Join us for part 2 of Collectorbit’s Piedmont Itinerary. We continue with the town La Morra and end with the historic centre of Serralunga d’Alba.
Stop Seven: Giulia Negri
Also known as Barlogirl, Giulia Negri is Serradenari’s newest generation of producers striving for a more delicate, approachable style in wine production. Not only are the grapes harvested by hand, the winery has been certified as organic since 2014. The Serradenari vineyard is Barolo’s own mountain – the highest of the tesserae of a unique mosaic that from one side faces the Alps from Liguria to Monte Rosa and from the other, a sea of vineyards that roll into the horizon. The elevation, coupled with a complex mosaic of soils, unique to this part of the Langhe, sets the stage for Giulia to create Barolos marrying delicate floral aromas and elegant fruit with a deep mineral foundation.
Giulia passionately pursues her goal of crafting Barolo with a Burgundian sensibility. In fact, she even inherited small parcels of Chardonnay and Pinot Nero that her father planted on the estate’s cooler, north-facing sites, allowing her to pay tribute to the great wines of the Côte d’Or through the lens of Piemontese soil.
Newsletter articles can be found here.
Serradenari / Via Bricco del Dente 19 / 12064 La Morra
Stop Eight: Vajra
Aldo Vajra established his own estate in the late 1960s when he was only a teenager farming his family’s vineyards. Vajra’s wines are known for their pristine flavours and defined fragrance. With around 40 hectares of vineyards, a quarter are planted in Nebbiolo for Barolo wines using mainly traditional methods. The estate has a quality range but its red wines made from Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera are particularly sought after. The wines are often described as being fresh and aromatic, and some would even say somewhat Burgundian in style. The flagship Barolo Bricco delle Viole is fermented for 30 to 40 days, then matured for 42 to 48 months in large Slavonian oak casks. It is made from late-harvested fruit sourced from the vineyard of the same name. The highly acclaimed Barbera d’Alba Superiore is one if the wines Vajra makes without Nebbiolo grapes, definitely worth to try, too!
Vajra has clearly perfected the art of winemaking.
Press releases can be found here.
Barolo – Piazza della Vite e del Vino, 1
Stop Nine: Francesco Rinaldi
Located in the quaint town of Barolo itself is the domain of Francesco Rinaldi, which was founded in 1870. The current owners, Paola and Piera Rinaldi, reflect decades of history and tradition in their wine making.
Rinaldi’s top sites are three of the most important villages in the Barolo area: Barolo, La Morra, Castiglione Falletto. These are places where Nebbiolo expresses itself best in fragrance and taste.
The two flagship bottlings at Francesco Rinaldi e Figli are the single cru Baroli, Brunate and Cannubi and the more recently released debut Cannubi Riserva. The Rinaldi’s entry-level Barolo and Dolcetto Roussot are exquisite, and a must-try.
Scores of the wines can be found here.
Via Crosia, 28 – 12060 Barolo
Stop Ten: Giacomo Fenocchio
Five generations of Fenocchios have been producing wine from their holdings in Monforte d’Alba since 1864. Today, Claudio and Albino Fenocchio hold the fort and produce grapes in the vineyard Bussia, in Cannubi and in Villero. The results are delectable and elegant wines, 11 in total, with intense aromas.
“We consider our farm an organic business although we have not been certified yet; we are participating, however, to the European project that encourages sustainable farming and we follow agricultural practices passed on for generations.
We will combine the newly purchased vineyards with those from our family heritage to craft a quality wine that best represents its territory of origin, which we aim to protect in any possible way.
What has given consistency and shaped our family farming business for generations is the respect for the work of our forefathers and the willingness to continue this tradition.”
Ratings of their wines can be found here.
Monforte D’Alba / Loc. Bussia, 7212065
Stop Eleven: Massolino
The Franco-Massolino estate was founded in 1896, and is located in the historic centre of Serralunga d’Alba. Three generations of the family run the vineyards, with Franco and Roberto Massolino at the helm.
The estate includes 15 hectares of vineyards. The history of the estate can be found in the small wine cellar which was also the birthplace for many of the family members. Massolino’s best-known wine is its entry-level, Classic Barolo; It was first produced in 1911, and is sourced from a variety of vineyards in different subzones. The wine reflects the terroir’s broad and variable spectrum of perfumes, ranging from the classic spicy notes to those of a sweeter, floral and fruity nature.
The jewels in the crown of Massolino estate originate from three cru vineyards: Margheria, Parafada and Vigna Rionda, that produce the highly rated wines Barolo Margheria, which is an absolute must try, Barolo Parafada and Vigna Rionda Riserva, respectively.
Book tasting online: On this tour, the family welcome wine enthusiasts into their home with panoramic views of the vineyards. In addition, guided tours are offered to the ageing cellars where the production and wine growing techniques are explained.
Wine Ratings can be found here.
Piazza Cappellano, 8 – 12050 Serralunga d’Alba
Stop Twelve: Mascarello’s Monprivato
The Giuseppe Mascarello family members have been growing wines for more than a century and a half. First as farmers running the Manescotto estate in the village of La Morra for the marchesa Giulia Colbert Faletti di Barolo, and then on their own property since the late 1800s. The wine is sourced from 14 hectares vineyards in Castiglione Falletto and Monforte d’Alba.
Barolo Monprivato is a medium, full-bodied wine that tends to demonstrate ruby-garnet colours upon release. Mascarello’s Barolos begin to mature between six and ten years of bottle age, and may continue to evolve over a 25- to 40-year span.
Other fine wines grown on the Giuseppe Mascarello farm include – alongside Barolo Monprivato – the following Barolos: Bricco, Villero, and Codana from vineyards in Castiglione Falletto, and Santo Stefano di Perno from vineyards in Monforte d’Alba.
Bear in mind that these wine prices are volatile, and availability is extremely limited.
Reviews can be found here.
Winery and cellars: via Borgonuovo, 108 – 12060 Monchiero
Not yet explored part 1 of Collectorbit’s Piedmont Itinerary? Click here.
Following this post, there will be a new article published about Alto Piemonte. There are so many incredible producers gaining renown in their winemaking artistry, ranging from Langhe, to those with no analogue. Alto Piedmont reds are still reasonable, if not cheap, and many are available with several years of age already on them, and in a drinking window. Barolo and Barbaresco are going to mature at much closer to your Burgundy timeline while the Alto Piemonte wines seem to mature faster and many are blends with Nebbiolo.
Interesting to note as well is that Langhe Nebbiolo are often created by the same producers who make Barolo and Barbaresco. The primary difference is in the sourcing location of the grapes. Some Langhe wines are from the less desirable slopes or from areas outside of the Barbaresco and Barolo zones. Either way, on good vintage years you’ll find these Langhe Nebbiolo wines to have a great value and taste but not with so much tannin.
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