Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Italy 2019 supplement as part of an article on Barbera (see blue link below).
Michele Chiarlo, La Court 2013 - February 2019 Decanter review
Michele Chiarlo is one of Piedmont's truly great winemakers. The family owns 60 hectares of vineyard in three of the classic growing areas - Langhe, Monferrato and Gavi and have access to a further 50 hectares through long-term relationships with their growers. Michele has insisted on total quality since his first vintage in 1956, an ethos which his sons Stefano and Alberto adopt today. The Chiarlo style is highly elegant, they make complex wines that can age for decades but above all reflect their provenance - some of the finest vineyard sites in Piedmont.
The grapes come from the La Court vineyard. A prestigious site originating from the 1800s, the single parcel covers three hectares. The vineyard has a southeast to south western exposures at 240 metres above sea-level and produces very low yields. The vines are Guyot trained. The soils are designated as ‘Artisane Sands’ which consist of calcareous clay marl of sedimentary marine origin with high lime and sand content. They produce ample, intense and elegant wines with good structure and longevity. Manually harvested.
The grapes were fermented on the skins in 55 hectolitre oak barrels for a period of 12 days at controlled temperatures of between 27° to 30°C. Oak maturation lasted for one year: 50% in 55 hectolitre French oak barrels and 50% in Allier oak barriques, followed by a further 18 months in bottle prior to release.
An appealing and structured wine, complex and elegant, with hints of coffee, tobacco and black fruits. Its richness and elegance places it amongst the finest wines in Chiarlo's portfolio. Excellent with braised beef cheek with caramelised roscoff onions, grilled red meats and a fine cheese platter.