A tremendous vintage for big, rich and fruity Barolo and Barbaresco
The cold, foggy, wet start to the year improved with clearer, warmer weather in March. April had similarly fine conditions building up to a warmer and drier than average May. June and July were hot months with hardly any rain at all. August too was very dry with consistently high temperatures: by now many areas were suffering serious drought problems. Light rains on 9 August provided a brief respite to the hot, dry summer, It was one of the hottest Septembers on record in Piedmont (average temperatures of 20.5 C – a good two degrees above the norm). The first half of October was also warmer than usual, though light rains in the second half of the first week caused no problems at this stage. The grapes were in superb condition for an early harvest and, thanks to the wonderful summer, the crop was large as well as very healthy.
1982 was a very consistent vintage, with good richness, ripeness and concentration of fruit. Low levels of fixed acidity meant the wines were approachable early, and many wines have now begun to fall apart.
The top wines, with their generous, round style, are still drinking well,. Outstanding in Barbaresco were Angelo Gaja’s cru wines – particularly Sori’ Tildin and Sori’ San Lorenzo and Bruno Giacosa’s cru Santo Stefano. In Barolo, there were many successes notably Elio Altare’s first great Arborina and Aldo Conterno’s outstanding Gran Bussia (plus his cru wines). Cordero di Montezemolo and Giacomo Conterno’s Baroli were also memorable. The arrival of the new-style low-yield Barbera, aged in barrique, is signaled in style by Giacomo Bologna’s Bricco dell’Uccellone.