I first visited Oddero back in 2016 and was immediately struck by the calm and understated approach of the family. I was impressed by what I tasted but thought there would be more to come in time as the estate had undergone a tumultuous period and was just coming out the other side. Having visited over the subsequent years, I have become even more impressed. Today I place this estate in the top tier of Barolo.
By way of background, Poderi Oddero is an historic Barolo property, with roots going back to the end of the 18th century, making it one of the oldest established houses. You may not be overly familiar with the estate, and you may be confused by the name, as, in 2005, Giacomo Oddero and his brother Luigi split the estate, with Luigi heading off to create wines in his own name. As with any estate, such a division is never easy, and it took a little while for the dust to settle. When I first visited, it was clear this famous estate was on a very fine trajectory, having crafted an exceptional Brunate and Rocche di Castiglione. I have followed them closely ever since. This La Morra estate’s wines have risen to real prominence under the stewardship of Mariacristina Oddero, Giacomo’s daughter, ably assisted by her niece Isabella and son Pietro.
One of the keys to Oddero’s success is its enviable holdings in some of the most heralded Barolo vineyards such as Vigna Rionda, Rocche di Castiglione, Brunate, Villero, and a more recently acquired small parcel in Monvigliero. Oddero has been a fascinating property to track; quality has not always been as high as it is today, yet we are now witnessing far greater consistency than ever before, leading to, as I have previously commented, a stunning range of 2016s and now 2019s that I place even higher. The wines are made in a reassuringly traditional style that allows vineyard typicity to be clearly expressed, which is a major tick in the box for me. Today, this estate is receiving broader recognition given their wines show the hallmarks of purity and definition and are in a style that will surely appeal to followers of great traditional Barolo.
When commenting on the initial release of the 2019s, Antonio Galloni said ‘This is another stellar set of wines from Mariacristina and Isabella Oddero. The 2019s spent about 25 days on the skins, with natural fermentations. Aging was 24-26 months in cask, followed by a period in cement or steel before bottling. These precise, classically built Barolos continue to impress. Moreover, prices remain exceptionally fair.’ I think this is a go-to estate if you are interested in subtly nuanced Nebbiolo, where the winemaking is not intrusive. I find some of the same classical attributes here that I recognise in the wines of Guiseppe Rinaldi, Bartolo Mascarello and Giacomo Conterno.
Rather than turn this offer into something resembling a Tolstoy epic, I have made some comments here and pasted in tasting notes from Antonio Galloni below. Oddero's Brunate is always one of the finest I taste from this exceptional La Morra cru and the 2019 doesn’t disappoint with its generous fruit and enveloping style. Their 2019 Rocche di CastIglione from Castiglione Falletto captures those finessed tannins so typical of this mineral, nervy cru, while their Villero from Serralunga d’Alba shows the spice and power associated with this impressive, long-lived cru. And then I must save special praise for their Vigna Mondoca Riserva 2017 and Vigna Rionda Riserva 2016. These are two wines I would dream of owning and tasting in years to come. The Mondoca is routinely one of my favourite Barolo – it comes from Bussia, but importantly the Bussia Soprana sector of this over-enlarged cru in Monforte d’Alba, praised (with some others) for its superior quality. You will seldom taste a Bussia as impressive as this and, quite simply, you should discard the fact that it is 2017 as it is stunning. It shows that dark, expansive fruit of the best Bussia, with an underlying firmness but a certain roundness and layered intensity. As for Vigna Rionda, a cru occasionally termed the "Musigny of Barolo" on account of the refinement of the tannins, this holds stunning potential in the 2016 vintage. It is a real ‘wow’ wine, incredibly precise and detailed, with terrific purity of fruit and outstanding depth and mineral drive. Vigna Rionda is something of a fascination for me; given that many of the growers with vines here have been obliged to replant sections, it is a constantly evolving cru. That said, there is something special about the structure and tannin profile that places it among the very best four or five cru in all of Barolo. Oddero’s is perhaps one of the finest made today and in the 2016 vintage it really shines.
I am not sure I can write more enthusiastically about this set of wines, so I hope my words provide some guidance. I would also add that the 2019 Barolo Classico is one of the more impressive entry level Barolo this vintage, not surprising given this blend benefits from fruit from their Monvigliero holding currently. Certainly, this is one of the more accessible, beautifully poised Barolo at the affordable end of the spectrum that you will find in the 2019 vintage. For futher details on the 2019 vintage, please read my report here.
Please note the Vigna Rionda is offered in cases of three bottles, all the other wines are offered in cases of six.
2019 Barolo, Rocche di Castiglione, Poderi Oddero
£550 per 6 bottle case in bond
96 points, Antonio Galloni
The 2019 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione offers a striking combination of Rocche sweetness and the natural tension of the year. Hard candy, lavender, rose petal, mint, orange peel and licorice fill out the mid-palate nicely. Medium in body and nervy, the Rocche is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. But it needs time. Drink : 2025-2044
2017 Barolo Riserva Bussia, Vigna Mondoca, Poderi Oddero
£550 per 6 bottle case in bond
96 points, Antonio Galloni
The 2017 Barolo Riserva Bussia Vigna Mondoca is a gorgeous, sensual wine. The bouquet alone is captivating. Dried rose petal, spice, menthol, leather, lavender and dried herb notes soar out of the glass. The raciness of this warm, dry vintage comes through in the wine's inner sweetness, but there is terrific freshness and plenty of site character as well. Readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this jewel of a Barolo. Drink : 2024-2037
2016 Barolo Riserva, Vigna Rionda, Poderi Oddero
£500 per 3 bottle case in bond
97 points, Antonio Galloni
The 2016 Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda brings together all the best this site and vintage have to offer. Towering and statuesque in its presence, the 2016 is all pedigree. Dark cherry, lavender, licorice, violet, spice and graphite all soar from the glass. Medium in body, with gorgeous inner perfume and structure to burn, the 2016 is lights out. I love the complexity, nuance and energy here. Drink : 2026-2046
While we receive good allocations, purchases may need to be limited, particularly for the two Riserva, which cannot be purchased on their own.
This is a truly exceptional range for us to be offering and we are delighted to be working with Poderi e Cantine Oddero. Please let us know of your interest.
All the best,