San Silvestro Barolo Patres

Fine red wines are the product of careful aging, and the characteristics such as bitter under tastes must be well controlled to produce a smooth enjoyable vintage. Aging is a crucial element, and San Silvestro Barolo Patres has all of these wonderful qualities. From an area of Italy that is legendary for producing excellent wines, it stands out as an exceptionally well-made wine.

There is a greater test of wine making skill in varietal vintages. One must expertly tend the crop, and cull it from the green harvest until the late season harvest. The growers give the very best grapes time to absorb the benefits of the late season, shorter days and cooler nights. Blending grape varietals allows for a greater flexibility when, for example, the aim is a mild sweet taste, and the taste can simply be a matter of proportions. However, this delightful red, San Silvestro Barolo Patres, has one source of grape flavor. San Silvestro makes it exclusively from Nebbiolo grapes grown in the Barolo vineyards zone of the Piedmont region in Northern Italy. The taste and texture are purely a creation of patient and skillful production.

Reviewers have described the taste and aroma as a dried flower nose, spices, with sweet tannins. The aging in small oak barrels expresses most of the tones; the grape is undeniably the heart of flavor and presentation. It is the traditional grape of the zone and the soil and climate conditions have created a very agreeable combination for wine making.

The winemakers age this fabulous wine for 26 months in oak barrels. It is part of the modern method of Barola wine production, shifted away from the longer fermentation periods and much longer aging times. The result is a light fruit taste to the wine and a somewhat shorter cellar life. The rating for storage is a ten-year cellar life. By contrast, older methods with longer fermentation on the skins had five to ten year aging periods to soften the wines and yield a soft texture and sweet taste. The modern production style suits the international market well; the Patres has found an audience among aficionados of fine red wines with lighter, fruitier tastes than the traditional Piedmont wines.

Many people automatically think of Barolo as a big, heavy wine and the modern version is a world away from this perception. In the past winemakers didn't have any of the modern techniques and so often made Barolo in the traditional way and that meant they ran a risk with each vintage and often had massive variations in quality from year to year. The modern winemaking techniques with temperature control, specialised grape selection and careful fermentation have allowed Barolo to be made into the silky, smooth wine that it is now famous for, and you no longer have to keep it for 10-20 years to drink it!

This Barolo is a wine that can be stored and used over many years after purchase if required. It goes well with a wide variety of meats, fowl, and fish. It is also a wine that one can enjoy immediately and without the need for an occasion. It is simply a delightful wine, mild and slightly sweet.