Barolo vs Brunello – The Ultimate Comparison You Want To Read

barolo vs brunello

Best Italian varietals Barolo and Brunello are commonly mistaken for their status as fantastic reds and the tales inside their creation. Unless you learn what distinguishes both of these wines, it’s hard to specify these well Italian vintages with closely related names for each other. In reality, comparing Barolo vs Brunello reveals several essential variations.

These wines vary in taste profile, sharpness, and tannin levels. These differences will impact which wine you select to keep to your inventory, including which one you should choose for a special event.

Read more about the differences between these wines and what foods go perfectly with them.

These varietals come from one of Italy’s premier wine-producing areas. These were also two of the first vintages to be given DOCG certification when the appellation gets initially created in 1980. These wines are indeed moderate to full-bodied, tannin-rich, and get an alcohol volume of at a minimum of 13%.

Both these vintages have grown highly coveted due to their prestige and legacy, their flavor, and their acclaim among reviewers and enthusiasts is well-deserved. The variances among Barolo and Brunello, on the other hand, are significant and may help you select which kind of wine to engage.

Suppose you would like to incorporate a high-quality classic Italian red grape into your collection. Let’s look at the variations between Barolo vs Brunello.

Barolo vs Brunello Comparison


The primary distinction among these Italian reds starts with the berries utilized to make each wine. Barolo is a product of Nebbiolo berry, while Brunello is from entirely of Sangiovese.

The Nebbiolo berries made Barolo yield a lighter-colored beverage full-bodied and rich in bitterness and sharpness. Brunello has an intense sharpness but a lesser tannin content.

Similar characteristics in Barolo vs Brunello is both these vintages soften with age. And a threshold of 10 years in the barrel gets advised for both of them. Suppose you’re searching for a drink to store.

In that case, you may keep any of them for approximately two decades, based on the season and winemaker. Still, Barolo typically lasts longer due to its high phenolic content.


Barolo and Brunello develop in separate places, each with its terroir and climatic variables influencing the berries’ qualities.

Barolo comes from Piedmont’s Barolo DOCG region, suited for producing Nebbiolo berries. However, this northern portion of Italy is the coolest and receives the most cloud cover every year. It may also be moderate owing to the impact of the Mediterranean and sunny—particularly in the hillsides. Mainly where berries for many of the most excellent Barolo wines get cultivated.

Brunello manufacturing takes place in Tuscany’s center area. This region could also be chilly and rainy. However, the Sangiovese berries cultivated near the town of Montalcino advantage from a position that is usually temperate and drier. The peculiar environment offers the grapes plenty of time to develop, which is why most of the top Italian winemakers cultivate Sangiovese in this area.

Note: Both Brunello and Barolo share particular tastes, including herbs, peppers, cherries, leathery, and soil. The grape type and location differences ensure that these two wines have similar flavor profiles.

What Is The Taste Of Barolo?

A Barolo is vibrant and juicy, with a rich but subtle flowery flavor. Notes in a Barolo include raspberry, caramel, pink petals, and spicinesses like cardamom and coriander.

Barolo is one of many vintages that takes you by astonishment when you sip it. Its abrasive bitterness and intense sharpness hit hard on the tongue despite its delicate and flowery appearance and aroma.

This hop bitterness is an inherent quality of the Nebbiolo berry, and the drink will level out with time. It’s why people consume it after ten years. There is also a Riserva class Barolo, matured for five years preceding release, and a standard Barolo, grown for three years.

If you like a softer taste, look for wines created in a more current manner with shorter wooden barrels. It yields richer, darker-colored vintages with licorice, chocolates, and creamy flavors.

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What Is The Taste Of Brunello?

The most common flavors are berries, figs, old vinegar, and expresso. Brunello has a much darker color than Barolo, with a rich, vibrant red ring. It starts fruity and peppery, with thyme and vinegar aromas, then progresses to cherry and leather flavors.

Although not as strong as in Barolo, the total phenolic content is considerable. With fig, carob, smooth smoke, and cappuccino scents, Brunello melts and turns pale and ruddy red over time.

As a result, most experienced tasters advocate consuming Brunello after ten years. However, a Riserva Brunello takes six years to mature preceding release.

Coupling with foods

When it relates to huge, substantial Barolos, consider salty and potent: sausages and hard cheeses, rice with gritty mushrooms, big peppery steaks, and even sport birds including swan and pigeon.

The fatty, heavy meals will enhance the robust notes and robust tannins of the Barolo. For Brunello, look for items that conjure up images of traditional Italian cuisine: large bowls of linguine with red sauce, copious amounts of vegetable oil and balsamic, and aromatic tomato-based dishes.

The spiciness of Brunello vintages will be an unexpectedly excellent companion for these hearty, filling dinners. Although Barolo has a high tannin content, this works to its advantage when paired with rich high fat and pasta.

Bottom Line

Your tastes and structural inclinations will serve as solid starting points for determining which sort of Italian red wine is best for you. However, when and even if you wish to drink either of these drinks might impact your decision. However, you must store both wines for at least a decade.

Barolo wines usually improve with age; the wine’s heavy tannin requires time to mellow. Brunello can get consumed earlier, and the preliminary expenditure may be somewhat lesser than for a Barolo from the same year.


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