press recognition: http://www.fratellialessandria.it/it/riconoscimenti
Crowning the small hilltop village of Verduno, the elegant 18th century cantina Fratelli Alessandria produces approx 5,000 wine cases from 14 hectares; including the wine crus of Monvigliero in Verduno & Gramolere in Monforte d’Alba in Piedmont. They are one of the 10 most historical cantinas in the Barolo zone, making Barolo since the start of the 1800s. Their Baroli were recognised by King Carlo Alberto in 1904 (for their 1894 vintage), identifying a notable quality that continues to be enhanced by the arrival of 5th generation Vittore, aside his uncle Alessandro and father Gian Battista. They are also proud producers of the Pelaverga wine, a charming and elegant pepper-scented thing from grapes grown almost in exclusivity around Verduno.
Vittore’s arrival in 2001, post commercial and oenological studies at Torino University, coincided with a period of positive change. ‘More attention to detail’ is how Vittore explains the improvements that have taken place over the past decade. No more so than in the vineyard, now a picture of health and source of bright fruit from appropriately low yields. The Baroli are aged in 50HL Slavonian botte grandi for 3 years (one more year than the minimum, and so without need for fining or filtration). From 2017 the Barolo from Monforte will not go into the Barolo Classico blend, so that it can be labelled Barolo del Comune di Verduno.
Barbera d’Alba Superiore ‘Priora’
Langhe Nebbiolo ‘Prinsiòt’
Barolo San Lorenzo, Verduno
Barolo Gramolere, Monforte d’Alba
Barolo Monvigliero, Verduno
2017 Langhe Favorita – pithy, salty, lemon spremuta! Fruit from 3 vineyards: Boscatto, Semolino, and Sotto Orti – with an average altitude of of 300metres asl, and average vine age of 35yo. Soils are calcareous and silt. Fermentation in stainless steel before 1-2 months in bottle. Aromas of little white flowers and citrus, leading to a concentrated palate with plenty of juicy citrus fruit, mouth watering acidity, and a saline finish.
2017 Dolcetto d’Alba – tasted 6 Sept’18, 14.5% (!), 7k bts produced, from the fruit of two Verduno vineyards; 2017 a good vintage for Dolcetto (& Barbera!), dark inky/iode purple, black pepper aromatics, smoky, crunchy blackberry & violet fruit, svelte coming from Verduno.
2017 Barbera d’Alba – tasted 6 Sept’18, 14.5%, only 4k bts made, 100% from Verduno, crunchy, but very ripe hedgerow fruit, succulent even, great purity (only stainless-steel) & purpose.
2016 Barbera d’Alba Superiore ‘Priora’ – 15.5% abv, tasted 6 Sept’18, enriched by a galactic vintage (2016), Vittore’s explosive, hedonistic Barbera Superiore reminds me more of Barossa Shiraz (Rockford Basket-Pressed?!) than something from the Langa! From Verduno & Monforte vines, including some 50 yo vine stock in Verduno, it’s deeply dark, with a ‘Christmas cake doused with Armagnac’ fuelled nose, along with notes of prune, fig & even some fondent chocolate! A rocket laced with hot chillis, it personifies Vitto’s wild side!!
2015 Barbera d’Alba Superiore ‘Priora’ – 15.5% abv, refers to the top selection of Barbera fruit, that in 2015 comes from the Verduno vyd of Rocche dell’Olmo & from Monforte’s Gramolere. First bottled in 2000, c. 6k bts/anno, raised in 500 litre tonneaux for 3 wks, bottled in April 2017. Deep plum coloured, & with of course plum cake aromas. Rich, suave, juicy, refreshingly bright, energetic, fresh & alive…
2018 Verduno Pelaverga – tasted mid-May 2019. Bottled one month ago. Fermented in stainless steel, then into cement (MLF either in cement or in steel), then back into stainless steel before bottling. Very fresh, lively, and lovely. The classic little peppery notes, rose petal and raspberry, lifted and charming.
2017 Verduno Pelaverga – tasted 6 Sept’18, 14%abv, 9k bts produced, enchanting rose petal essence, talc, musky spice, white pepper, very elegant, pretty, but with stoffa! A gem.
2016 Langhe Nebbiolo ‘Prinsiòt’ – tasted Nov’17 from tank, 100% fruit from Verduno, 30% declassified Nebbiolo for Barolo fruit, 10 mths ageing in botte grande, to be bottled in Feb’18; wow! great presence, lift, violet scented, depth, smoky kirsch cassis, pacy, electric, a real little Barolo. Raspberry essence, rosemary scented. Pulsating!
2015 Langhe Nebbiolo ‘Prinsiòt’ – 100% fruit from Verduno, 40% from Nebbiolo for Barolo vyds, pale red garnet, sandalwood, strawberry aromas, 8/9 days on the skins in s/s, wild yeast, 10 mths in botte grande, sapido, tiny red berries, integral, focussed, sunny
2015 Barolo – tasted mid-May 2019. Shy at first, and then very open and fragrant, an enticing perfume of black cherry, strawberry, rose, and sandalwood. A little fuller and sunnier than the 2014, with plenty of generous fruit on the palate, bright acidity, and a gentle spice. The usual blend of fruit from Verduno (inc. San Lorenzo), Monforte d’Alba (young Gramolere).
2014 Barolo – tasted Nov. & Dec ’17 from barrel, 14%, 90% Verduno (including the single vineyard San Lorenzo!) + 10% Monforte d’Alba (young Gramolere), 25% less fruit in 2014, from a later harvest! Compact, perfect balance of ‘griottes’, rose, fruit spice, cologne fresh, rosewater pure, glacier cherry, some sandalwood spice, taut, cool crunch, to be bottled in spring 2018…
2013 Barolo – 85% Verduno fruit, 15% Monforte (young Gramolere), a darker (Monforte) hue, focused, compact, red fruit & brambles, forest floor even, red cassis, transparent, combines joyful red spicy fruit with broad brambly notes, broad, firm, classic Barolo; a perfect balance of fruit, acidity & (fruit) tannins
2013 Barolo San Lorenzo, Verduno – pretty orange skin garnet red, delicate, warm yet refreshing tonic/cologne & mandarin spicy notes; the palate suave, silky, persistent, with flowing peachy fruit, spice & length; the Villero of Verduno?!
2015 Barolo Gramolere, Monforte d’Alba – tasted mid-May 2019. Pale ruby red, from the sandy/sandstone soils of Monforte d’Alba. Very old vines, at 400m asl. Darker soils versus those in Verduno which are slightly whiter and more silt and limestone rich. More complex, dark and brooding, with a rich bramble fruit nose, hints of liquorice and forest floor. Prominent and elegant tannins, more structured and fuller than the Barolo Classico, will need more time…
2014 Barolo Gramolere, Monforte d’Alba – tasted Nov. & Dec ’17 from botte, macerated for 20 days (a week less than normal), & bottled in Dec’18 (earlier than usual), 13.8% abv (lighter than usual!); darker (than Monvigliero), brambly, seared meat/carnoso, rose-hip, wild mint, profondo as you’d expect from 60 yo vines on sandstone soils. Glistening, a pearl of gleaming, shy, but coiled cassis red fruit at its core, exciting, with old vine blueberry presenza!
2013 Barolo Gramolere, Monforte d’Alba – dark garnet, carnoso, seared meat, forest floor, a broad, square shape, pulpy, richer, piu grasso, muscular, sinewy, taut, edgy, needs time..
2015 Barolo Monvigliero, Verduno- tasted mid-May 2019 – so fragrant and beguiling, crushed rose, pomegranate, cherry stone. Gorgeous, such poise and precision, and yet so soft and fluid, with silky fine-grained tannins, rose water purity and elegance. Captivating…
2014 Barolo Monvigliero, Verduno – tasted Nov. & Dec.’17 from barrel, bottled in Dec’17, earlier than usual, 14.5% (!), from their 1.4ha plots of 35 yo vines at the heart, the ‘pancia’ of the 20ha vineyard; macerated for 22 days (vs normally 30 days)! Haunting, elusive, focus, lampone/raspberry cool, compact, concreto, glacial freshness, rose petal poise. Camphor. Fabulous, swooning roll, cleansing, suave…
2013 Barolo Monvigliero, Verduno – compared to San Lorenzo (lower down the slope), Monvigliero is a brighter red/rose colour; cooler too, focused, with distinct rose petal aromas, tight, focused, pinpoint; combines a fuller structure with more ethereal, tightly woven notes, beautiful cassis acidity, cologne fresh, poise!