Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Cappellano Barolo Chinatotext

Cappellano Barolo Chinato NV

Serralunga, Cuneo, Piedmont, ItalyIf you're not familiar with Chinato, you can think of it as a concentrated, herb-infused digestivo version of Barolo. And Barolo's answer to amaro. And also all entirely its own singular thing. Though many producers in Barolo make their own Chinato, Cappellano invented this aromatized wine back in the 1890s, making this the OG. Even today, they keep their recipe all in the family. We do know this blends Cappellano Barolo with neutral spirit that has been soaked in 54 herbs and spices (notably quinine, aka china in Italian, hence the name) plus sugar. Unlike many producers, the base wine is entirely estate, from Cappellano's sustainably farmed, marly soiled vineyards in Serralunga d'Alba, at 300-350m. All spent 42 months in large botti before bottling. It was originally sold as a "medicinal and anti-malaric liniment”, though I prefer to think of it as a killer digestivo. Intoxicatingly complexed from first whiff, with layers of sarsaparilla, spearmint, black liquorice, bittersweet chocolate, iodine, bergamot, star anise, and quinine woven throughout the dried plum and perfumed rose petal base. The sweetness here works to counter the bitter medicinal notes, while the spirit sails this 18% chinato right through whatever is filling your tummy, finishing off with a refreshing and lingering mint. I take this apothocarian elixir at the end of eve with a large cube of ice, though you can hold the open bottle in the fridge easy for a month and enjoy with a slight chill.Tasted: 29 January 2024Tasted by: Prices:
BC$120.00750mlprivate wine shops
Producer: Giuseppe CappellanoDistributors: Sedimentary Wines
Grape: NebbioloCSPC: 089043