2021 Figli Luigi Oddero, Langhe Nebbiolo
2021 Figli Luigi Oddero, Langhe Nebbiolo

2021 Figli Luigi Oddero, Langhe Nebbiolo

Piedmont, Italy 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$36.00

2021 Figli Luigi Oddero, Langhe Nebbiolo

 What’s the difference between good Barolo and Luigi Oddero’s Langhe Nebbiolo? Answer: a shorter maceration with the skins. Yup, that’s it. The fruit is sourced entirely from two vineyards that are fully in the Barolo DOCG, one in La Morra and the other in Castiglione Falletto, and other than the maceration time this wine is treated exactly like most of our favorite Barolo. Langhe Nebbiolo is definitely having a moment, but very few can match what Oddero accomplishes: A wine that has the full spectrum of aromatics, depth, and complexity yet is also extraordinarily drinkable right now, no more aging required. Of course this wine can age, and indeed I’ve had bottles between five and ten years old that were mindblowing, but it's not mandatory. So go ahead, have your “Barolo” cake and eat it too!

Another exciting feature of today’s wine is that it comes from a relatively “new” label, established by one of Barolo’s oldest families: the Odderos. This is one of the founding families of Barolo wine and one of the first to bottle under their own label. Up until 2006, brothers Luigi and Giacomo Oddero co-owned the estate founded by their grandfather, Giacomo, in the late 1800s. When the brothers and their respective families decided to go separate ways, they divvied up one of the most enviable and extensive collections of Barolo vineyards which included parcels all over the appellation, not just in the family’s home base in La Morra. While Giacomo (the younger) and his family retained the original winery in La Morra—whose wines are now labeled “Oddero Poderi e Cantine”—Luigi and family acquired the historic Luigi Parà winery, about a kilometer away. Following Luigi’s passing in 2010, his wife, Lena, and children (figli), Maria and Giovanni, took over management of the estate. Thus, Figli Luigi Oddero was born. 

Overall, the Luigi Oddero family farms an impressive 30 hectares of vineyards throughout the Barolo DOCG, with winemaking assistance coming from one of the most respected cellar men in the business: Dante Scaglione, the longtime right-hand man to Barolo/Barbaresco legend Bruno Giacosa. Scaglione, now a legend in his own right, has been gradually passing the torch to a young rising star named Francesco Versio, a Barbaresco native who worked with him toward the end of his tenure at Giacosa. Despite their deep roots and proven pedigree, the Luigi Oddero clan and their wines still fly a bit under the radar–which explains their exceptional value–but there’s no doubt that they’re now poised to regain the throne near the top of the Barolo pecking order.

All of this makes the 2021 Langhe Nebbiolo that much more remarkable. Sourced from two of their estate vineyards, one in La Morra and the other in Castiglione Falletto, the fruit for this declassified Barolo comes from the lower slopes were there is more clay than limestone, leading to a sappier, silkier, softer take on Nebbiolo. After the aforementioned briefer maceration, the wine is moved to giant, 85-hectoliter oak botti for 18 months of aging prior to bottling. It’s both a serious wine, and seriously drinkable. As such I would give it a quick splash decant before serving it in large Burgundy stems at a cool 55-60 degrees. The classic garnet mixed with brick orange hue is bright and translucent, and the aromatics are all Barolo: Spiced red cherries, crushed strawberries, dried rose petals, cocoa powder, tar, star anise, and hints of umami laced truffle. The only give away that this is young Langhe is the softer, sweeter tannic structure, but that doesn’t mean this wine does not have a backbone. I love it right now, but if you can lose a few in the cellar for five plus years you’ll be truly rewarded with outrageous complexity for the money. Serve with any of your favorite Italian meals, or try it with some dry-rubbed pork ribs. So many options, so little time . . . stock up!

2021 Figli Luigi Oddero, Langhe Nebbiolo

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