Borgogno • A Barolo Great

Borgogno has a history travelling back to 1761

Borgogno – with a history reputed to stretch back to 1761 –  is Barolo’s most historical wine.

More recently in the 19th Century – 1861 to be exact – Borgogno Barolo was served at lunch in Piedmont to celebration the unification of Italy.

Today, the wines of this 260-year old estate continues to unite wine lovers around the world in celebration.

And, celebrate we do because Borgogno is Barolo made in the same way that has distinguished the Piedmontese red as one of the greatest wines in the world.

The fermentation – with natural yeast – is undertaken in traditional concrete tanks (the same, incidentally, as at Chateau Petrus). Then follows a period of ageing in large Slovenian oak casks. You won’t, however, be tasting wood.


After fermentation in cement concrete tanks, the wine is aged in large Slovenian oak casks

Instead, you will be lavished with the pristine fruit of Nebbiolo and its holistic tannins from skin and pips. Such tannins – inherent to the grape –  always integrate more harmoniously with the wine than tannins from oak staves which are extraneous to the fruit.

As Burgundian Laurent Ponsot so articulately points out, “oak is not part of the terroir of a wine”.

The vineyards of Borgogno Barolo are in Madonna di Como and Colli Tortonesi. No chemical fertilisers and no herbicides are used. Only eco-friendly treatments are employed and the vineyards were certified organic from the 2019 harvest, a conversion that had originated since 2016.

In 1955, the French Institute des Appellations d’Origines did something utterly distasteful and uncalled for. It took Borgogno to court, accusing them of having copied the name “Bourgogne” or Burgundy.

This is absurd and arrogant.

If a family cannot put its name to its wine, what is the world coming to?


Borgogno is renowned for having a collection of old vintages


Borgogno has some of the best vineyards of the region: Cannubi, Cannubi San Lorenzo, Fossati, Liste, and San Pietro delle Viole


The Nebbiolo produces one of the greatest wines in Barolo

In 1968, Cesare Borgogno passed on.

A man of great foresight, he had begun exporting the family’s wines to Argentina, the United States, and Europe in 1920. That same year, the visionary held back half the production of Borgogno Barolo Riserva and kept them in the cellars, offering the bottles for sale only 20 years later.

Cesare Borgogno’s grand-daughter Ida and her future husband Franco Boschis took over responsibility of the winery. In 1984, their sons Cesare and Giorgio Boschil joined the business.

The winery was acquired by the Farinetti Family in 2008. Firmly committed to following traditions, two years later, Andrea Farinetti took over the running of the company after graduating from oenology studies in Alba.

There is – at the moment – no travel bubble between Italy and most countries.

I hope the day is not far away when it is possible to visit Casa Borgogno because, prior to the present pandemic, it welcomed visitors every day from 10.30 to 12.30 pm, 3 to 6.30 pm on via Gioberti n°1 – 12060 Barolo CN.

In Singapore and Malaysia, Borgogno is distributed by Monopole at monopole.com.sg.

Borgogno No Name 2016

This is a Barolo all but in name. Back in 2005 – when still owned by Ida Borgogno – the winery submitted a cask sample of Barolo for routine evaluation by the regulatory authority. The commission denied the wine its DOCG status because it felt the wine was stylistically different than Barolo. The winery was, understandably – and not to be too impolite or inelegant – pissed off. As a protest, each year since then, the winery has declassified a cask of their DOCG Barolo into “No Name”. As a Langhe Nebbiolo. If you drink “between the lines”, you will realise the wine is terrific value-for-money. Blue and red fruit of excellent persistence, and with a liquorice note. Lively ripe tannins and lots of freshness.

Borgogno Barolo 2016

Floral, cherries, and red fruit. Verve, energy, drive and stamina. The tannins are equally lovely. The harmony of fruit, structure, and freshness is -rope balanced. Power, poise, and elegance in the same sip. The Nebbiolo grapes come from five of the best vineyards of the region: Cannubi, Cannubi San Lorenzo, Fossati, Liste, and San Pietro delle Viole. While it may not be the case in most other wine regions of the world, 2016 is one of the greatest vintages of Barolo!

Borgogno Riserva 2012

Even though this is Riserva, the fruit is less intense than the classic Borgogno Barolo of the 2016 vintage. Blue and black fruit of great freshness with lively tannins that are just a touch tart on the finish.

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