I’d forgive you if you’ve never heard of the phenomenal Baroli of Poderi e Cantine Oddero. They’ve been consistently ahead of the curve, leading to stratospheric quality but also rarity – and an ability to largely stay under the radar.
They were one of the first producers to take up the mantle of quality wine production in Piedmont, putting their name as a stamp of approval on their wines as early as the 18th century. Over one hundred years ago, they were also arguably the first to eschew selling in bulk – via small casks or demijohns – and began bottling with the 1878 vintage.
In the 1920s they took quality to the next level, creating the first ‘cru’s – small parcels farmed for individual character much like the great vineyards of Burgundy. Since then – many of these tiny cru are never publicly available. Every vintage, they’ve disappeared quickly and quietly upon release to a small list of private collectors and the top restaurants in Italy.
I don’t have to tell you what’s been going on in Italy this year, but with the cellar laid bare, I’ve had my pick of the litter. Perhaps the most knowledgeable of all the wine reporters on all things Italian wine is former Antonio Galloni and he spared no expense in his coverage of the vintage.
First he called it, “an ideal growing season” perfectly intersecting with winemakers that are in their primes resulting in “a vintage full of truly spectacular, breathtaking wines that captures all the pedigree that Nebbiolo and Barolo are capable of.”
He went on to single out several wineries by name including Oddero. But perhaps the most powerful statement from his coverage of this epic vintage is this: “For many growers, the 2016s are not just epic, they are career-defining wines.”
With less than four thousand bottles made, very little of the Oddero Barolo Villero typically makes it stateside, if any. Add in the fact that it comes from what may end up being one of the most historic vintages of all times and a 96 point score – and you can imagine my surprise when I got the call for this one.
Out of stock
96 Points, Wine Spectator
Intense flavors of black currant and black cherry are shaded by iron, tar and tobacco in this toned yet powerful red. This is balanced, though needs time to absorb the dense, chalky tannins. The aftertaste extends the fruit element, along with mineral and tobacco accents. Best from 2023 through 2045.