There is a firm dividing line of style between the modernist and the traditionalist in Barolo. And then there's Giovanni Canonica. Although his approach is rooted in traditional methods in the cellar, the wines produced at this tiny estate are singular expressions of Nebbiolo. Upon first pour, it's clear the aromatic profile, supple tannins, and ultra-pure fruit sit outside the norm of Piedmont.
Canonica's Baroli are known for their elusiveness and outrageously vivid perfume. The vines (Less than two hectares) sit at 400 meters above the town of Barolo. This higher altitude site puts forth a Barolo defined by grace and open-inviting nature rather than a monolithic structure. Menthol, sage, cinnamon, and tobacco are tasting notes to gush over, but above all, this is an unadulterated, fruit-forward expression.
Neighbors Bartolo Mascarello and Giuseppe Rinaldi have a vineyard-first mentality, employ long macerations in the cellar, and age in Slavonian botti. Canonica's style takes cues from these legendary figures and heightens the pitch of the black cherry fruit while doubling down on the florality. If Nebbiolo's calling card is tar and roses, then Canonica seems intent on displaying the rose descriptor with high-definition focus.