Next to the pretty Asti village of San Marzano Oliveto lies the closed Valle (dei) Asinari, so named after the Marchese di Marzano family who once owned the land. Today, approx. 13 ha of it is owned & farmed by Bruna Ferro & her husband Luigi Garberoglio, their two sons Matteo & Luca; another 3 ha of Nizza Monferrato (Barbera) vines belongs to Luigi’s family (that he currently blends into Asinoi). 80% of the family farm is devoted to growing organic, biodynamic Barbera d’Asti, the rest is planted to mainly Moscato!
Bruna’s 4th generation family herald from nearby Calosso (roman Callocius), & it was they who bought the Cà di Carussin farm along with 4ha in 1921. They started vinifying the grapes soon after, in 1927, with the obligatory wheat & maize planted between the rows! Skip forward to the 1960s when Bruna recalls selling their wine in demi-john to Milanese private customers, who thirst for their Carussin wine increased to 12 demi-johns/family/annum by the 1980s! In the meantime they’d also developed a market in Genova. Alas in 1988, Bruna’s father Carlo Ferro at only 55 yo, leaving her to continue the good work. Apparently each generation is obliged to add 3.5ha of vines!
Luigi & Bruna’s sons, Matteo & Luca, now work alongside their parents. Luca is a graduate of Alba’s Umberto 1 Enological School, & has a debolezza/weakness for making (delicious) beer, as well as wine! The wines are mainly vinified in a combination of fibre glass & stainless-steel tanks, with sulphur dioxide used sparingly!
Vino Bianco ‘Il carico d’Asino’ (Carica l’Asino, + Cortese & Sauvignon Blanc)
Vino Rosso ‘Completo’ (Dolcetto, Barbera + press wine of Nebbiolo, Ancellotta, Lambrusco…!), available only in Litre, screwcap
Barbera d’Asti ‘Asinoi’
Barbera d’Asti ‘Li Via’
Vino Rosso ‘Beverein’ (Nebbiolo di Fara, Alto Piemonte)
Vino Rosso ‘Sisto’ (Nebbiolo di La Morra, Langhe)
Moscato d’Asti ‘Filari Corti’
(2018) Vino Bianco ‘Il Carico d’Asino’ – 13%, tasted March’19, also known locally as ‘Barbera Bianco’from a cooler, more abundant vintage, vinified in fibre glass & 10% in wood, malolactic complete, Carussin’s ‘Carico d’Asino’ shows a delicate, understated, soft white fruit, floral, esile/slender, hints of lemon thyme, soft pulpy, & a creamy leesy character. Very more-ish.
(2017) Vino Bianco ‘Il carico d’Asino’ – tasted April’18 prior to bottling, 25% vinified in tonneaux, the rest in s/steel, very soft, watery pure, orange blossom & comice pear notes, & of apple core. Il Carica d’Asino provides intrigue, the Cortese gentle freshness…the Sauvignon Blanc, not sure as to be anonymous?!
2018 Barbera d’Asti ‘Asinoi’ – tasted March’19, to be bottled May’19, 12.9% abv, TA 5.80, 0grams RS, 60mg free sulphur at bottling, vinified in fibre glass tanks, from their fruit in the San Marzano Valle Asinari adjacent to the cantina + 10% from Luigi’s family prime Nizza Monferrato Barbera, cooler & chiselled (from whiter soils). Backed by a refreshing vintage, plenty of juicy fruit, but also showing a lovely violet fragrance, black cherry, charm, ‘genteel’, the Nizza fruit giving a spine to the wine. Delicious & bright.
2017 Barbera d’Asti ‘Asinoi’ – tasted April’18, prior to bottling, plenty of luce/light, fresh plum, pure, pretty, violacce white stone core (Nizza white clay?) fragrance…
2016 Barbera d’Asti ‘Asinoi’ – tasted April’18, no oak, no post ferment maceration, from the predominantly calcareous clay, & sand, soils of the Valle Asinari close to the cantina, boosted by Luigi’s high altitude, fresh Nizza fruit, so good focus, neat, yet as ever pure, soft, gentle, with pretty white stone & plum flesh…mulberry esque in 2016, lovely balance & warmth…
(2017) Vino Rosso ‘Beverein’ NA17 (Nebbiolo di Fara, Alto Piemonte) – tasted March’19, 14%, the family used to buy fruit from Barbaresco’s San Rocco Seno d’Elvio, but now they’ve looked north, to the cooler Alto Piemonte, & to Fara on the morenic & alluvial banks of the Sesia river. Noticeably bright, high tone red colour; the nose is very perfumed, lifted, spiralling up, a mass of tight little red berries, redcurrants even, focused, pert, with a delicate, lacy structure & great elegance. Bottled with 15mg of free sulphur & with a crown cap!
(2016) Vino Rosso ‘Sisto’ NA16 (Nebbiolo di La Morra, Langhe) – 14.5%, tasted April’19, organic fruit from the august Rocche dell’Annunziata vineyard (!), harvested 12 Oct.2016, vinified & malolactic in fibre glass, macerated for 30 days on the skins, wild yeast, bottled in July’17 under 15mg free sulphur & a crown cap. Bel colore, classic 2016 intense ruby garnet red; the nose is complete, profondo, layered, couched in Rocche/La Morra terra, with smoky, dried rose petals & rosehip. On the palate, there’s depth, polpa, square but ripe tannins, real presenza…
(2014) Vino Rosso ‘Sisto NA14’ (Nebbiolo di La Morra) – tasted April’18, bottled under crown cap, July’15, 13.5%, from organic Rocche dell’Annunziata vines planted in 1985, the fruit being sold to Carussin, three weeks post ferment maceration, no oak, notable dried rose, beautiful flesh & feel, 13mg of SO2 total.
2017 Moscato d’Asti ‘Filari Corti’ – tasted April’19, bottled Marzo after at least 10 filtrations!, 5.43%abv, TA 4.54, pH3.30, 189g of RS, 50mg free sulphur, from a dry but clean vintage, that resulted in 50% less fruit…a gorgeous intense, bright golden lemon colour; the nose sings of dried (Ugandan!) pineapple chunks (sulphured?), sumptuous, creamy, richly concentrated by the year, yet remains bright & fresh (as per all Carussin wines!), delicious.
2016 Moscato d’Asti ‘Filari Corti’ – tasted April’18, 5.5%, 185g RS, so named after the ‘short’ 300 metre long rows of Moscato at the head of the Valle Asinari at 250m asl, below the casa bianca! Vermouth intensity & feel, along with notable peach syrup texture & fruit. Very pure, delicious with preserved…peaches!