Viberti Giovanni Buon Padre, Barolo DOCG 2019
Viberti Giovanni Buon Padre, Barolo DOCG 2019

Viberti Giovanni Buon Padre, Barolo DOCG 2019

Sale price$75.95
Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Nebbiolo

Closure: Cork

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Viberti Giovanni Buon Padre, Barolo DOCG 2019

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Viberti Giovanni

Country: Italy

Region: Piedmont

Vintage: 2019

Critic Score: 93

Alcohol: 13.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2030

So much stuffing. So good. Excellent wine - Gary Walsh

Viberti Giovanni was founded in the early 1900s when Antonio Viberti purchased the Locanda del Buon Padre with an adjoining vineyard in the village of Vergne, located in the commune of Barolo. Today, grandson Claudio manages the family business, which sources grapes from eight estate cru vineyards in Barolo and two contract cru vineyards in Verduno and Monforte d'Alba.

The historical Barolo cuvée Buon Padre was first produced in 1927 from the estate vineyards in Bricco delle Viole and La Volta. Today, almost a century later, it is a skilful assemblage of as many as 10 different vineyards across the communes of Barolo, Monforte d'Alba and Verduno. The vineyards are located in Bricco delle Viole, San Pietro, San Ponzio, La Volta, Fossati, Albarella, Terlo, Ravera (the portion that is located in the Barolo commune), Perno and Monvigliero. About 80% of the vineyards are located between 400 and 500 meters in altitude and all the grapes used to make the Barolo Buon Padre are culled from vineyards planted on soils of Saint Agatha Fossil Marls lithology, known to give earlier-maturing and more approachable Barolos in their youth.

"Juicy blackcurrant, blackberry, mint, a coffee bean thing, plus ground spice. It’s deep and grainy, a great deal of presence, liqueur cherry and ground coffee earthiness. Really quite 'mineral' in character. So much stuffing. Somewhat locked in as at now, but so good. Excellent wine."  Gary Walsh

"The grapes from the 10 vineyards are harvested and vinified separately. The wines are aged in vats and barrels of French and Slavonian oak and then blended prior to bottling. The style is characterized by a fresh acidity that comes from the highest vineyards, extremely traditional aromas and an impressive structure, but with soft and elegant tannins. The company's intention is to avoid the perception of astringent tannins, thanks to the use of controlled fermentations and not too prolonged macerations.Viberti

Expert reviews

"Juicy blackcurrant, blackberry, mint, a coffee bean thing, plus ground spice. It’s deep and grainy, a great deal of presence, liqueur cherry and ground coffee earthiness. Really quite 'mineral' in character. So much stuffing. Somewhat locked in as at now, but so good. Excellent wine. Drink: 2025-2036+."  Gary Walsh, The Wine Front - 94+ points

"This wine follows local tradition and is made with a blend from various parcels. We have fruit from these vineyard sites: Perno, Albarella, Terno, Bricco delle Viole, San Pietro, San Ponzio, La Volta, Fossati, Ravera and Monvigliero. The Giovanni Viberti 2019 Barolo Buon Padre (the "good father") opens to fine and ethereal aromas of blue flower, cassis and powdery licorice. The wine offers more substance and fiber to the palate thanks to a long-lasting silky finish. Put this wine aside for more aging. Production is 43,000 bottles and 512 magnums. Drink: 2025 - 2040."  Monica Larner, Wine Advocate - 93 points 

Piedmont Nebbiolo

The Piedmont wine region is located in the north-west corner of Italy. The name Piemonte means "at the foot of the mountains", the mountains in this case being the Alps. Piedmont is just Italy’s seventh largest wine region, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality.

Piedmont is famous for its Nebbiolo wines. Nebbiolo, the most exalted wine variety of Piedmont, gets its name from the Italian word for 'fog', nebbia. During harvest, which generally takes place late in October, a deep, intense fog sets into the Langhe region where the Nebbiolo vineyards are located. The Nebbiolo heartland is the tiny Barolo production zone, a cluster of fog-prone hills around the village of the same name.

Nebbiolo is early-budding, but also late-ripening. It needs good weather and lots of sunlight to achieve full ripeness, which is why the best vineyards for growing Nebbiolo are located on hillsides that are exposed to plenty of sunlight. Hence the suitability of the slopes of the Langhe hills near the town of Alba. Nebbiolo is only planted on the hills at an altitude above 250m, as fog hangs over lower vineyards for large parts of the day and there is no chance of making decent wine from this late-ripening variety if it is not exposed to maximum sunshine. The lower vineyards are generally planted with Barbera or Dolcetto.

Soil types also play a crucial role. Nebbiolo thrives on calcareous marl, a lime-rich mudstone that is found on the right bank of the Tanaro River, home to the famous appellations Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo grapes grown on other soil types tend to make wines that are not as aromatic and elegant.

Nebbiolo produces a full-bodied wine with high levels of acidity and tannin, particularly when it is young - at odds with its light colour. It also has great aging potential – particularly the Barbaresco and Barolo wines that garner the highest price tags.

The two highest classifications of wines produced from Nebbiolo in Piedmont are the DOCG denomination Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) and the DOC denomination Denominazione d'Origine Controllata (Denomination of Controlled Origin).

In total, there are seventeen DOCG and DOC wines made in Piedmont. The five applicable to Nebbiolo are Barolo DOCG, Barbaresco DOCG and Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC (which must be made from 100% Nebbiolo) and Roero DOCG and Langhe Nebbiolo DOC (which must be made from at least 85% Nebbiolo).

 DOCG and DOC Nebbiolo production zones in Piedmont

Barolo DOCG is perhaps the most famous Nebbiolo wine. Its name derives from the small town in the heart of the Barolo production zone, but it is produced in eleven communes around the larger hillside towns in the area. Barolo DOCG wines must be made from 100% Nebbiolo and must age in oak for at least 18 months with a total age time of 38 months before release. Barolo Riserva DOCG must age in oak for at least 18 months with a total age time of 62 months before being released.

Barbaresco DOCG is often described as more elegant than the more powerful Barolo, the 'queen' to Barolo’s 'king'. Barbaresco DOCG wines must be made from 100% Nebbiolo. The production zone is tiny, a third of the size of Barolo, and has less stringent regulations. Barbaresco DOCG wines must age in oak for at least 9 months with a total age time of 26 months before release. Barbaresco Riserva DOCG must age in oak for at least 9 months with a total age time of 50 months before being released.

Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC is produced between Barolo and Barbaresco. Near the two zones the wines are full-bodied and age very well. Further away, they’re delicate and best drunk young. This wine can also come from grapes from Barola or Barbaresco not quite up to heavenly standards, such as grapes from new vineyards in the famous hills or from less exalted vineyards. Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC wines must be made from 100% Nebbiolo and must age for at least 12 months before release. Nebbiolo d’Alba Superiore DOC wines must age in oak for at least 6 months with a total age time of 18 months before being released.

Roero DOCG is a little known zone just north of Barolo within the Langhe. Roero DOCG wines must be at least 95% Nebbiolo and must age in oak for at least 6 months with a total age time of 20 months before release. Roero Riserva DOCG must age in oak for at least 6 months with a total age time of 32 months before being released.

Langhe Nebbiolo DOC falls in (is a subset of) one of the largest wine zones in Piedmont, Langhe DOC. The Langhe DOC covers 54 communes of the Langhe and Roero hills. Varietally focused wines can include the name Langhe plus the grape. All told, there are 23 different forms of Langhe wines with Langhe Nebbiolo being just one. Langhe Nebbiolo DOC wines can come from anywhere in the Langhe i.e. from any of the four zones above (Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo d’Alba or Roero). Langhe Nebbiolo DOC must be at least 85% Nebbiolo and allow for up to 15% of other indigenous grape varieties, such as such as Barbera and Dolcetto. In practice most are made entirely from Nebbiolo.

Serralunga d'Alba in Piedmont, where the Nebbiolo grape is king


Barolo Landscape

Barolo, often referred to as the "King of Wines", is a powerful and full-bodied red wine made from Nebbiolo grapes. Barolo is special due to its unique combination of factors – its terroir, the Nebbiolo grape, and its winemaking traditions. The zone's spectacular terroir, a multitude of distinctive microclimates and soil compositions, is ideal for growing Nebbiolo. Furthermore, the centuries-old winemaking traditions add to the allure, resulting in a wine that is complex, full-bodied, and capable of aging gracefully for many years.

The Barolo zone (the regulated production area) is a relatively small area in Piemont. It is 11km north to south and just over 8km at its widest point. Barolo comprises 11 different communes around the larger towns in the area - some of the more famous towns or villages are Barolo, Montforte d’Alba, La Morra and Serralunga d’Alba. These communes each have unique geography, soil, climate and altitude. 

Barolo largely consists of three chains of hills separated by two north-south valleys, the Central Valley and Serralunga Valley. The communes are dotted up and down the twin valleys and hilly ranges that offer a huge variety of terroir.

The 3D flyover of Barola below is worth watching to appreciate the compexity of the topography, the countless number of small hills and the changes that occur in the space of a few metres. However, for anyone wishing to gain a full appreciation of what Barolo looks like in the flesh, Alessandro Masnaghetti's  Barolo MGA 360°  provides a superb digital replica of the landscape.

Barolo Vineyards in 3D flyover

 Click on image to play 3D flyover

The Communes and 'Cru' Vineyards of Barolo 

There are 11 approved communes in the Barolo production zone. Over 87% of Barolo is produced in the original five and largest communes; La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and Monforte d'Alba.

The remaining six communes are Novello, Verduno, Cherasco, Roddi, Grinzane Cavour and Diano d’Alba (which is planted more to Dolcetto than Nebbiolo). Interestingly, the first two of these are home to two of the most in-demand vineyards in the entire region; Monvigliero in Verduno and Ravera in Novello.

La Morra and Barolo are the two main communes in the western part of the zone, also known as the Central Valley. The soils are Tortonian - a fertile, compact, calcareous marl that produces graceful wines with more florals and fruit. 

The Serralunga Valley to the east has Serravalian (also referred to as Helvetian) soils which are heavy in sandstone and sand, producing structured bold wines with high tannins. Within this area you will find the famous communes of Castiglione Falleto, Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte d’Alba.

Communes of Barolo
Communes of Barolo

Barolo drinkers had become familiar over the years with the most recognizable of the 11 commune names appearing on the labels; Castiglione Falletto and Monforte d'Alba, for example. However, in the ‘90s the world rediscovered Barolo, whose wines bore little comparison to the rough wines of the past. Barolo began selling out, prices increased and so did the surface area of vineyards. With new producers came a rise in new labels and new ways to distinguish one from the other. They began personalising their labels with more than just the commune; they used the names of the vineyards, villages, and people. This desire to differentiate quickly got out of control, and as has been the case in many other wine regions, the consumer became confused.

The first priority was to create order, to delineate and define the varying wine-growing areas. To make it official, the Barolo Consorzio, in cooperation with the province of Cuneo and the various Barolo villages, undertook the challenging task of regulating the use of vineyard and zonal names on labels. By 2010, after several years of hard work, they came up with a list of geographical designations that are allowed to appear on the Barolo label.

These geographical designations or MGA (menzioni geografiche aggiuntive or additional geographic designations) refer to specific delimited areas of production and can be seen as the equivalent of the French term cru. 

In total, there are 181 geographical designations, of which 11 are communal (one for each commune; e.g. Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d’Alba, Barolo del Comune di La Morra, etc.). Wines may be labeled with one of these MGA provided the fruit comes from the stated designation.  

The MGAs – it’s important to emphasize this – do not imply superiority in a qualitative sense. A Barolo carrying the name of an MGA on the label is not necessarily better or more valuable than a Barolo with another name or even with no name at all, although for many producers Barolo wines with an MGA usually represent the most prestigious wines in their lists.

Most of the 170 MGA refer to a single vineyard such as Cannubi or Brunate, however as there are a number of exceptions, the MGA term cannot technically be defined as a vineyard. Bussia, for example, in the commune of Monforte d'Alba and the second largest MGA at 738 acres, is actually a large hill made up of several vineyards. The name of single-vineyard wines within their eponymous MGA are permitted on the label. Poderi Aldo Conterno, one of Barolo’s greatest producers, makes wines from three separate vineyards situated within the Bussia MGA; Colonello, Cicala and Romirasco.  


Barolo MGA or Cru Map

Click map to enlarge 🔍

A number of the MGA extend across more than one Commune. The Cerequio MGA, for example, is located between the towns of La Morra and Barolo and extends across the boundary of the two communes. It is one of the most prestigious vineyards within the appellation and a truly stunning landscape – it is so revered that it has been nicknamed the "Riviera of the Langhe." Grapes from both sides are of extremely high-quality and become great wines, but acquiring land with the southwestern exposure is considered la crème de la crème of the MGA. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the labels that have made Barolo history are all from here.

Strange as it may seem, European laws prevent the use of two or more MGA names together on the label, thus effectively stopping a noble and well-documented tradition of Barolo obtained by blending various vineyards. However, if the MGAs are situated in the same commune, the label may specify "Barolo del Comune di Barolo" or "Barolo del Comune di La Morra" and so on. Although contradictory, the same law that prevents use of two or more MGAs on the label allows the producer to add up to 15% of Barolo obtained from a second MGA to a Barolo with an MGA stated on the label.

The proper term for a vineyard is vigna, which can also appear on the label. Two well-known examples are Poderi Oddero Barolo Bussia Vigna Mondoca and Bruno Giacosa Vigna Le Rocche Barolo Falletto. Note that the term vigna does not have to be used as an identifier – Aldo Conterno does not label his separate Barolos with this descriptor.

A brief summary of the most important communes and crus in the Barolo production zone follows.

La Morra

La Morra Commune

Situated at the northern end of the Central Valley, La Morra ranks first among all the communes as far as most acreage of Nebbiolo planted for production of Barolo as well as number of wineries (62); it is tied with Serralunga d’Alba for most MGA (39). Several of the highest vineyards in the zone are located here at elevations of more than 420m.

La Morra is known for Barolo with rounder, more gentle tannins and more floral aromatics (especially from the Brunate MGA), as opposed to wines from Serralunga and Monforte d'Alba. The wines from the Rocche dell’Annunziata site are among the most complex, elegant and structured in all the commune.

Top vineyards: Rocche dell’Annunziata, La Serra, Arborina, Conca, Brunate and Cerequio (these last two are primarily situated in La Morra, with a smaller part of these sites also in the commune of Barolo).

Top Producers: Renato Ratti, Roberto Voerzio, Poderi Oddero, Elio Altare, Fratelli Revello, Marcarini, Mauro Molino, Mauro Veglio, Trediberri, Aurelio Settimo


Barolo Commune

Situated at the southern end of the Central Valley, this commune lends its name to the wine produced in the Barolo Zone. The wines here are a mix of styles, with a typical Barolo from here being rich in tannins with a slight austerity. The most famous vineyard here is Cannubi, which contains both Tortonian and Serravalian soils, creating wines of great complexity.

Top vineyards: Cannubi, Sarmassa, Bricco delle Viole, Terlo, Liste, Castellero

Top Producers: Bartolo Mascarello, Marchesi di Barolo, Scarzello, Borgogno, Damilano, Giuseppe Rinaldi, Francesco Rinaldi, Giacamo Brezza, Luciano Sandrone

Monforte d'Alba

Monforte d'Alba

Situated at the far southeastern reaches of the zone, Monforte d’Alba is home to long-aging, powerful examples of Barolo. There are only 11 MGA, but 53 wineries here; one reason for this is the large number of producers that make a Bussia Barolo. The wines here are generally quite ripe, and while there are numerous producers that take a modern approach in the cellar (e.g. Domenico Clerico), there are some such as Elio Grasso that specialize in more traditional examples of Barolo, with their Ginestra Casa Maté and Gavarini Chiniera Barolos.

Top vineyards: Ginestra, Bussia, Mosconi, Castelletto, Le Coste di Monforte

Top producers: Elio Grasso, Domenico Clerico, Poderi Aldo Conterno, Giovanni Manzone, Josetta Saffirio, Giacomo Conterno, Giacomo Fenocchio, Amalia Cascina in Langa

Serralunga d’Alba 

Serralunga d’Alba communeSituated north of Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba marks the eastern border of the Barolo zone. If a classic syle of Barolo combines deep structure and longevity, then the Barolos of Serralunga are certainly among the most classic. These wines require time, but offers great rewards at their peak. Yet, you can find very approachable examples of Barolo from here; the offerings of Barolo Comune di Serralunga d’Alba are often quite open upon release, displaying the rich fruit and tannins of Serralunga in a more refined manner. These are among the best values of the entire Barolo zone.

As much as any commune, Serralunga is known for its remarkable assortment of vineyards, including Lazzarito, Vignarionda, Falletto of Bruno Giacosa, and Francia, the source of the celebrated Monfortino Barolo of Giacomo Conterno.

Top Vineyards: Falletto, Francia, Lazzarito, Vignarionda, Margheria, Cerretta, Prapò, Parafada

Top Producers: Fontanafredda, Ettore Germano, Paolo Manzone, Giovanni Rosso, Schiavenza, Palladino, Luigi Pira

Castiglione Falletto

Castiglione FallettoThe commune of Castiglione Falletto is located to the west of Serralunga d’Alba, north of Monforte d’Alba and east of La Morra. The soils here are mixed with a good percentage of sand, resulting in wines that are often more fragrant and less tannic than those from Serralunga and Monforte. A typical Castiglione Falletto Barolo displays red cherry and starwberry fruit aromas and flavors along with distinct red spice notes. Rocche di Castiglione is arguably the best known site here, along with Villero (the source of Vietti riserva), Bricco Rocche of Ceretto, and Monprivato, this last made famous by Giuseppe Mascarello.

Top Vineyards: Rocche di Castiglione, Bricco Rocche, Villero, Bricco Boschis, Parussi, Fiasco, Pernanno, Monprivato, Montanello

Top Producers: Vietti, Paolo Scavino, Cavallotto, Monchiero Fratelli, Giovanni Sordo, Livia Fontanai


Verduno Commune

Verduno represents the far northwest reaches of the Barolo zone, and is known for wines that combine excellent ripeness with subtle spice, generally with mid-weight tannins. Clearly Verduno is most famous for the Monvigliero vineyard, situated just east of the town of Verduno, ranging from 220-310m above sea level. While most of this commune’s producers make a Monvigliero Barolo, recently many vintners throughout the Barolo zone have also added a Barolo from this vineyard - this includes Paolo Scavino, Giovanni Sordo and Terre del Barolo.

Top Vineyards: Monvigliero, San Lorenzo di Verduno, Boscatto, Massara

Top Producers: Burlotto, Fratelli Alessandria, Bel Colle, Castello di Verduno


Novello Commune

The commune of Novello is located at the far southwestern corner of the Barolo zone and has one of the coolest climates of any commune, thanks to the winds from the Cottian Alps to the south. The wines of Novello were among the most unrelenting years ago, but because of climate change, a typical Barolo from Novello is now riper and much more elegant. Clearly the interest in this commune over the past decade can be traced to the work of Valter Fissore and his wife Nadia, at their Elvio Cogno estate, with wines from the Ravera vineyard. Recently several renowned producers such as Vietti and Paolo Scavino have also released a Ravera Barolo.

Top Vineyards: Ravera, Sottocastello di Novello, Cerviano-Merli, Panerole, Corini-Palaretta

Top Producers: Elvio Cogno, Ca’Viola, Le Strette, Marenco

The winery

Giovanni Viberti

Viberti Giovanni was founded in the early 1900s when Antonio Viberti, an innkeeper and restauranteur, purchased the Locanda del Buon Padre with an adjoining vineyard in the village of Vergne, located in the commune of Barolo. In 1923, he began producing wines exclusively for the patrons of the family restaurant, Trattoria al Buon Padre, from Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo grown in the estate vineyard. In 1955, Cavalier started selling his Dolcetto d'Alba, Barbera d'Alba and Barolo at local markets.

In 1967, Antonio's son, Giovanni, joined the family business to manage the inn and adjoining cellar. A new winery was constructed and the vineyard expanded. Supported by his wife Maria, head chef of the family and restaurant kitchen, the winery and restaurant went from strength to strength. Their wines were promoted by the inn's constant visitors from neighbouring Switzerland, Germany and Austria, and in 1974, the first Viberti wines were exported to southern Europe to satisfy the growing demand outside Piedmont.

Giovanni's eldest son, Gianluca, joined the family business in 1989 after graduating from the Enological School of Alba. The winery started bottling single vineyard Barolos, introduced new winemaking techniques and began exporting to the emerging US market.

In 2004, Claudio, Giovanni’s third son, joined his brother at the winery. He oversaw the start of a substantial investment in Barbera, replanting the vines with much tighter spacing and dropping yields to produce higher quality Barbera. A new flagship wine was born, Barbera d’Alba La Gemella, named in honour of Maria who was a twin and a major driving force behind the family's success. Maria had insisted over the years that the family keep making Barbaera d'Alba and often lamented how many of the beautiful local Barbera vineyards had been replanted with the more profitable variety Nebbiolo. 

Claudio took over management of the family winery in 2008 while Gianluca, after more than twenty years tending the family vineyards, left to establish the new Casino Bric 460 winery nearby. Claudio acquired new vineyards in Barolo and negotiated contracts with growers in Monforte d'Alba and Verduno to supply grapes for the historic Barolo Buon Padre label. Investment in new vineyards for the growth of Barbera Gemella continued.

Today, Viberti produces 120,000 bottles a year and exports to over 25 countries worldwide.

The Vineyards

The estate vineyards are the beating heart of production and are managed with extreme care and attention to detail. They are mainly located on the west side of the City of Barolo, at an altitude of  400 - 500 meters above sea level. Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, together with a tiny amount of Chardonnay are grown.

Viberti own eight vineyards in the commune of Barolo, in the crus of Bricco Delle Viole, San Pietro, La Volta, Fossati, Terlo, Albarella, Ravera and San Ponzio. In addition, they source grapes from vineyards in the Monvigliero cru of Verduno and Perno cru of Monforte d'Alba (refer to the map below).

Reserve Barolos are produced from the crus of Bricco Delle Viole, San Pietro, La Volta and Monvigliero. 

The historical Barolo cuvée Buon Padre (first produced in 1927) is today a skillful assemblage of the 10 crus across the communes of Barolo, Monforte d'Alba and Verduno.

The vineyards of Viberti in the commune of Barolo

The vineyards of Viberti in the commune of Barolo: O are estate-owned vineyards, P are contract vineyards (grapes are purchased)

Wine region map of Italy


There are 16 major Italian wine regions, each known for their own unique grape varieties, terroir and wines. They are Abruzzo, Basilicata, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Le Marche, Lombardy, Piedmont, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily, Trentin-Alto Adige, Tuscany, Umbria and Veneto.

Italy was the leading producer of wine in the world in 2020, with more than half the production coming from the four regions of Veneto, Apulia, Emilia-Romagna and Sicily. More than 400 grape varieties are grown across the country’s wine regions, most of which are indigenous.

Italy's most esteemed wine regions are Piedmont, home to Barolo and Barbaresco, Tuscany, home to Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Veneto, home to Soave, Prosecco and Amarone.

Italian wine is labelled by wine region or appellation rather than by grape variety. In order to guarantee the quality and provenance of Italian wines, the government established an appellation quality system. Wines with a regional designation are classified as IGT, DOC or DOCG. There are currently 330 DOC appellations in Italy, but it is a number that is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. The region with the biggest number of DOCs is Piedmont with 42. To date, there are 77 DOCG appellations in Italy and the region with the biggest number of DOCGs is Piedmont with 16.