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2016 Michele Chiarlo Barbaresco Faset

2016 Michele Chiarlo Barbaresco Faset

94 WE


Sokolin Notes:
This Barbaresco is a Total Knock-Out!

From the critics:

93+ RP

93 AG

93 JS

Featured Review
Forest floor, new leather, camphor and rose aromas mingle with a toasted note. Linear and racy, the precise, elegantly structured palate offers dried cherry, espresso, orange peel and licorice alongside firm, close-grained tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink 2024–2036. Wine Enthusiast

Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE

Critic Reviews

Forest floor, new leather, camphor and rose aromas mingle with a toasted note. Linear and racy, the precise, elegantly structured palate offers dried cherry, espresso, orange peel and licorice alongside firm, close-grained tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink 2024–2036.

Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE
This is a superb nose that shows pressed violets, blueberry compote, hibiscus, tangerines and orange blossom. Medium-bodied with delightful polish to the deft tannins and acidity that cuts through the blue fruit like butter. A refined, floral style of unmistakable beauty. Drink from 2021.

James Suckling | 93 JS
This wine truly underlines the differences between the single vineyards of Barbaresco. The Faset vineyard is located only about 300 meters from Asili, yet the wines made from these respective sites are completely different. The 2016 Barbaresco Faset shows more heft and fiber with brooding dark fruit. This wine shows a whole different level of intensity. Pair it with Piedmont’s plin ravioli.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93+ RP
The 2016 Barbaresco Faset is a bold, punchy wine. Spice, leather, cedar, dried flowers, mint and a touch of new oak all give the Faset a super-distinctive aromatic profile. The flavors are really popping in the Faset today. I especially like the wine’s energy.

Antonio Galloni | 93 AG

Wine Details for 2016 Michele Chiarlo Barbaresco Faset

Type of Wine Italy Red
Varietal Nebbiolo : Nebbiolo is the superstar grape variety and driving force behind the top-quality red wines of northwestern Italy. The Italian winegrowing appellation of Piedmont is covered by a sea of Nebbiolo grape vines. It is the undisputed king of grapes in the twin hillside villages of Barolo and Barbaresco, where some of the world’s most coveted wines hail from.

Quality over quantity is the motto for this subtly powerful grape. A mere 5,500 hectares of Nebbiolo are cultivated around the world, of which, more than 4,000 are found in Langhe and Roero. The varietal has been growing here since the 1st century and has been called Nebbiolo since the 1200’s. Like most ancient grape varietals, there are many speculations as to its true origin, but what is certain is that in the hills of Langhe and Roero, Nebbiolo has found its ideal environment.

Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon which is a versatile grape, Nebbiolo has not thrived when planted in wine regions outside of northern Italy. Nebbiolo is more like the finicky Pinot Noir: difficult to grow and highly reflective of terroir. The varietal thrives on calcareous marl, a lime-rich mudstone that is found on the right back of the Tanaro River (home to Barolo and Barbaresco) where it grows best in its warm climate and ample sunlight. The growing conditions in the hilly areas of Barolo and Barbaresco are optimal and produce some of the most sought after wines not only in Italy, but in the world.

The Nebbiolo vine buds earlier than most grapes grown in Piedmont but harvested last. The berries do not appear until long after flowering, making it very susceptible to poor weather conditions. The name Nebbiolo is thought to have come from the Italian word for fog, nebbia, which is common during the fall when the local hillsides are covered in a ghostly haze.

The iron fist in a velvet glove, which is a witty slogan for the wine of Barolo, can aptly be used to define the Nebbiolo grape itself. The thin-skinned, light colored grape packs a punch, producing wines that are light ruby when young and fades to a pale garnet when older. This characteristic should not be mistaken as watery; wine produced from Nebbiolo is super concentrated and flavorful with high acidity and tannins. When properly vinified, the best vintages will last for decades.

Despite the challenges of this fussy grape, some growers in the “New World” are trying their hand at harvesting Nebbiolo. In South Australia young producers are making wines that are fruiter and less tannic than their Italian counterparts. This novel take on the Italian grape has prompted California, Chile and South Africa to begin small plantings of Nebbiolo.

The iron fist in a velvet glove, the undisputed king of Piedmont and the deceptively powerful Nebbiolo grape may be limited in quantity, much-coveted, nearly exclusive to Italy, demands aging and can sometimes command high prices; the wait, the price and the difficulty in finding it is rewarded with one of the greatest wines made from the mighty Nebbiolo grape varietal.

Country Italy : Italy is renowned as one of the world’s greatest gastronomic havens; from certified Prosciutto di Parma to the sea-side seafood eateries on the island of Sicily. However, this epicurean experience could not possibly be as hedonistic without the ethereal combination of the country’s plethora of fine wines. It seems unfair that a nation should be able to boast, both, some of the world’s greatest cuisine as well as its greatest wines. Italian wine is one of the most sought after in the world, and has become the second most produced in the world, behind only France.

Stretching an impressive 736 miles from northern Italy to the peninsula’s southern tip, the country’s geography generates an enormous array of topography, climate and soil structure. This is an extremely important quality of its winegrowing and making industry which lays claim to nearly 550 different grape varietals, which all desire their own necessities, in terms of terroir and climate.

The still red wines of Italy truly characterize the nation’s vast and expansive terroir; Nebbiolo dominates Piedmont, where Barolo and Barbaresco reign king and queen of the region’s production. Hailing from Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, the rockstar Sangiovese grape has become synonymous with greatness. Vin Santo sweet wines have taken on a mighty feat of competing with the glorious wines of Sauternes, and of course, Prosecco. Prosecco, located in Trieste (northeast Italy) and its creation of luxuriously effervescent styles of wine has become Italy’s answer to Champagne. The Glera grape variety, which has become synonymous with the name Prosecco, is the main ingredient and is beloved in the appellation where the village of Prosecco’s name has become world renowned.

The blurred boundary between Italy and the countries of Slovenia and Austria, where German influence still resonates through Friuli wines. The prevalence of Riesling and other such grape varietals is high in this region and have become extremely popular on today’s market.

With nearly 702,000 hectares of grapevines covering the massive and diverse landscape, Italy’s annual average of 48.3 million hectoliters of wine production is second only to France in terms of volume and Spain in terms of hectares of vines. The country is vast and overwhelming when it comes to the culinary arts, but perhaps even this is overshadowed by its production of some of the world’s most sought after wines, whether the omnipresent Chianti to the highly collectible and sought after Amarone della Valpolicalla.

Region Piedmont : Italian culture values the unbreakable bond we share with family and very few things showcase that connection quite like a shared meal. Therefore, it's only natural that wine would also take its place as an important cultural aspect. Fine Italian produce always goes well with a variety of dishes, and that makes these wines an incredibly popular choice among wine enthusiasts who appreciate a good get-together. The foothills of the Alps help define this region's significantly colder, continental winter climate, but during the summer, the conditions are similar to the region of Burgundy.

Flavor-wise, this region has a mind-boggling variety to offer. Not only is there a healthy selection of approved grapes to work with, but the soil often varies from estate to estate, letting every wine stand out. Expect to encounter powerful notes of rose petal flavor, spices, cherries, dried herbs, anise, and many more. Every bottle has a story to tell. Those of you with a tendency to hoard and collect fine wines will be especially intrigued, as Piedmont wines tend to mature extremely well, developing nuance and becoming more and more delicious as time goes on.

Subregion Barbaresco


Producer Michele Chiarlo : The story of Michele Chiarlo is one of great intimacy between man and terroir, of tradition, discipline and humble beginnings. The Michele Chiarlo name was made with the rise of the glorious reputation of Barolo. He had come from five generations of grape growers and now with his sons representing the seventh generation, the legacy of his family name lives on. Since 1956, Michele has been vinifying the essence of Piedmont, loving and developing the most incredible wines in the region.

The history of the estate dates back to 1930 when Michele’s father, Pietro, first tilled the lands, breaking the soil by hand to replant his vineyards in the Calamandrana hillside of Monferrato, Italy. Pietro cobbled enough together to purchase an ‘underrated’ parcel of land and with great determination, turned it into something viable for his children. Each new generation since has added and expanded onto the humble beginnings to create a living legacy. This romantic narrative, like many others diverges, carving out a new road for Barbera and Barolo and its impact on the global wine industry.

The Chiarlo family now cultivates 110 hectares of vineyards between the Langhe, Monferrato, and Gavi areas, within them the finest crus, while fully respecting the ecological criteria, terroir and their expression. The estate’s core tenet is to produce the highest quality Piemontese wines while respecting the beauty of nature, using discipline, tradition, and sustainability. Working only with indigenous grapes, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Cortese and Moscato, Chiarlo continues the traditional winemaking style implemented by his father, Pietro, nearly a century ago. For the Chiarlo family, “the vineyard is a living thing, a life that we want to experience.”

The centrality of work in the vineyard, origin of the uniqueness of a wine, to which they dedicate the strictest attention, in full respect for the environment and sustainability of work; every operation in the vineyards is performed manually, from fertilization to the green work, up to thinning and the harvest. The dedication towards native vines, such as Barbera, shown by Michele Chiarlo has been a fundamental platform for its emergence on the international wine scene. Chiarlo and many vintners alike, such as Renato Ratti, have propelled the wines of the Piedmont region into the global spotlight; each vintage growing in popularity and demand. Unfortunately, higher-end ‘Cru’ wines are made in limited quantities and only in the greatest vintages.

From the highly esteemed vineyards of Cerequio, Cannubi (perhaps the most famous hill in all of Italy) Asili and Faset, the Barolo and Barbarescos of Michele Chiarlo have become some of the hottest labels coming out of Piedmont. His Barbera d’Asti from the vineyards of Montemareto and Costa dell Monache have garnered world-wide attention, while his Gavi and Moscato d’Asti have quietly swelled in popularity. Using 100% indigenous grapes, without the assemblage of international varieties, a pure expression of the oenological wealth that only this native land knows how to convey.

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