A Winter Essential:
Cappellano Barolo Chinato NV 750

Posted by Joe Salamone

There are few better things to end a meal with—or simply meditate over— than Cappellano’s Chinato.

Cappellano’s Chinato is one of the most complex, layered, and simply delicious things on earth. For us, it’s an indispensable part of our cold-weather drinking arsenal.

The easiest way to describe Chinato is a cross between a fortified wine and the king of vermouths.

photo of bottle of Cappellano Chinato

Cappellano is famous for producing some of the most unyieldingly traditional and compelling wines in Piedmont. In the late 1800s, Dr. Giuseppe Cappellano, who was a pharmacist, developed Barolo Chinato as a digestive aid. The recipe hasn’t changed since. Cappellano created the category of Barolo Chinato and remains the standard-bearer.

The base of Cappellano’s Chinato is Barolo from the famed Gabutti vineyard, and this particular bottling is from the 2015 vintage. From here, the family’s ultra-secret recipe of herbs, barks, and spices is added. (China is the Italian word for quinine bark, a bittering agent used in Chinato.)

Everything is ground by hand in an ancient mortar. Cappellano’s unique blend of spices is guarded so carefully that they shop at many different pharmacies to make sure that no one can piece the ingredients together.

The flavor spectrum that it delivers is insane, ranging from bitter to sweet, with a mix of spices and herbs. All of this is delivered with a velvety elegance.

An open bottle of Chinato can last almost indefinitely. The reality, however, is that an open bottle rarely lasts very long. The best move is to stock up. Not only is Cappellano’s Chinato among the most irresistible digestifs in the world, it also ages really well. Bottles at 10, 20, and even 40 years old have been stunning.

To order, email offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

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