Abrigo Giovanni’s Outstanding Barolo Ravera

One of the Finest 2015s Bottled!

The story of today’s phenomenal Barolo estate, Abrigo Giovanni, began much like many do, with a patriarch arriving to Barolo and setting down new roots. The estate’s founder, Giovanni Abrigo, moved to Diano d’Alba from Treiso in 1968, purchasing the old Crava farmhouse which now houses the family’s historical cellar. Giovanni and his wife Maria managed what was then a typical Langa farm: raising Piedmontese cattle for beef and small farmyard animals, cultivating cereal crops, orchards, hazelnut trees and, of course, vineyards for the production of Dolcetto.

Fast forwarding to the 1980s, their son Giorgio, having completed his studies in agronomy, became involved in the cultivation of the vineyards, which were planted in the areas of the estate with the finest exposure and most suitable soils. His efforts would soon be rewarded. By the late 1980s, his Baroli were beginning to attract international acclaim, with high scores from the American and Italian press signaling he was on the right track. Giorgio soon found himself courting importers and interested buyers from all corners of the globe.

This new-found success led to the expansion by the family into new vineyard sites throughout Barolo, chief among them the Additional Geographic Mention (MGA) Ravera, in the municipality of Novello. This all-important site sits high above practically all other sites in Barolo, at an altitude of more than 1,300 feet. This elevation ensures great diurnal temperature shifts, building perfect acidities and guaranteeing beautiful fruit in the best vintages. What’s more, the soil is a calcareous clay, very deep, with the vines averaging 40 years of age. This soil type and vine age also ensures glorious fruit in top vintages.

As described by Galloni (referring to the 2015s), “Readers will find a number of dazzling 2015s… More importantly, though, the number of young growers and re-born older estates making compelling wines is greater than at any time since I first visited Piedmont in 1997.” Vintage 2015 was a major success for the family at Abrigo Giovanni, in particular for their Barolo Ravera. Suckling, in bestowing one of his highest marks of the vintage, said of the Ravera that he loved the “Full body” and that the wine had a “Long, flavorful finish” and was “Agile yet muscular.” Decanter magazine, too, loved the Ravera, describing the wine thus, “Ripe red fruits and dried herb aromas give the wine its charm, and the attack too is fresh and graceful, displaying delicacy alongside fine-grained tannins….”

This is undoubtedly one of the most successful 2015s I’ve tasted and bought. The Giovanni’s have received high praise from multiple outlets and yet they’ve worked with me to keep the price very reasonable. This is one for your cellar or dinner table, no question. I’ve cellared some, now it’s your turn!

James Suckling: Very perfumed and subtle with roses and dark fruit. Full body integrated and chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Agile yet muscular. Try in 2023.
94 points

Decanter Magazine: This property is based in Diano d’Alba, but Giorgio Abrigo also produces a Barolo from the increasingly regarded Ravera site in Novello, located high up at an altitude of 400m. Ripe red fruits and dried herb aromas give the wine its charm, and the attack too is fresh and graceful, displaying delicacy alongside fine-grained tannins. There’s spice on the mid-palate, which is perky and vibrant, followed by a long finish. Drinking window: 2020 – 2032
94 points

MSRP: $50

Everyday Low Price: $39.99