Though the first bottling of their Barolo Briccolina was of vintage 2012 (in July 2015), the Grasso family of Azienda Agricola La Briccolina have occupied the spectacular bricco of this vineyard in the high part of Serralunga d’Alba, at 350 metres asl, lying adjacent to Ornato & beyond Falletto, since 1922; indeed the cascina looks west (the vines SW) straight across the valley to Elio Grasso’s winery & borgata, from where the family ‘migrated’! The intervening 90 years have been spent selling off fruit to a more famous neighbour, while Tiziano worked at Fontanafredda.
Simona, Tiziano’s wife, also has contadina roots; her family coming from Dogliani. But it was Tiziano’s son Daniele, who works by day at Bataisolo, who spurred the family on to bottle their own fruit from the finest 0.4ha (out of a total 5.5ha) of 50yo vines rather than give it all away. A new cantina has been fitted out in the ancient cellar beneath the family house; the vinification a classic c. 20 day s/s & botte grande (Garbellotto). The first CLC cement tank arrived earlier this year to house the wine prior to bottling. For now they make just the one wine, Barolo Briccolina.
Now, without Tiziano by their side, it is Simona & Dany who must take this great little cantina forward.
Barolo Briccolina, Serralunga d’Alba
2015 Barolo Briccolina, Serralunga d’Alba – tasted from botte July ’17, 42HL, bright, very pretty focus, cool white stone talc, lampone/raspberry essence, beautifully resolved tannins, veluto/velvety…
2014 Barolo Briccolina, Serralunga d’Alba – tasted & bottled 14 July ’17, 47% less produced, 20HL botte & cement, balsam oil, tamarind, suave, scented, fragrant, taut, quinine, speziato, cool, composed, fine, benefits no doubt from those 48 yo vines…bodes well indeed!
2013 Barolo Briccolina, Serralunga d’Alba – (tasted Feb 2017 from their newly installed 23HL CLC cement tank from Padova!) intense, taut red cherry stone, clove, plenty of vim, of energia, crunchy red fruit, weathered the new 20 HL Garbellotto French oak well, powerful, obviously needs masses of time & bottling!
While the inaugural 2012 vintage was harvested on 4th October, the 2013 was gathered up on the 20th; time on the skins was 14 days for the 2012, & 20 in 2013; alcohol was at 14.82% in 2012 & 14.52% in 2013; 2012 was fermented using selected yeast, the family chose to ferment spontaneously in 2013, using wild yeast. 2012 Briccolina reflects the dark, almost plummy nature of the vintage; 2013 is more ‘etereo’, showing sapid red cherry stone fruit & weave…bottled 14 July ’17