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Scarpa Tettimorra Barolo 2012
This sensational Barolo opens with seductive notes of rose petals, gunpowder, and crushed dark berries, while the first sip reveals firm tannins, a bold structure, and complex layers of ripe fruit, leather, and earthy notes. The Tettimorra is perfectly suited to extended cellar ageing and will continue to develop over the next decade or so. If you prefer to drink it now, it will show beautifully alongside a hearty meal of braised meat or game, or with aged cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano.
The Scarpa estate has a noble reputation in Piemonte and has been producing wine in the Monferrato hills since 1854. In the 1960s it was purchased by Mario Pesce who has preserved traditional local winemaking techniques while introducing a modern, outward-facing approach to business.
The estate’s Tettimorra Barolo is a textbook example of classic Nebbiolo which is aged for extended periods in large casks. The fruit is sourced from Scarpa’s prime Tettimorra vineyard and fermented in large wooden vats. The new wine is then aged in 2000 to 10,000 litre casks for four years followed by several years of bottle ageing before release. This produces a remarkably elegant and complex wine which should be decanted before drinking.
Fratelli Alessandria Barolo 2012
The gorgeous hilltop town of Verduno where Fratelli Alessandria is based was once the heartland of the Barolo wine region where the very first modern-style Barolo wines were made. These days the commune is enjoying a revival thanks to the passion and commitment to local families like the Alessandrias who have been making wine here since the estate was founded in 1870.
Today the estate is in the capable hands of Gian Battista, Alessandro and Alessandro’s son, Vittore, who seek to express the authentic character of Barolo through their elegant, expressive wines which capture the complexity of the local terroir. Their Barolo is made with top quality grapes from five different plots in Verduno as well as a small proportion of fruit from Monforte d’Alba.
The relatively high elevation of these vineyards helps to craft grapes with abundant freshness and aromatic complexity. In the winery the must is fermented with wild yeasts and the young wines are aged in large used Slavonian and French oak casks for three years. This produces a remarkably elegant Barolo with intense aromas of dark cherries, baking spice and dried Mediterranean herbs. On the palate there is a distinctive freshness, medium body and fine tannins which make this an excellent option for extended cellar ageing.
Azelia Barolo San Rocco 2014
The Azelia story began in 1920 when Cavalier Lorenzo Scavino decided to start making wine from his family’s vineyards in the prized Barolo heartland of Castiglione Falletto. Before long his son, Alfonso, began bottling the estate’s wine and shortly afterwards Azelia wines were exported for the first time. Today the estate is under the visionary leadership of Luigi Scavino who has worked tirelessly to transform Azelia into one of Barolo’s most sought-after producers.
To ensure the estate produces the best quality wines possible the vineyards are worked by hand and are farmed organically. In the winery Luigi insists on only using a light touch of oak with wines typically aged in large oak botti or used oak barrels. The single vineyard San Rocco Barolo is one of the estate’s finest which very small quantities produced each year from the 55 year old Nebbiolo vines in the 1.5 hectare Serralunga d'Alba vineyard.
On the nose there is an explosion of spice, liquorice and dark fruit which transform on the palate into intense black cherry, ripe plum, and dried Mediterranean herb flavours. The body is generous and full with firm tannins and a bright streak of freshness which bring balance to this powerful Barolo. The well-developed structure and long finish make this a great match for red meats, but it will also continue to develop and evolve in the cellar over the next decades.
Elio Altare Barolo 2016
This charming Barolo from Elio Altare is crafted from top quality Nebbiolo grapes from the communes of La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba, and Barolo. The grapes are fermented using indigenous yeasts and the young wine is then aged in French oak barrels for 24 months before it is bottled.
On the nose there are generous aromas of raspberries, black cherries and cassis along with hints of dried herbs, rose petals and liquorice. The first sip reveals a rich, smooth texture and full body which is complemented by the intense dark fruit flavours and touches of sweet baking spice from the oak ageing. The firm tannins and well-developed structure make this an excellent contender for cellar ageing and it will continue to evolve and develop over the next six to eight years.
The Elio Altare estate is a modest family-run winery with a reputation for producing excellent Piedmontese wines in a thoroughly modern style. In 1948 the family purchased a farm in La Morra which formed the foundation for the estate, but it wasn’t until Elio Altare was inspired by his travels to Burgundy in the 1970s that the property began to make a name for itself. Today the estate is run by Elio’s daughter, Silvia, who continues the family tradition in her own way.
Aurelio Settimo Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata 2015
Decanting time: two hours.
Well-known for its exceptional production of Barolo vintages, the Rocche vineyard offers distinctly elaborate, romantic wines with rich floral and dried red berry undertones. This is a classic, traditional and mature Barolo originating in the Rocche cru in La Morra, which meets all expectations of the house while offering a delightful complexity of aromas and flavors.
The wine is a leathery, reddish purple in color with delightful glimmers of black. An inviting yet dusky nose exposes warm, spicy berry notes with light hints of black pepper. This sophisticatedly earthy and rustic wine delivers a full mouthfeel, exploding with bright, lively berry flavors, undertones of tar, bergamot, tobacco and licorice for a full umami experience. Notable smooth, raw tannins lead to a clean, insatiable and beautiful finish. Subtle, full-bodied and well-balanced with a concentrated, bold structure that promises depth and complexity at whatever age it is enjoyed. A powerful and enticing nebbiolo.
This vintage is exceptional as one would expect from a Barolo by Aurelio Settimo but particularly demanding and intense in comparison to some of the other vintages. Not one to be missed for the serious wine lover. Pair with rich, savory eats such as beef, veal, lamb, hard cheese and mushrooms.
Mauro Molino Barolo Bricco Luciani 2016
Occupying an idyllic setting near the enchanting hilltop town of La Morra, the Mauro Molino estate dates back to 1953 when the winery was founded by Mauro’s father. These days it is Mauro who heads up the estate along with his two children, Matteo and Martina, who both graduated from enology school and decided to join the family business.
In total the Molino family have 12 hectares of land in and around La Morra which are largely planted with Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto. The Bricco Luciani Barolo has a special place in the Molino family’s hearts since the grapes are sourced from the vineyard right in front of the family home where Mauro and later his children used to play.
The grapes are typically harvested in October at optimum maturity and then macerated and fermented in stainless steel tanks before being transferred to French oak barrels for 18 months of ageing. Unlike many Barolos which can require years of maturation before they become approachable, the Bricco Luciani is a softer, more elegant expression of the Nebbiolo grape which is exceptionally pleasant to drink even when young. The nose offers a complex mosaic of dark berries, truffles, and aromatic forest floor aromas, while the first sip reveals fine tannins, a firm structure, and plenty of balancing acidity.