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Demarie Barolo DOCG Riserva 2012

Demarie Barolo DOCG Riserva 2012


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Geographical Indication







Still Dry Red Wine

Very complex and developed Barolo Riserva from La Morra. Silky and mellow taste of blueberries, cherries and spice. Made from the best grapes from the 2012 vintage, from 50-year old vines

Winemakers only declare “Barolo Riserva” in the best years, but not all Riservas are created equal. When we found this wine, we knew we had to bring it to the UK. It has a very powerful and delicious aroma and taste, with all the complexity, nuances and richness of Nebbiolo. Grapes for this wine were grown on 50-year old vines in a single vineyard in La Morra.

When we say it’s made from the best berries of the vintage, what do we really mean? We spoke to Paolo Demarie, the owner and third-generation winemaker at the Demarie family winery, to find out. He told us “we only harvest 3,600 kg of the best grapes per hectare”. The maximum harvest permitted for Barolo is 8,000 kg / hectare, so you can see that this winemaker only picks a small fraction of grapes that meet his exceptionally high standard.

Paolo’s vineyard in La Morra (pictured) sits on the south-eastern side of the hill, so the Nebbiolo grapes get a lot of sun during the ripening season. This helps to develop a concentrated taste. But it’s not just about sunlight, it’s about soil too – the soils of Barolo formed when the seabed rose to the surface in the Miocene Tertiary period 15 million years ago. In Paolo’s vineyard, the soil is rich in blue marl limestone and clay – such soils are known to produce grapes with fine floral and fruity aromas along with strong tannins that will evolve over 15-20 years in cellar.


Grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 24-25°C for 20 days. The cap is punched down once per day, and pumped over twice a day, to ensure good extraction of colour and tannins while fermentation takes place. When the fermentation is finished, the wine is left for thirty days on the skins. This long period of “extraction” supercharges the wine with tannins, which will develop over time and create a very complex aroma and taste.

This Barolo Riserva is aged in “second-use” 2,500 litre Slavonian oak barrels for a period of five years. During such long oxidative ageing, tannins become softer and develop desirable aromas. Thanks to the contact with oak, the wine has subtle notes of smoke, black pepper and cinnamon. Paolo uses second-use barrels because the ageing process is so long: new oak would overpower the fruity aromas in the wine. Five years is way above what’s required by law (18 months) – but it’s typical for most premium wines to exceed the minimum.

Tasting notes

Medium garnet colour, as expected in Nebbiolo of this age. Captivating, pronounced aromas of blackberry, black cherry, black plum, prunes, black pepper spice, fig, tobacco and old leather. In the mouth, the wine is dry, with  powerful tannins that have melted over time and are mellow rather than biting. Medium acidity, with a pronounced taste of black cherry, Amsterdam pipe tobacco and leather, and dark fruit jam. Long finish. This wine will keep developing for another ten to fifteen years.


Gilbert & Gaillard – 92 points | James Suckling – 91 points | Falstaff Magazin – 92 points

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