Tucked away in the frazione/hamlet of Santa Maria di La Morra is (eventually!) found the family cantina of Crissante Alessandria. Both family names, Crissante & Alessandria, originate from Santa Maria, & their 6 hectares of vines (+ 5ha of hazelnuts), of which 5 are planted to Nebbiolo, lie an ox-drive’s distance from the cantina, surrounding the frazione; notably the vineyards of Roggeri, San Biagio, Bertolotti, Capalot, & Galina.
The cantina’s story began in 1958, with the first commercial bottles produced in the 1970s when the estate was a tiny 2-3 hectares. Skip forward to 2005 when 8th generation Alberto Alessandria (nato 1985), owner & winemaker, graduated from Alba’s Enological School Umberto 1. He then joined his family in 2007, triggering a series of investments in the cantina – notably the introduction of new Garbellotto botti grandi. In 2008 his ‘nonno’ Crissante passed away, & in doing so passed the baton to Alberto.
Their 3ha vineyard of Roggeri surrounds the cantina, is comprised of Lampia vines planted between 1957 & 2012, is situated at 210m asl, facing SE, & the soil is composed of a heavy grey & brown calcareous clay, cool & humid. Their prime plot of 0.4ha Capalot is situated further up the hill, faces S, just above the Santa Maria to La Morra road, in a natural amphiteatro, at 320m asl on sand & clay; the vines date from the 1970s & more recently from 2003; ‘La Punta’ dei Capalot sits just up from the road, behind the outsized red bench/pachina, & is home to some of Crissante’s oldest vines, many ‘pie franco’ that each year produce c. 200 magnums of late harvest, late release Barolo ‘La Punta’! Just below the same strada, over looking Santa Maria, is their tiny 0.8ha Galina at 300m asl, facing SW, on a poor, white calcareous clay (similar to Bricco Ambrogio in fact); 0.2ha was (high density) planted in the 1922 & then in 1945 on original rootstock (piede franco), while the rest was replanted using Michet clones in 2014, with final old vine vintage being 2016; it was first released as a Barolo ‘cru’ in vintge 2007; from vintage 2018 Galina will be aged in a 40HL botte grande. They also own vines in Bettolotti (facing Verduno) & (sandy) San Biagio (opposite the cantina), which are blended into their Barolo del comune di La Morra.
Vinification is traditional, using static, vertical stainless-steel fermenting tanks, light pumping over for delicacy (not submerged cap, that extracts more), classic maceration times of c. 20 days, malolactic in the steel tanks before transfer to botti grandi & barriques (to accommodate Galina’s tiny production). Pressed wine is all but excluded as Alberto prides himself on making one of the region’s finest & smoothest Grappa!
They also produce a Langhe Rosato, Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba & Langhe Nebbiolo
From 2013 converting to organic but non certificate. Min. 22 mg/litro free sulphur.
Barbera d’Asti, Montegrosso d’Asti
Barolo del comune di La Morra
Barolo ‘La Punta’ dei Capalot (magnum only)
Grappa Barolo Barrique
Grappa Barolo Giovane