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2017 was the hottest and driest vintage to date since weather records have existed, and not only in Piedmont. And yet the wines of the vintage mostly taste quite different from what one would expect. As a rule, they are even somewhat lighter and more accessible than those from the two great vintages of 2015 and 2016. Where everything is right, we are dealing with beguilingly juicy, complex and often surprisingly elegant wines. But the vintage also has another side. Where the harvest was started too early or there was simply too little water, the wines could also turn out somewhat one-sided, sometimes brittle or even slightly green. So it is important to choose wisely.

Most 17s are accessible relatively early, even many of the very good ones. We advise you not to let them sit blindly for 10 years or more, but to taste a bottle every now and then before that. The absolute tops will certainly benefit from longer storage, but a large part of the wines will probably reach their best drinking window in a few years already.

The situation is different with the great Riserve of the 2015 vintage. Fears that the wines will not be able to mature particularly well because of their lower acidity can be safely ignored (as is actually always the case in such cases). You will probably be able to enjoy the tops for decades to come, and here it is actually worth forgetting the bottles in the cellar for quite a while. In the meantime, you can drink the 17s.

We have tasted well over 200 Barolos for this BEST OF in the last few weeks. Each wine was tasted blind at least twice, some samples more often where we thought it necessary. We present the best results here; links to all wines and their producers with detailed descriptions can be found at the end of each vintage list.

BEST OF Barolo Barolo 2017