|1. Amaronedelle Valpolicella||2. Cahors Malbec||3. Australian Nebbiolo|
There are numerous reasons to love Barolo from northwest Italy’s Piedmont area. This full-bodied red wine has loads of sour cherry, hints of herbs, and dried flowers plus boasts high acidity and tannins for balance, depth, and complexity. Owing to its DOCG status, it has to undergo three years of aging, half of which must be in oak. Further time in the bottle results in rounded tannins and heady notes of tar, truffles, and leather. Barolo DOCG Riserva ages for even longer clocking up 62 months including 18 in wood.
In short, a sip of Barolo DOCG is an intense experience in part because it is so light and translucent to the eye and delicate on the nose. The result is a bold wine with aromas of cherry, fruitcake, clove, and anise. These notes broaden on the palate with sumptuous heady, weighty, concentration.
With such intense and refined flavors, what is not to like about a glass of Barolo? The standout flavor features of Barolo are rose, cherry, leather, and spice. It has medium fruitiness, medium-high body, and alcohol plus high tannins and acidity. What other wines have similar characters?
Top 3 Best Wine Similar To Barolo 2021
When it comes to the concentration, bold fruitcake notes, and the full body of Barolo, a good alternative is Amarone Della Valpolicella. This wine from Italy’s northeast Veneto area is made with the passito method where grapes are harvested early to harness high acidity then dried out before fermentation. This means increased sugar concentration leading to more intense flavors and high alcohol levels. Amarone Della Valpolicella is a full-bodied style with medium to high tannins and intense spicy red berry flavors. Sounds good for your average Barolo lover.
An excellent choice of wine similar to Barolo is Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. Made from standard Valpolicella grape Corvina Veronese plus Rondinella, Oseleta, and Croatina for extra body, this wine is elegant, complex, and silky on the palate. The fruit is dried for four months after autumn harvest with crushing and slow skin contact fermentation starting in January. Already full of bold flavors, the wine is then aged for 36 months on large Slavonian oak casks and undergoes bottle aging before hitting your cava shelves.
Barolo is Zenato Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico is intense yet ethereal with rich cherry shining through from the nose to the finish, hints of bay leaf, and dried fruit in a soft, velvety mouth.
Pair with grilled and roasted meat and mature cheeses or sip it on its own.
Long before Argentina’s flagship grape Malbec crossed the Atlantic and flourished in the South American country, it was one of the most famous and coveted wines in Europe. Hailing from Cahors in southwest France, Malbec was known as Black Wine because of its signature inky hue. In the middle ages, it graced the marriage table of French queen Eleonor of Aquitaine and England’s King Henry II. It was the preferred wine of French popes and Russia’s Peter the Great was one of its biggest fans. The fortunes of Black Wine were riding high until trade protectionism in nearby Bordeaux thwarted its ascent and its fame and popularity fell. However, you cannot keep a good thing down and Cahors Malbec survived the 19th-century phylloxera scourge in Europe and a deadly frost in 1950s France to gain its own prestigious AOC in 1971.
In the middle of the 19th century, Malbec left France and arrived in Argentina where it eventually found its place on the world wine stage, but the French and Argentinean styles of Malbec differ enormously because of different climates and terroirs. Cahors Malbec boasts many characteristics that make it a splendid alternative to Barolo. The limestone terroir of the Cahors region gives it the renowned deep, dark red color, plus it has firm tannins, is very well structured, and is beautifully broody on the palate.
An ideal wine for Barolo lovers is Château de Hauterive Chemin de Compostelle Cahors Malbec. Crafted from old vines for better quality and more intensity, dustings of the violet brush across an intense body that boasts spicy red fruit, toasty ripe tannins, and a rich mouth. This wine spends 13 months in oak with weekly lees stirring for a velvety, rounded texture. Powerful, elegant, and deeply complex, this wine can stand toe-to-toe to Nebbiolo wines.
Match Château de Hauterive Chemin de Compostelle Cahors Malbec with sirloin and filet steak and darker cuts of poultry. If you are a vegetarian, try buttery mushroom stuffed peppers with wild rice. All these dishes hold up well against the high tannins in this red.
The courage, curiosity, and confidence of our antipodean friends have made it a leading wine region full of fine wines. Australian winemakers’ blend of respect for Old World knowledge and New World boldness can be tasted across their reds, whites, and sparklings.
Many European varietals have found a good home in Australia where a different climate, terroir, and winemaking approaches tease out unique World characteristics. Barolo’s grape, Nebbiolo is one of the Italian varietals that has flourished in Australia producing wines that are bursting with spicy cherry, plum, cedar, mushroom, and forest floor. Chocolate and leather notes also make an appearance in full-bodied wines that are rich in heavy tannins.
Casa Freschi Ragazzi Nebbiolohas many of the features of Barolo just with a tad less intensity making it a great choice for those who love Italian wine. A combination of prolonged maceration, aging on lees, and 30 months in French oak give it a “Barolic” power. On the nose, it displays delicate rosepetal and roasted nuts while the palate is drenched in tart sour cherry and cranberry. Firm grippy tannins grace a rounded, lengthy finish.
This Nebbiolo is a solo sipper and a great match for beef dishes with buttery sauces and pizza piled with tomatoes, grilled vegetables, black olives, and capers.
Admittedly it is tough to find a good wine similar to the unique and divine Barolo, but these gorgeous wines come very close to the mark. Salute!