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Tasting through the wines, they have a rustic nature to them, the tannins are mouth coating, often dusty and chalky. Yet, they’re balanced with a purity and brightness of fruit. There is a faint layer of oak in the Barbera from the new large Stockinger botti refreshing the old botti that have seen decades of use. It sits in balance. Isabella Oddero describes it as neutral and elegant.

The wines demand patience. Drink the DOCG Barolo and Cru’s over 2 or 3 days when young. I write this with a large glass of 2016 Barbaresco ‘Gallina’ in hand. It’s been open for 3 days now and is drinking the best it’s drunk. The tannins have softened a little, harmonising with the fruit. The wine has resolved to reveal a balance, beauty and perfume that sat shy on first opening.

These are superb wines of purity, character and energy. They represent an interpretation of Nebbiolo that requires patience and with it will reward you with bags of personality

– Paul Kaan, Wine Decoded

Today we offer a subset of their wines with the 2017 Langhe Neb, 2016 Barbaresco ‘Gallina’, 2015 Barolo, 2015 Barolo ‘Villero’, and, 2015 Barolo ‘Brunate’. Yet to come are Serralunga’s Jewel, Vigna Rionda, Bussia, Brunate and Monvigliero!

We couldn’t resist offering a Villero twin pack with Sordo’s Villero too! Such a great comparison, same vineyard, two very different interpretations.

Of the wines I’ve had recently the remind me most of Barale’s Barbaresco ‘Serraboella’.

Readers who enjoy fine, classically built wines will want to check out Oddero. Bravo!
– Antonio Galloni, Vinous


Exploring Tannin Profiles

This is a great opportunity to explore tannin and mouthfeel. Two options here.

  1. Across the Barbaresco Gallina, Barolo and Langhe Neb there are distinct textures and tannin profiles. If you want to get your head around rustic Neb tannins this would be a cracking way to do it. The Gallina has great line and length of tannin that are the finest and most sophisticated of the 3 wines. The Barolo tannins are firmer and broader in the front to middle palate, not the line and length of the Gallina, the Langhe are chalky and dusty coating your entire mouth. Make sure you look at them over a few days when young. The tannins will soften and harmonise.
  2. Across the Villero twin-pack you’ll see superfine, almost Burgundian tannins, and, the Oddero bolder and a little more edgy in a good way. Again important to look at them over time.

About Oddero

In Australia, we have wineries that have been around for 150 years. In Germany 4-500 years. Oddero sit in the middle with around a 300 year history.

If only those vines could talk. Now with 35 ha of vines across Barolo and the Gallina Cru in Barbaresco the estate continues to evolve with thoughtful intent.

Like many of the best estates in Piedmonte the attention to detail in the vineyard has lifted a notch or 3 and practices are now organic. I’d love to try their honey and hazelnuts. Italian honey is the bomb!

The film below is in Italian, seriously, just soak it up!

The podcast from Levi Dalton with Isabella Oddero from 2009 and one with Giacomo Oddero that just dropped is well worth a listen.

In the Vineyard

Since 2008 Luigi Oddero’s vineyards have been certified organic. Work has been underway to improve, soils, trellising and spend more time in the vineyard. Adding reduced yields the focus is clearly on lifting quality! I haven’t seen many older Oddero’s, today’s range have personality to burn.

In the Winery

The Langhe Neb sees a short ferment and maturation in Stainless steel.

The DOCG level Neb’s stay on skins for around 20-28 days in Tine (large vertical wooden barrels).

Stockinger Botti from Austria have been gradually introduced to replace the large old botti. Custom sizes have been bought, just 1 for each vineyard! Isabella describes the wood as being very neutral and austere.

I suspect the Barbera, that handle oak better than Neb, has been used for the first fill to ‘wash’ them of oak flavours and tannins before the Nebbiolo takes its turn. The quality and level of oak in the Barbera is nicely done.

Whatever the technique, the results in the glass are impressive!

The 2017 – 2016 – 2015 Vintages for Oddero

We’ve covered the basics about 2015 & 2016 so many times it’s a mute point now. 2015 warm, best wines are excellent. 2016 superb.

What about 2017. Again a warmer year. A year Luca Carrudo of Vietti called excellent for Barbera. Whatever the reality of the weather the reality in the glass for Oddero’s 2017 Langhe Neb is one with a lovely perfume, solid core of fruit, a bag full of edgy tannin that demands food or time, a fun drink and great value.

Where in the World is Oddero?

Based in La Morra, Oddero’s 35ha are spread across Barolo, Barbaresco and Asti. Currently released Cru’s are Vigna Rionda (Serralunga), Rocche di Castiglione (Castiglione Falletto), Brunate (La Morra), Villero (Castiglione Falletto), Bussia Vigna Mondoca (Monforte) Bricco Fiasco – currently blended in into the Barolo Normale.

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About the Wines

2016 Oddero Barbera Superiore

Variety

100% Barbera

Vineyard

Location: Castiglione Falletto Plot 8, Sub-plots 335, 75/c Characteristics: 250 meters above sea level, southern exposure, 2.7 x 0.8 meters spacing, 4,700 vines/hectare density, Guyot upward-trained vertical-trellised training system.

Age: 15-20 years

Yield: 80 quintals/hectare

Location: La Morra Plot 8, Sub-plots 335, 75/c Characteristics: 230 meters above sea level, southwestern exposure, 2.7 x 0.8 meters spacing, 4,700 vines/hectare, Guyot upward-trained vertical-trellised training system.

Age: 15 years

Yield: 90 quintals/hectare

Harvesting period

Last 10 days of September

Production

12,000 bottles

Vinification

Selection of grapes in the vineyard, fermentation and maceration for about 10 days in stainless-steel containers, followed by malolactic fermentation in November.

Maturing

Ageing in French oak casks of 50-60 hl. Ageing lasts 16 months, with assemblage in spring and bottling in summer.

Energy

Excellent fruit with loads of energy a lick of oak layered. Hint of mocha, zingy Barbara acid. Great fruit drive. Supple with the finest layer of oak tannin. Excellent elevage taking it beyond puberty and bringing the wine together.

Paul Kaan, Wine Decoded - Chief Wine Hacker

92 Points

This is the first vintage in which this wine has become a Superiore. The fruit for the 2016 Barbera d'Alba Superiore is a blend from vineyard sites near La Morra and Castiglione Falletto, respectively. This is a genuine and authentic wine with depth. The Oddero family is extremely proud of this effort, saying it is perhaps the best vintage they have ever made. The Barbera grape needs rain at the right time, and that's what it got in 2016. (The Dolcetto grape suffered more in this growing season). Any new oak used here comes as 4,000- to 6,000-liter casks. Slavonian oak is used, as is Austrian: Oddero has been a faithful customer of Franz Stockinger for more than 20 years. Once those oak casks are used and become more neutral in flavor they are moved over to use with Barolo. Drink 2019-2025

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

2017 Oddero Langhe Nebbiolo

Variety
Nebbiolo

Vineyard
Location: La Morra, Santa Maria Bricco San Biagio, Plot 15, Sub-plots 305, 345, 429, 306, 68 Characteristics: 200 meters above sea level, eastern exposure, 2.8 x 0.9 meters spacing, 4,000 vines/hectare density, Guyot upward-trained vertical-trellised training system.
Age: 15 years
Size: 2 hectares
Yield: 80 quintals/hectare

Harvesting period
First 10 days of October

Production
15,000 bottles

Vinification
Selection of grape clusters in the vineyard during the harvest, alcoholic fermentation with maceration for around 15 days, followed by malolactic fermentation.
Maturing
Ageing in different size oak barrels for a year, one year and a half. Bottling in the autumn.

Perfume

Perfumed and dark with a with great presence on palate. Dusty chalky tannins matched with an excellent core of fruit. Anise and tar with a little pleasant snappiness. The tannins sit just on the edgy side of the spectrum. Overall a cracker Langhe of good value.

Paul Kaan, Wine Decoded - Chief Wine Hacker

91 Points

Rose petals, tulips and spices. Quite firm and tannic with plenty of herbal undertones, but some generosity to the fruit. Drink now.

James Suckling

88 Points

The grapes used to make this wine are always from the same parcel, year after year: a plot within the Bricco San Biagio vineyard dedicated to Langhe Nebbiolo. Maceration times are short for the 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo, which has a dry tannin sensation and lots of ripe fruit, yet the wine would not be described as jammy or too rich. This fruit was harvested the first week of October, and it was a very quick harvest at that. You feel the heat of the vintage more in the mouthfeel, which, again, is also a dry one due to those tannins. The drinking window for this Langhe Nebbiolo is short term.

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

2016 Oddero Barbaresco 'Gallina'

Variety
100% NebbioloVineyard
Location: Neive Gallina, Plot 10, Sub-plots 114, 327 Characteristics: 200 meters above sea level, southeastern exposure, 2.7 x 0.9 meters spacing, 4,500 vines/hectare density, Guyot upward-trained vertical-trellised training system.
Age: a portion is 50 years old, and a more recent one is 13 years old.
Size: 2 hectares
Yield: 60 quintals/hectare

Harvesting period
First week of October

Production
6,000 bottles

Winemaking
Like all Nebbiolo vineyards, vines are scrupulously grown and grapes are selected manually, both in the vineyards and in the cellar. The grapes, previously arranged in 18 kg cases, are transfered onto a conveyor belt and then undergo gentle de-stemming and pressing. The alcoholic fermentation and the maceration last for appoximately 25 days at a constant temperature of 28°C. The malolactic fermentation follows in December.

Ageing
Ageing in 40Hl oak barrels – hectoliter French and Austrian oak barrels. Bottling takes place at the end of the summer, with a further six months of bottle ageing before release on the market.

Vibrant & Energetic

Some serious quality here. Vibrant and energetic Slatey mineral chalky nature. Excellent mouth-coating tannins that are fine with great line and length. Juicy acid ramps up some juicy fruit. Excellent elevage.  The lasting note is fruit, red and fun. That little splash of perfume sprayed in the air and walked through not direct in the glass. After 3 days open this came into its own and really shone. The tannins have softened a little, harmonising with the fruit. The wine has resolved to reveal a balance, beauty and perfume that sat shy on first opening. Exceptional value here.

Paul Kaan, Wine Decoded - Chief Wine Hacker

93 Points

The 2016 Barbaresco Gallina is gorgeous. Silky, perfumed and beautifully layered, the 2016 has much to offer. Rose petal, licorice, mint and lavender notes are nicely lifted in a silky, super-expressive Barbaresco that is going to be very hard to resist in the early going. More than anything, though, the 2016 Barbaresco is a terrific example of just how far the Oddero wines have come in the last few years.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

93 Points

Tight and focused, this opens with aromas of rose, new leather, wild berry and camphor. Racy and structured, the firm, linear palate offers sour cherry, orange zest and sage alongside ground clove. Tightly knit, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity provide support. Best 2022–2030

Kerin O'Keefe

2015 Oddero Barolo

Variety
100% NebbioloVineyard
Location: La Morra, Santa Maria Bricco Chiesa, Plot 18, Sub-plots 503, 553, 443, 442, 552, 444, 483, 445, 612, 461
Characteristics: 200 meters above sea level, southeastern exposure, 2.7 x 0.9 meters spacing, 4,000 vines/hectare density, Guyot upward-trained vertical-trellised training system.
Age: varies, with the oldest being 60 years old
Size: 2.7 hectares
Yield: 70 quintals/hectare

Location: Castiglione Falletto Bricco Fiasco, Plot 7, Sub-plots 35, 36, 37, 38, 134 Characteristics: 250 meters above sea level, southwestern exposure, 2,70×0,90 meters spacing, 4,000 vines/hectare density, Guyot upward-trained vertical-trellised training system.
Age: varies, with the oldest being 60 years old
Size: 2.5 hectares
Yield: 70 quintals/hectare

Harvesting period
mid-October

Production
About 30,000 bottles

Winemaking
Rigorous manual selection of grapes in the vineyard. Fermentation and maceration in stainless steel for 20 days at a controlled temperature of 28-29°C, followed by malolactic fermentation. They occur separately for the three vineyards, as well as the malolactic fermentation

Maturing
The wines coming from the different vineyards are aged separately in 40, 60 and 75 –hectoliter Slavonian and Austrian oak barrels for 30 months. The wines are blended in the spring, then bottled at the end of the summer and aged in the bottle for another 6 months before release on the market.

Refreshing

Savoury and dark. Perhaps not the line and length of the Barbaresco, plenty to enjoy here at $86 a tube. Intriguing delicacy yet density to the wine. Making for a refreshing drink. The tannin difference between the Langhe and Barolo shows as it should given the Langhe is half the price. The fineness and line and length of the tannins in the Barbaesco 'Gallina' really show when you try the Barolo next to it.

Paul Kaan, Wine Decoded - Chief Wine Hacker

92 Points

A blend of fruit from Chiesa, Capalot and Fiasco, Oddero's 2015 Barolo is vibrant, expressive and wonderfully inviting. Bright acids and lifted, floral notes lend a real sense of energy to this crystalline, super-finessed entry-level Barolo from Oddero. Translucent and weightless in the glass, but with good tannic grip, the 2015 has a ton to offer. This is a such gorgeous Barolo.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

92 Points

This needs a good airing to break through the savory aromas and open up to reveal some tarry notes and warm stones. The palate has a strong serving of grippy tannins that carry a juicy black-cherry core. Needs time. Try from 2022.

James Suckling

2015 Oddero Barolo 'Villero'

 

Variety
100% NebbioloVineyard
Location: Castiglione Falletto, Plot 7, Sub-plot 132 Characteristics: 240 meters above sea level, southeastern exposure, 2.7 x 0.9 meters spacing, 4,300 vines/hectare density, Guyot upward-trained vertical-trellised training system.
Age: 53 years Hectares: 0.8 Yield: 60 quintals/hectarea

Harvesting period
First ten days of October

Production
3800-4000 bottles

Winemaking
Scrupulous vine growing. Careful manual selection of grapes, both in the vineyards and in the cellar by means of conveyor belt. Gentle de-stemming and pressing. Fermentation and maceration for approximately 25 days

Ageing
The wine is aged in 40hl oak barrels for 30 months. The wine is bottled at the end of summer and ages for another year in the bottle before being sold.

Level Up!

Take the Barolo add 3 more layers for aroma, flavour and tannin. Ramp up the sophistication of the mouthfeel and you're kinda close to where the Villero sits. Awesome side by side with Sordo's very different in style but both fantastic wines. Dark and brooding give it time and watch it blossom!

Paul Kaan, Wine Decoded - Chief Wine Hacker

94+ Points

The 2015 Barolo Villero is another striking wine in this range. Here it is the wine's texture and resonance that stand out most. Spice, lavender and menthol notes appear with time in the glass, but it is really the layers of depth and overall complexity that make the Villero one of the most complete wines in the range.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

96 Points

Pure and aromatic with cherry, dark-berry and strawberry aromas with hints of peach pit and stone. Full-bodied, very tight and tannic with a focused and lengthy finish. Shows precision and power. Drink in 2023.

James Suckling

2015 Oddero Barolo 'Brunate'

Variety
100% Nebbiolo

Vineyard
Location: La Morra, Plot 11, Sub-plot 414 Characteristics: 300 meters above sea level, southeastern exposure, 2.7 x 0.9 meters spacing, 4,500 vines/hectare density, Guyot upward-trained vertical-trellised training system.
Age: 50-60 years
Size: 0.4 hectares
Yield: 50 quintals/hectare

Harvesting period
First 10 days of October

Production
2,000 bottles

Vinification
Scrupulous vine growing, done through the organic method since 2010. Careful manual selection of grapes, both in the vineyards and in the cellar by means of conveyor belt, gentle de-stemming and pressing. During the best vintages, the de-stemmng is carried out manually. Fermentation and maceration for approximately 25 days, at a constant temperature of 28° C. Malolactic fermentation follows in December.
Ageing
Ageing in 20 Hl oak barrels for about 30 months. Bottling takes place at the end of the summer, with a further year of bottle ageing before release on the market.

95 Points

I tasted theses single-vineyard Barolos in this order: Villero, Rocche di Castiglione, Brunate and Bussia. So the 2015 Barolo Brunate could be considered second to last in a list of increasing power and intensity. It is even more impressive than the previous expressions. Make no mistake, this is still a tight and compact expression that needs to unwind. It really needs some time to relax in the cellar, but when it does unfold to its true potential, this Barolo will be a real prize. Drink 2022-2045

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

94 Points

The 2015 Barolo Brunate is dark and powerful in the glass. Black cherry, plum, mocha, leather and licorice give the Brunate much of its density and overall richness. This dense, packed Barolo needs at least a few years to unwind, but it is hugely promising. There is just so much going on here. Brunate is Oddero's smallest parcel, and, as a result, the wine shows a bit more oak influence than most of the other Barolos. Amazingly, the Brunate was used for the straight Barolo until 2015!

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

93 Points

This offers bright and attractive red cherries on the nose, as well as a swathe of dried mountain herbs and cedary notes. The palate has a succulent, juicy and generous feel to it. Ripe but balanced Barolo in 2015. Drink or hold.

James Suckling