These fine wines come from one of the oldest, autochthonous grape varieties in Italy. It is about the Nebbiolo, this precious but unusually difficult and complex vine, which is hardly any other grape variety so dependent on the terroir of their growing area.
So Barolo and Barbaresco are made from the same grape variety and yet there are differences in taste? But before we go into the differences, we have to talk about the similarities, which are due to the unmistakable character of the grape variety be expressed.
From the Nebbiolo grape, which is cultivated almost exclusively in Piedmont, you can basically press strong, full-bodied and alcohol-strong wines with a delicate structure. Wines with great harmony and elegance, which impress with their complex aroma spectra and which often express their characteristics best after a long aging period.
But the style-defining factors that actually make the difference, besides the soil, are the microclimate and of course the work and philosophy of the winemaker. This means that there are different taste characteristics even within a relatively small growing area are. The Barolo from the municipality of La Morra is said to have great elegance, but the wines from the municipality of Serralunga D'Alba, just a few kilometers away, impress more with their large body. The situation is similar in Barbaresco. The wines from the Asili and Montefico vineyards are particularly elegant, while the wines from the Montersino vineyard are more fruity.
That means that there are definitely differences between the two great wines, even if the differences are usually very subtle and can also be cross-regional. A Barbaresco from the Asili vineyard may have more in common with one Barolo from La Morra than with another Barbaresco. To come to the differences: the Barbaresco is generally softer, more elegant, has fewer but very delicate tannins and is ready to drink earlier than its big brother. Compared to the Barolo, it simply looks more feminine!
There is really only one way to better understand the differences: drink a lot of Barolo and Barbaresco! Pleasure brings a lot of joy and you gain the certain experience that you need to make these often very subtle ones to identify differences.