Mauro Veglio, Barolo “Castelletto”
Mauro Veglio, Barolo “Castelletto”

Mauro Veglio, Barolo “Castelletto”

Piedmont, Italy 2013 (750mL)
Regular price$97.00
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Mauro Veglio, Barolo “Castelletto”

To all the people who think you need to age Barolo for 20, even 30 years, I say: Why? Oftentimes the optimal drinking window opens much sooner than that (and not just for Barolo, but for most of the world’s greatest red wines). Today’s single-vineyard bottling from the Mauro Veglio estate is a prime example, having knocked us all sideways with its perfectly calibrated evolution.

It still has some nice ripe cherry fruit and formidable tannins to frame it, while also unleashing a flurry of more “mature” aromatic notes of leather, tobacco, and dried herbs. Decant this wine a short while before serving it and it will fill the room with its scent, reminding everyone of the power and allure of Nebbiolo at its peak. And, best of all, this unique and soul-stirring wine experience won’t set you back anywhere near as much as you might have expected. The time is now, and the price is right—do not let it pass you by! 

This is the first time in a while that we’ve gotten the opportunity to revisit the stellar 2013 vintage, and it did not disappoint. Looking back through the SommSelect archives, I came across at least a dozen Barolo offers from 2013, and all of them contained the words “elegance” and “balance.” Characterized as a relatively cool, and exceptionally long, growing season, 2013 has been compared favorably to the now-legendary 2010 vintage, and in each case, all the hype is proving true when you pull the cork on a bottle. 

The Mauro Veglio winery is based in the village of La Morra, and I’ve always associated it with the brighter, less tannic, more perfumed style of Barolo that village is known for. Among its 14 hectares of vineyard holdings, however, is a section of “Castelletto,” a southeast-facing parcel in Monforte d’Alba, right along the border with Serralunga d’Alba. A greater concentration of sandstone in the soils of Castelletto gives this vineyard-designate bottling a little more muscle than Veglio’s other “cru” wines from La Morra (“Gattera,” “Arborina,” and “Rocche dell’Annunziata”), but there’s also a “house style” element at play here: The Veglio wines are always characterized by grace and refinement, and this 2013 exhibits plenty of both.

Estate namesake Mauro Veglio has been at the helm of this historic family property since 1986, and in 2017, he brought his nephew, Alessandro, into the fold. Alessandro had been producing wines under his own label for many years, but decided to merge his operation with his uncle’s to take the brand to the next stage of its evolution. For this “cru” bottling (these days, the better term to use is MGA, or Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva, to refer to a specific vineyard designation), the Veglios source fruit from roughly four hectares of old vines in Castelletto and macerate the fermenting juice on its skins for 20-25 days, using twice-daily pump-overs to facilitate extraction. The wine is aged in small oak barrels (30% new) for 24 months before bottling, and after some significant bottle age, that oak component has been seamlessly integrated.

In the glass, the 2013 Castelletto is a brilliant garnet red with pink and orange highlights, displaying gorgeous aromas of wild strawberry, cranberry, black cherry, orange rind, sandalwood, wet rose petals, licorice, warm spices, tobacco, and leather. It is not a powerhouse style, but rather a firm, focused wine with a subtle persistence to it. Whereas so much Barolo has an “in-your-face” quality to it when first poured, this one kind of sneaks up on you—but once it’s got its hooks in you it doesn’t let go. Decant it 30-60 minutes before service at 60 degrees in Burgundy stems and settle in for a long, scenic ride through the vine-draped hills of the Langhe. This is memorable, evocative red wine at a perfect stage in its evolution—not something you see every day, and certainly not at this price. Don’t miss it!

Mauro Veglio, Barolo “Castelletto”


Northwestern Italy


Italy’s Piedmont region is really a wine “nation”unto itself, producing world-class renditions of every type of wine imaginable: red, white, sparkling, name it! However, many wine lovers fixate on the region’s most famous appellations—Barolo and Barbaresco—and the inimitable native red that powers these wines:Nebbiolo.



The area known as “Chianti” covers a major chunk of Central Tuscany, from Pisa to Florence to Siena to Arezzo—and beyond. Any wine with “Chianti” in its name is going to contain somewhere between 70% to 100% Sangiovese, and there are eight geographically specific sub-regions under the broader Chianti umbrella.

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