Osvaldo Viberti Barolo Riserva 2016

Osvaldo Viberti

More Wines from Osvaldo Viberti

Expected Spring 2024

Our tasting impressions

A stunning combination of power and precision. The gorgeous fruit plays peekaboo as this young Riserva is mainly about structure and tannins - as it should be at this youthful stage. But the tannins are silky and the wine is remarkably drinkable right now. It will be fun and exciting to compare the development of this and the 2013 for many decades to come. Spectacular wine!

About this wine

100% Nebbiolo culled from Osvaldo's two Cru vineyards - Meriame and Serra dei Turchi. The former were planted almost 50 years ago on a south-facing slope in Serralunga at an elevation of 300-350m in calcareous clay and sandy soil. Serra dei Turchi are also old vines facing south in Frazione Santa Maria in La Morra at 250-300m. The soil is calcareous clay. Osvaldo uses the Guyot vine management system and keeps yields to about 45 hl/ha.

Osvaldo selects only the best grapes for his Riserva. The grapes are de-stemmed and then spontaneously fermented for 8-10 days in temperature-controlled steel tanks with manual push-downs and pump-overs.

When it is time to bottle the Barolo Crus and Classico, he chooses the best barrels from which to reserve about 1,500 liters, that continues to refine for a another year in 500-liter tonneaux before being bottled. Total aging for the Riserva is 6 years. 

Bottles are numbered. Less than 2,000 were produced.

About the grape

Nebbiolo, the name believed to be derived from nebbia, Italian for fog, is a grape with one of the most protracted maturation cycles. It buds in early spring and ripens late fall (when the winter nebbia from the Alps reaches the vineyards).

Nebbiolo vines tend to grow upwardly with abandon, so management is essential to limit grape production and channel energy to them. They also are very particular about where they will thrive, which is why Nebbiolo is seldom found outside of Piedmont. Even there, it only is successful when planted on south facing slopes (much sun is needed for ripening), at elevations between 250 and 450 meters (lower there is too much frost exposure, higher the grapes won’t ripen).

Wines from Nebbiolo usually are pale-colored, high in acidity and very tannic. Common flavor descriptors are rose and tar. They tend to be highly aromatic.

About the vintage

Barolo producers could not have asked for better conditions than those in 2016 and an abundant crop to boot. The ripe fruit of 2015 was replicated but this time with ample balancing acidity and more resolute tannins. The hype in the press about this vintage is actually justified.

Osvaldo Viberti

Osvaldo Viberti located in La Morra produces Barolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Langhe Nebbiolo and a little known but wonderful white called Langhe Nascetta. The 10-hectare Azienda produces about 40,000 bottles per year with the help of his friend, and renowned oenologist, Sergio Molino.


Osvaldo remembers fondly helping his grandfather farm grapes to sell from their vineyards. His father began making wine but not bottling.  In 1993, Osvaldo took control and began bottling and marketing his wine. Today, he is joined in this endeavor by his children Paolo and Anna.


Viberti farms naturally and organically without certification. He has not used pesticides in 3 years. All the bunches are destemmed and almost all of the fermentation is naturally occurring. He does manual pump-overs and pushes down the caps.


There is something uncommonly nice about Osvaldo. He is humble, sincere and genuinely kind and you can taste these attributes in his excellent wines.