press recognition: http://www.fratellialessandria.it/it/riconoscimenti
In recent years, the Barolo village of Verduno has become a magnet for Nebbiolo (& Pinot Nero!) appassionati! Once regarded as being a marginal Barolo comune (seat) on account of its small size, when compared to the big three originals: Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto & Barolo (each with 100% of Nebbiolo da Barolo vineyards within the comune boundaries), perhaps it’s thanks to Verduno’s very size, its prettiness & sleepiness, its unassuming & gentle residents, low contours that seem an extension of the Roero into the Langhe, & (surprise, surprise) the charmingly soft, perfumed, Pinot-esque Barolos epitomised by the great Monvigliero vineyard, that has seen it now become something of a ‘mecca’.
The Alessandria (& Burlotto) family are central to Verduno, just as ‘Conterno’ is to Monforte, Canale to Serralunga, Mascarello to La Morra, Borgogno in Barolo etc…. The current 5th generation of F.lli Alessandria: Vittore (from 2001), along with his uncle Ale (from 2000), father Gian-Battista & mother Flavia (a most welcome incomer from Monforte!) starting making prized wine back in the 18th century, but it’s this family team, supported by Tiziana in the ufficio, that has been turning heads of late.
Much credit to Ale (Alessandria), who tends the 14ha of vines, often on his Lamborghini caterpillar tractor, while Vittore faffs about in the cantina. These past years they’ve been investing in new botti, “paying more attention (esp. the vineyard)” as Vitto says, & focusing on autochthonous grapes.
1978 was the first release (in the village) of their Barolo Monvigliero – the label identical to that of today.
2001 saw the first release of their Barolo Gramolere, from Flavia (Manzone)’s prime old vine plot high up on dark sandstone over tufo soils that face pure west.
In vintage 2015 their San Lorenzo di Verduno made a welcome return as a single vineyard Barolo, having been first made in 1997, but then in 2014 its yields were so low that it was blended into the family’s classic Barolo.
From 2017 the young vine fruit from their Gramolere vyd has grown up, & will no longer be blended into their classic Barolo, so this becomes their first (& the village’s debut) 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
2015 Barolo San Lorenzo di Verduno– as tasted by DBG on Thursday 24th January. 14.5%, bottled in Nov’18, Verduno’s San Lorenzo vineyards lies on the apron of the mighty Monvigliero! It’s effectively an extension, but the contours of San Lorenzo are smoother, the elevation lower at 230m asl (vs 280m asl for Monvigliero), & soil composition & structure differs in being sandier, siltier, warmer. The F.lli Alessandria family has been paying particular attention to the 27yo, San Lorenzo vineyard in recent years, going organic, addressing the canopy mgt (in such an exposed position) & timing the harvest well. The results are glowing…red, the nose a tight strawberry, 2015 warm, but not cooked or overripe, pepped up by white spice & dried rose; to taste, it’s very suave, gentle, fluid, juicy, but it holds the line, doesn’t lose shape, shows great awareness, good energy levels, & captivating wild strawberry/fragolini fruit zip! Essential. It’s great to see San Lorenzo back, & in forma
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!