Synopses & Reviews
Following on the success of her books on Brunello di Montalcino, renowned author and wine critic Kerin OKeefe takes readers on a historic and in-depth journey to discover Barolo and Barbaresco, two of Italys most fascinating and storied wines. In this groundbreaking new book, OKeefe gives a comprehensive overview of the stunning side-by-side growing areas of these two world-class wines that are separated only by the city of Alba and profiles a number of the fiercely individualistic winemakers who create structured yet elegant and complex wines of remarkable depth from Italys most noble grape, Nebbiolo.
A masterful narrator of the aristocratic origins of winemaking in this region, OKeefe gives readers a clear picture of why Barolo is called both the King of Wines and the Wine of Kings. Profiles of key Barolo and Barbaresco villages include fascinating stories of the families, wine producers, and idiosyncratic personalities that have shaped the area and its wines and helped ignite the Quality Wine Revolution that eventually swept through all of Italy.
The book also considers practical factors impacting winemaking in this region, including climate change, destructive use of harsh chemicals in the vineyards versus the gentler treatments used for centuries, the various schools of thought regarding vinification and aging, and expansion and zoning of vineyard areas. Readers will also appreciate a helpful vintage guide to Barolo and Barbaresco and a glossary of useful Italian wine terms.
and#8220;This well-researched detailed work on the zone is a must-read, especially for Brunellophiles.and#8221;
and#8220;A valuable source.and#8221;
and#8220;An absolutely essential wine guide for the connoisseur wishing to learn about the wine or the wine traveler seeking advice on where to go and which wineries to visit.and#8221;
"A fabulous read....it's a fascinating, well-written take on Brunello di Montalcino, and one of the books of the year."
and#8220;Easily the most definitive book on one of Italyand#8217;s greatest wines.and#8221;
"Barolo and Barbaresco is unique. . . . Although it is thorough and traditionally organized for the most part, her selection of newer, less-known, up and coming producers adds a creative touch that you dont find in most wine books. . . . OKeefes book is a tour de force, a magnificent, comprehensive tome that required loads of research."
"Fundamental by approach and inspiring by content. It will be useful for anybody with interest in Italian wines and is likely to become the first point of reference for those who geniunely love and appreciate great wines of Piedmont."
"[A]n essential reference, with an invaluable level of both narrative and detail."
"In some ways, the greatness of Barolo and its sibling, Barbaresco, while long accepted, is only beginning to be understood. Partly, this is because clear and precise appellations, so integral to understanding Burgundy, are lacking for Barolo. Its left to consumers to research and understand the differences among the various sub-zones. One new resource that will be a great help is Kerin OKeefes authoritative 'Barolo and Barbaresco: The King and Queen of Italian Wine.'”
"OKeefes breezy, often enthusiastic prose, combines solid background information with personal appraisals of many producers. Kerin OKeefe has written an informative work that will enlighten most readers to the beauty of these wines and the lofty goals of their producers. Barolo and Barbaresco brings the wines of kings and queens closer to an appreciative audience."
"Essential and timely. . . . Read the book. Pull some corks. And start plotting an itinerary for a visit to the region."
"Anyone who loves the perfumes of Nebbiolo and the complexity and soulfulness of a mature bottle will enjoy this book."
"Ms. OKeefe, who wrote a similar guide to Brunello di Montalcino in 2012, is thorough and authoritative. She is a critic in the best sense of the word, not shy with her opinions, which she offers without polemics or bluster. This book is not for novices; readers are expected to have an understanding of how wine is farmed and produced. But for those who have delved into Barolo and Barbaresco and want to know more about where the wines are made, the people who make them and the differences in terroirs, this book is inspiring and essential." - The Best Wine Books of 2014
"Barolo and Barbaresco. . . had me reaching for words such as 'definitive' and even 'magisterial'. Don't let those rather pompous words put you off - it's a good read, too." - Books of the Year 2014
"O’Keefe is a rare journalist who does the work to flesh out what 'sense of place' means. She goes out into the vineyards of the greatest wine region in Italy. Her hands and her boots are marked by the marl and the clay and the grasses. That dedication pours forth in her writing, which is neither ostentatious nor hesitant to focus on subtle-but-important differences of place."
For fans of Italian wine, few names command the level of respect accorded to Brunello di Montalcino. Expert wine writer Kerin Oand#8217;Keefe has a deep personal knowledge of Tuscany and its extraordinary wine, and her account is both thoroughly researched and readable. Organized as a guided tour through Montalcinoand#8217;s geography, this essential reference also makes sense of Brunelloand#8217;s complicated history, from its rapid rise to the negative and positive effects of the 2008 grape-blending scandal dubbed and#147;Brunellogate.and#8221; Oand#8217;Keefe also provides in-depth profiles of nearly sixty leading producers of Brunello.
"Kerin O'Keefe is undoubtedly the English-speaking world's most passionate advocate of the wines of Montalcino. Every page of her book reflects her expertise and long experience, and what's more, she's a good writer. How often have we been presented with detailed knowledge wrapped in turgid language? Not here! This is a page-turner if ever a wine book was one." and#151;Nicolas Belfrage M.W., The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy: A Regional and Village Guide to the Best Wines and Their Producers
"Kerin O'Keefe's book is the best thing I have read on Brunello di Montalcinoand#151;period. The research is the most thorough, and the coverage of the key aspects of the Montalcino situationand#151;origins and history, legislation, zonal variations, producersand#151;is the most complete and rigorous I have encountered anywhere." and#151;Tom Maresca, contributor to Decanter, Wine and Spirits and Quarterly Review of Wines
"Part narrative history, part guidebook, Kerin OKeefes exuberant engagement of the Italian Piedmonts 'royal' oenological culture further illuminates the ways in which horticulture, geography, and good old-fashioned local characters intersect to produce some of the worlds best wines. Barolo and Barbaresco: The Pride of Piedmont is not just a compelling read, it also reveals itself to be essential." --Matthew Gavin Frank, author of Barolo and Preparing the Ghost.
About the Author
Kerin OKeefe is the author of Brunello di Montalcino (UC Press, 2012) and of Franco Biondi Santi: The Gentleman of Brunello (Veronelli Editore, 2005). She is the Italian Editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, and her numerous articles on Italian wine have been published in top industry publications, including The World of Fine Wine and Decanter.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction. Brunello: A Modern-Day Phenomenon of Made in Italy
Part One. The Place, the Grape, the History, and the Wine
2. Temperamental Sangiovese: Location, Location, Location
3. Birth of a New Wine
4. Brunello Comes of Age
5. Boom Years and the Loss of Tipicitand#224;
6. The Brunellogate Scandal
7. Brunello Today and Tomorrow: The Return to Tipicitand#224;, or Business as Usual?
Part Two. Leading Producers by Subzone
9. Bosco and Torrenieri
13. Castelnuovo delland#8217;Abate
Part Three. Beyond Brunello: Other Wines and Local Cuisine
14. Montalcinoand#8217;s Other Wines: Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello, and Santand#8217;Antimo
15. Brunello, Rosso, and Food Pairing
Appendix A. Vintage Guide to Brunello
Appendix B. Brunello at a Glance