One of my favorite wine varietals is the Nebbiolo grape. It’s a lifelong adult quest of mine to find the best of the best of it. So, when I find an exquisite refined example, I want my readers to know about it. Let me introduce you to DAMILANO BAROLO DOCG CANNUBI 2008. All I can say is…get your palates primed for beauty.
Barolo Cannubi ($85) is the flagship wine of Damilano. And comes from a single vineyard in Cannubi, Italy. The vines are 30-50 years old, so you know the wine has a great chance of being good in the bottle. The vines grow in calcareous-clay soil with a good amount of sand found on the prestigious Cannubi hill. An old vine wine, Barolo Cannubi is crafted from vineyards planted in 1935 with a desirable southern exposure.
I shared this wine with my husband and fellow wine lovers and neighbors Carol and Jim. There were ooh’s and ah’s for this wine on first sip and then again as we tasted it again (and again) after it opened up. This is a wonderful wine to share with friends and family who are appreciate fine wines with a complex nature. I am not so sure someone who is just getting into wine would appreciate its multifaceted gifts. The price range ($85) tends to tell the story. It’s a special wine. Share it with those who will appreciate it.
The wine has a remarkable garnet, ruby red color with some faint orange reflections. It has a distinct nose showcasing notes of cherry, plum and earthiness that evolve into hints of black pepper, licorice and cocoa. This is a wine that changes slightly as it breathes, so try it at opening and then again 15 minutes later. The earthiness turns more to a slight dustiness, adds in notes of delicate violets, and the cocoa to more of an espresso. The fruit stays consistent. Lovely in either version.
On the palate, it presents as dry and full bodied with soft tannins that invite a longer examination of its complex nature. Fruit forward in an elegant way, this is a keeper. Serve at 61°F to 63°F to best enjoy the full range of sensations this wine is capable of expressing.
Barolo Cannubi is an opulent wine, perfect with the full-flavored Piedmontese cuisine such as white truffle-based dishes and braised meat or a sassy salad (see recipe below) that brings out the fruit and terroir of the wine. At 15% alcohol the food pairing for this wine needs to be able to hold its own.
Damilano Family History – 1890 to Present
Damilano is one of the oldest and most respected family-owned wineries in Barolo. The family
business was started in 1890 by Giuseppe Borgogno, the great-grandfather of the winery’s current owners. His goal of producing the finest expression of Barolo.
Over time, the original 12 acre property was passed to his son-in-law, Giacomo Damilano, who (with his children) developed a passion for the vineyards, selecting and maintaining them with great care in order to continue the family legacy. In 1997, the Damilano winery was passed down to Giacomo’s grandchildren who continue to manage the winery today.
Paolo, Mario and Guido Damilano, the fourth generation of ownership, have brought new vigor to the family business, improving and developing the fruit that their extraordinary land has to offer. Always looking forward, they continually innovate to raise the quality of their wines.
The Damilano Winery
The town of Barolo – from where the “King of Wines” takes its name – is in the agriculturally rich and beautiful Langhe region. The Damilano family has learned, through passion and precision, how to turn the fruit of this special terroir into unique wines.
The family and their team of viticulturists and enologists, including Beppe Caviola, one of the most famous and renowned enologists in Italy, together with the viticulturist Gianpiero Romana, work tirelessly to ensure that their 180 acres of select vineyards are looked after with the same respect as given them by the generations beforehand.
In the winery, Damilano combines a modern approach with the best of Piedmont’s old world techniques, in order to produce four great Barolo cru wines: Cannubi, Liste, Brunate and Cerequio. The cru wines Cannubi, Brunate, Cerequio and Liste have distinct expressions that showcase the differences in terroir, ranging from the innate elegance of Cannubi and Brunate to the more decisive and structured character of Cerequio and Liste.
Barolo is universally acknowledged to be among the world’s great red wines. The best Barolos stand up to comparisons with the finest wines of Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Napa Valley. The Barolo district embraces a handful of micro-terroirs that, thanks to their sun exposure, soil and climatic conditions as well as the ages of the vines and the expert care lavished on them for decades, help to elevate a great wine to legendary status. Among these micro-terroirs, one in particular – Cannubi – allows the Nebbiolo grape to express all its elegant complexity like nowhere else in the region. On this hill of just 84 acres, a superb combination of soil and climatic conditions nurture wines of rare intensity and longevity. Cannubi is the most famous and renowned Barolo cru, with accolades in historical documents that can be found as far back as the 1700s, predating even the advent of the Barolo category itself.
In some parts of the world crus are represented by a single winery while in other cases, such as Hermitage in the Rhone, a wine zone’s special cru is cultivated by more than one producer. Cannubi has several producers but, more than any other, Damilano is identified with the cru and Cannubi with Damilano. One of the most dynamic family wineries in Barolo, Damilano has long cultivated vines on the slopes of Cannubi, and today, between its own estate vineyards and others held under lease, Damilano holds stewardship over about two thirds of the total vines planted within the area of the Cannubi menzione geografica aggiuntiva (the Barolo equivalent of a French lieu-dit or cru).
The Terroir and the Wine
Cannubi is a long hill that rises above the town of Barolo and extends northeast for the better part of a mile. Geologically (unique among the terroirs of Barolo) Cannubi stands at the intersection of two stratas, the blue grey Tortonian marl and the buff-colored Helvetian sandstone. It’s this mix that makes Cannubi a true crossroads and sampler of Barolo soil varieties, and gives the wines their great individuality and complexity. Planted with vines up to 50 years old , the Cannubi vineyards enjoy a south/southeasterly exposure that ensures full grape maturation while the fine, sandy soil contributes to the wine’s intense aromas: fragrant with cherry and plum notes, evolving into shades of tobacco, rose and violet. The magnesium and potassium-rich limestone and clay that is also present in the soil lend the wines of Cannubi a vibrant, intense color and guarantee a high concentration of polyphenols, all resulting in wines of great elegance and finesse.
Matured for two years in large oak barrels, Damilano Barolo Cannubi is a full-bodied, complex densely nuanced wine that can be cellar-aged for twenty years or more.
Burrata & Peach Heirloom Tomato Salad Towers
Compliments of Bristol Farms
2 Heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 package fresh burrata (Hint: It's that rich, fab Italian cheese made from cream and mozzarella)
1-2 large peaches
1-2 tablespoons Academia Barilla balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3-4 springs fresh mint, chopped
Place 4 tomato slices on plate or platter and top with a piece of fresh burrata, followed by a slice of peach. Follow this process 2 or more times, until you have 2 layers of tomatoes, 2 layers of cheese and layers of peaches.
Drizzle each tower with balsamic vinegar. You can adjust the vinegar according to your taste.
Top the towers with chopped basil and mint.