Ian D’Agata - Barolo vintage 2019-2018 (some extent 2017-2013)

As always Ian share plenty of good insights and the latest from his relatively new project (China based) is this write up of Barolo with main focus on 2019/18 along with tasting notes. To various extent it also covers most vintages of the 2010s and is a three part report with the below link covering the first of these:


The second is live as well but is behind a paywall (haven’t read it).

Well worth the read but a few key takeaways for me was:

  • 2019: a very good vintage (even if he had some high temperatures)
  • 2018: not as bad as many believe it to be. And a site transparant vintage (even if not for the long haul). Better than 2017, 2014 and 2011.
  • 2017: confirming that it’s a challenging year with few success (nothing new)
  • 2015: Regarded as one of the greatest vintages in recent memory.

The article(s) is really worth reading through for Barolo fans and comes with several TNs in the end.

Rather a strident / opinionated opening to his article. Perhaps I’m more used to his style from Native wine grapes, which I much prefer.

I certainly don’t share that desire to try and talk one region up over a different unrelated region, and trying to say one region’s winemakers are more talented than those elsewhere is something more typical of a Galloni or Parker, and invariably then followed a month or two later, where the other region gets talked up instead.

The rant about 2005 sounds rather Galloni-like as well, as if he’s personally invested himself in a proclamation and so is up on his soapbox claiming he’s right and others are wrong. Whilst I share his distrust/dislike of hot vintages, again generalisations are usually exposed by some fine exceptions (for me, Marcarini often seem very capable of handling hotter vintages adeptly - I’m sure there are other examples)

I do prefer him when he’s sharing insights into more technical aspects of winemaking, grapes, terroir, etc. and the tail end of the article is an improvement to my mind. Better when he has his feet on the ground, rather than his head in the clouds. Perhaps the article was influenced by him being away from Italy for a year?

Thanks for sharing this - unfortunately for me, not the best advertisement for subscribing to his publication, but others may find it more valuable. I’ll probably stick to his books.

To be fair, since I start to follow wine he has always been a man with a lot of favorites.

Now I am just guessing but reckon he is also trying to address a new audience given that he is based in China, hence the added importance to rise his own cred. Though I agree that there is no need for it and I’m sure an editor would help shorten down the first part(s).

For me the interesting bit was his take on the vintages - there are quite some interesting and observant points.

1 Like