon, white pepper, eucalyptus and tobacco leaf. Our only issue with this wine is that we are offering it alongside Oddero's single-vineyard Barolo Riserva that is simply stunning. This is truly a historic estate back on the rise – and it begins with their straight Barolo.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “The 2016 Barolo is a gorgeous entry-level offering in this range that also shows just how compelling the vintage is. Deep, plush and exquisitely layered, the 2016 has so much to offer. Hints of spice, orange peel, rose petal and tar add pretty aromatic top notes throughout. This is such an alluring and irresistible wine.”

2013 Oddero Barolo Riserva Bussia Vigna Mondoca
Christopher Deas, IWM: There is a lot of Barolo in the glass here — deceivingly approachable today, with its generous and soft fruit. It’s big, it’s ripe, it’s full of explosive fruit, tar and roses. Dollops of black cherries, wild strawberries, a touch of darker fruit, dried citrus peel, and leather. And with its spice, smoke, herbs, and black tea nuances, there is an almost mulled holiday wine nuance in the mix. That is just how we would have it — this is a wine for the holiday table, best with age, but it can be enjoyed today despite critical opinion. This is elegant Barolo; the tannins are not harsh; they are well integrated and balanced. Despite its size, this wine is light on its feet. Under 300 cases produced. This is a fair-priced single-vineyard Barolo Riserva from a tremendous vintage to stock up on.”

Monica Larner, Robert Parker’ Wine Advocate: “This is an instant classic, and that may be because of the smart decision to harvest later than usual. The 2013 Barolo Riserva Bussia Vigna Mondoca is elegant and profound with lots of beauty at every stage of its depths. The Vigna Mondoca is located more or less in the middle of the expansive Bussia cru, which has very thin and light soils that ultimately aid in the quick ripening of the fruit. Historically, this has resulted in super fruit intensity and delicious black fruit flavors. In this edition, we also get more tilled earth and stunning mineral tones. This is a beautiful Barolo Riserva.”