Product information

Giovanni Sordo Barolo ‘Rocche di Castiglione’ 2019

Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy, Castiglione Falletto, Barolo


$149ea in any 3+
$144ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork


Wow! A sensational Rocche. At this early stage in its life it sit with harmony, together. Expressive, a long even palate, stunning tannins that caress. The perfume is intoxicating, faded flowers of Castiglione Falletto. A superb core of fruit of exceptional length.

Year in year out this is in the top 3 of Sordo 8 Barolo Crus. It looks like this year will be no different. Savoury, a little salty and earthy. This will be long lived.

Beautifullly composed

In stock (can be backordered)

Check out all of the wines by Giovanni Sordo

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

An Overview of the 2019’s

Sordo’s 2019 Barolos hold their heads high in both quality & coin!

I’ve now tried dozens of 2019 Barolos from dozens of makers.

The 2 differentiators between good & very good to exceptional are:

1. Greater depth & length of fruit
2. Layered tannin with excellent mouthfeel.

Sordo has covered both convincingly!

First impressions for the 2019 Sordo Cru Barolos was one of vibrant, fresh, energetic grape first wines, loaded with red fruits, combining delicacy with poise and precision.

It just got better from there!

The 2019’s are classically styled with an extra hit of acid that will benefit them as they evolve in bottle and is a perfect counterpoint to a hunk of steak.

Tasting through exploring the wines as they unfolded revealed the individual Crus expressing beautifully showing their site and commune.

Devouring all of the Crus together over several hours first tasting clinically and then drinking with food is a wonderful experience. The differences in tannin profiles, texture, flow and shape intrigue and exhilarate.

Time in bottle will see these divine Barolos fully resolve, the acid dial in and find that perfect balance point, generosity and complexity will build even further.

These will be the kind of wines that you drink half a bottle without noticing and will be gagging to drink the rest!

This is a superb set of wines of great purity, one not to miss!

Sadly there will be no 2019 Parussi as the vineyard was heavily damaged by hail.

Looking forward to a series of vertical with the plentiful museum stocks Sordo offer!

Deep Dive into the 8 Cru’s of Sordo

This commentary and films explores the 8 Cru’s for the 2016 vintage. Still relevant to this release it shares great insights. 

Watch 🎥full length 4 part series covering the 2016 wines & get the full experience with flyover maps of the communes and more. Listen 🎧 if the NBN is annoying you!

Scroll down 👇🏼

David Ridge, Neb-Head, responsible for bringing the likes of Bartolo Mascarello, Giacomo Conterno and Bruno Giacosa to Australia shared his incredible depth of knowledge of all things Barolo in a session at Wine Decoded HQ.  David spent a couple of hours with us tasting through all 8 Cru’s made by Sordo. Yes, that is right, 8 Cru’s from one producer!

There is so much gold in David’s insights, you’re going to need to watch or listen a couple of times … preferably with a glass in hand.

Prior to trying the wines, I asked myself, will this result in confusion and seeing a jack of all trades and master of none. After smelling the Langhe Neb, Barbaresco and Barolo Normale I  realised the reality, was going to be the complete opposite. All of the wines were superb individual and delicious! Given the geographic and varietal spread we work with in Australia, it was a silly thought really. Here’s a family working with one variety over an area that is 10km wide and 15km long (excluding the Roero and Barbaresco fruit). Compared to some of my past winemaking experience working across multiple regions hundreds of km’s apart, spanning a dozen varietals, they have some serious focus!

We recorded the session, and, now, share it with the Wine Decoded community. We introduce you to Nebbiolo, take you through the geology of Barolo and its impact on the wines, 5 of the 11 Communes that make up the Barolo region, and, 8 special Cru’s including some of the rarest and most sought after in the world!

Get in touch with us before you next head to Barolo and we’ll get you connected to the Sorodo Crew!

This is an exceptional opportunity to grab a set of wines, break it down into brackets of 2 or 3 and try them along with the film we recorded below! It’s like a masterclass in your own home. Grab some wine loving friends and listen to the Nebbiolo wisdom of Neb-Head David Ridge & Wine Decoded’s very own Paul Kaan who combined have devoured 1,000’s of Nebbiolo’s!

Watch 🎥full length 4 part series covering the 2016 wines & get the full experience with flyover maps of the communes and more. Listen 🎧 if the NBN is annoying you!

The 4 brackets

All of the wines were beautifully made, expressive, showing great balance and harmony. The élévage was excellent. Loads of energy through the line-up. It really was a case of celebrating the differences. Some of the wines are drinking beautifully now (and have plenty of legs on them) others were still tightly coiled needing time. All had the right bits in the right places and were full of personality.

TOP TIP – If you want to try them in brackets like we did or over time grab a Coravin and use it to save the wines.

Bracket 1 – The Perfect Intro:  2016 Barbaresco, 2016 Barolo

The Barbaresco a blend from Treiso, Barbaresco and Nieve. Has developed beautifully over the last year. The perfume, the energy, such fine bones, delicacy, delicious juicy fruit. Just keeps getting better. Nice little bit of licoricious on red cherries with excellent vibrant acidity. Lovely Barbaresco.

The Barolo 80% La Morra. Immediate generosity has it open for action but so much more. A little chocolate and little coffee, savoury bits on dark fruit. There is a lot going on here with layers of flavours and tannins. The depth and length are impressive. Wonderful harmony and presence.

Bracket 2 – The Playful Ones: 2016 Ravera + Monvigliero

You could happily drink both of these with a decant and time in the glass now. They have plenty of time in them too!

Bracket 3 – The Super Stars: 2016 Villero + Monprivato + Rocche di Castiglione + Parussi

Wow just wow. Incredibly different and complete wines. I could just spend hours smelling these 4.



Bracket 4 – The Bold Ones: 2016 Perno + Gabutti

Here we find the structure, bold tannins, exceptional tannins, will need time to uncoil and build secondary characters and resolve.

About Giovanni Sordo

Sordo HQ is nestled in the corner of Castiglione Falletto comune on the last stretch of the Alba-Barolo road before it takes that left fork up to Barolo village. You take this track (Frazione Garbelletto) just to the left for Paolo Scavino and Azelia, or right another 100 metres to the entrance of the Sordo family’s quite spectacular and beautiful new cellar.

While the sheer impact and architectural quality of this new facility is eye-catching, it’s the wines that demand even more attention. For sheer consistent excellence of this number of wines made in an essentially traditional and unforced style, it is impossible not to take note of the wines of A A Giovanni Sordo . These wines have been described as ‘transparent’ and they are made by people who want their wines to speak of where they come from.

The Winemaking

One of the really fascinating themes to a Sordo tasting is that all the Baroli are made as identically as is realistic. Vinification is in controlled temperature (to 30o) steel & cuve with submerged caps for up to 50 days. A further 2-4 months in steel, is followed by 24 months in large Slavonian botti. Giorgio Sordo likes the wines to have a further 4-6 months in steel, to “freshen them up” before bottling. Aha, so these are the secrets to transparency?

The 2019 Vintage

What of 2019? Well from what I’ve seen to date, the best producers have used their experience to grow and make classically styles wines with good acidity, physiological ripeness, energy with on balance moderate alcohols for Nebbiolo. There is much more consistency across the board compared to 2018. The year has proven strong for Barbaresco and Barolo.

I’ve always said commentary on vintages is fraught with danger. It should always be considered a generalisation, it simply can’t account for the subtlety of site, viticultural circumstances & practices, and the wisdom of the hands making the vino.

The significant changes to climate and the adaption in the vineyard and winery over the last 2-3 decades make comparison of vintages beyond recent times problematic at best.

Taste enough with wise wine peeps and you’ll soon come to the conclusion that you must play what’s in the glass first, the maker and grower next and the vintage last.

There were some cracking wines made in 2017 & 2018 you just had to work harder to find them with much less consistency than 2015 & 2016.

Galloni talks of 5 key criteria to assess a Barolo growing season. These are similar to the commentary Masneghetti makes.

In summary, Galloni looks for the following conditions to be met:

1. Longer growing season, leads to later harvesting and better typically good physiological ripeness (tannins and flavours).

2. The longer season pushes the final ripening phase into a colour period with greater diurnal shifts. Warm days with cool nights. This helps with the retention of acid and allows for even ripening of sugars, flavours and tannins.

3. Absence of shock weather events frosts, hail, badly timed heavy rains, prolonged hot weather can result in inconsistent yields and rippening, disease pressure, vine shut down, sun burn and beyond.

4. Stable weather during the last month of ripening. As the crop nears ripeness the skins soften and the fruit has the capacity to take on more water from rainfall and is therefore more susceptible to dilution and disease with heavy rains in addition to shrivel or sun burn with heat and direct exposure to sunlight.

5. A late harvest to a degree this one is incorporated in condition 1 & 2. It is likely that if they are met this one will be too.

While these are a good start and do provide an indicator of favourable conditions for decent wines to be made, there are a great many vineyard and winery factors to consider.

Soil management to provide a stable, healthy, balanced environment with sufficient water holding capacity to see the vines through the growing season, canopy management to manage light and air flow keeping vines disease free and fruit protect from excessive direct exposure to the sun, techniques that lengthen the ripening phase to achieve phenological ripeness, with acid retention and that’s just a few consideration in a vineyard.

In the winery, understanding acid management and having the wisdom to use intuition, experience and science to manage tannins.

“… The 2019s are potent, tightly wound wines that will thrill readers who appreciate the nuance, subtlety and structure of Nebbiolo. Today, the 2019s show elements of youthful austerity that, at times, recall vintages such as 2016, 2005 and 1999 …”


Vintage reports from others

Alessandro Masneghetti’s 2019 Barolo Vintage Report. Subscription required.

Where in Barolo are Sordo’s 8 Cru’s?

While they release 8 Cru’s, Sordo own of 17 parcels of Barolo cru

And what places these wines come from! Since the very early 20th century, generations of the Sordo family have been quietly collecting parcels of the finest Nebbiolo-growing dirt in the Langhe. They now have numerous plots of vines in Roero, Barbaresco and particularly Barolo – where they actually own 17 pieces of cru classified vineyard and release an unprecedented 8 labelled (Barolo) cru wines from these, so far.

These are a cavalcade of Barolo’s most famous names – many of them appearing in any list of Barolo’s Top 10 cru; Ravera, Monvigliero, Parussi, Perno and Gabutti and the revered Castiglione Falletto trio of Villero, Rocche di Castiglione and the elusive Monprivato; the one most thought was Giuseppe Mascarello’s monopole, isn’t quite. Sordo started making theirs from 2012. Prior to that, it’s been going into the normale.

Sordo’s Released Cru’s

The map below shows the boundaries of each of the 11 communes of the region of Barolo and the location of each of Sordo’s Cru’s within the communes.

Click to enlarge🔎

The map below shows a very rough divide of soil types across Barolo. The MGA soil map shows these in great detail. It’s only a rule of thumb but a reasonably good one.

Click to enlarge🔎

The map below shows details of all of the Cru’s in Barolo say you can see how big or tiny each one is and which vineyards surround the Sordo’s Cru’s. Barolo is roughly 10km wide and 15km long.

Click to enlarge🔎

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Azienda Agricola Sordo Giovanni, Via Alba Barolo, Garbelletto, Province of Cuneo, Italy

Castiglione Falletto