Baracchi O’Lillo Toscana IGT Rosso 2016 | At under $20: it doesn’t get any better than O’Lillo
Baracchi O’Lillo Toscana IGT Rosso 2016 is a classic Super Tuscan blend. Consisting of equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Syrah. All drawn off the Baracchi family’s three properties in Gabbiano, San Martino, and Montanare. From 100-point winemaker Stefano Chioccioli, the wine is deep ruby with crimson overtones. It is ripe and juicy, yet high-toned, with aromas of black fruits, and dried red cherry, rose petal, dusty earth, and sweet pipe tobacco. Bold and polished on the attack, with dried herb and mushroom backdrop. Drink now-2023.
91JS | The Baracchi O’Lillo Toscana IGT Rosso 2016 has aromas of dried cherry, wet earth, and terracotta. It follows through to a full body, layered and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink now.
As under-$20 Super Tuscans go, it doesn’t get any better than “Baracchi O’Lillo Toscana IGT Rosso 2016. It was the previous vintage of O’Lillo that floored Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, and James Suckling and catapulted it to the world stage.
Stefano Chioccioli – 100 point winemaker!
100-point winemaker Stefano Chioccioli’s newest release, the 2016 Baracchi O’Lillo — is at it again. A smitten James Suckling raved about its “full body,” and “layered” mouthfeel in his 91-point review. Little wonder, given that 2016 presented a fantastic vintage in Tuscany. At $17.99 per bottle, the Wine Access clients who have stockpiled the previous vintage know that this is the Super Tuscan bargain of the century.
Lovers of fine Italian wines know that two factors combine to create excellence from The Boot: winemaking pedigree and location. Chioccioli’s 100-point score from Robert Parker only adds to his burgeoning list of accomplishments, which include more than 100 Tre Bicchieri “Three Glasses” awards — an astounding feat.
Add to that his pick of brilliant fruit from Tuscany, and it’s no wonder that his O’lillo Super Tuscan is a critical darling. And with such winemaking prowess at hand, one might expect owner Riccardo Baracchi would have raised prices accordingly. But just as had been the case during the early days of the Super Tuscan craze, Riccardo remained a downside player. Here’s why.
The Vineyards: the land of Sassicaia and Solaia
In 1971, the first vintage of Sassicaia debuted — a 1968 Tuscan Cabernet Sauvignon drawn off a small vineyard in Bolgheri. That same year saw Piero Antinori craft his first “Tignanello.” Next came Solaia and then Ornellaia. By the early 1990s, these four “Super” Tuscan reds were among the most sought-after and expensive wines in Italy.
Piero’s neighbors took careful note — particularly Riccardo Baracchi, who was fully aware of Tuscany’s Antinori-inspired cash-flow bonanza. But rather than raising overhead costs on labeling and marketing efforts, Baracchi zeroed in on Antinori’s clonal and vineyard protocol. On each of his three properties — the sandy soils of San Martino, the clay and chalk of Gabbiano, and the classic limestone and clay of Montanare — Baracchi planted Bordeaux varieties that were best suited to each terroir.
And though he continues to be the critical darling of Tuscany’s under-$20 Super Tuscan category, he holds firm on prices, refusing to inflate his stupendous IGTs. There’s nothing left to do but say, “Thanks,” and stock up before it’s all gone.