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2016 is an extraordinary vintage in the Langhe. The Barolo wines combine power with elegance and finesse, as we can experience it - apart from a few top producers who regularly manage this balancing act - so clearly only in exceptional years. The best wines also have freshness, life, and a suppleness that makes them beguiling and deceptively accessible even in their youth. Yet they offer enough depth, structure and complexity necessary to develop positively over years, often decades.

However, simpler wines can also be found in 2016. They have evolved more quickly than others, are less substantial and complex, a little brittle or lacking the depth for higher consecrations. But we almost didn't come across any really weak Barolo. On the other hand, we were allowed to discover many excellent examples from houses that we either didn't know so far, or that we didn't have on our minds in terms of top qualities. It has hardly ever been more rewarding to search for gems off the beaten track!