Cristina & Paolo grew up in the tiny Serralunga d’Alba borgata/hamlet of Sorano. Cristina’s ‘zia’ owned the house next to Paolo’s family, & the summers were spent together playing in the midst of the ‘cuntrà’ (borgata in dialect), hence the name ‘Contrada’!
Paolo’s father Giancarlo Baudana (& mother Marisa) owned vines, started making some wine in the 1990s & sold the rest in bulk. Sadly he died young in 2011, & the responsibility passed to young Paolo, who at that stage was working as a trattorista/tractor driver for Fontanafredda, just below Sorano. Encouraged by his cousin Luigi (Baudana) up the road, Paolo grabbed the opportunity, buying out his sisters & consolidating the family property: 1.2ha in Sorano, 0.4ha Diano d’Alba & another 0.9ha in Sinio.
Originally from Alba, Cristina schooled in agrarian & micro-biology before joining Paolo. In 2013 they created ‘La Contrada di Sorano’ Az. Agr. di Paolo Baudana. But as fate would have it, their first harvest 2014 was blasted by hail. Organic, they make a range of classic wines, vinifying their wines in a garage across from the family home, first in stainless-steel, then using barriques, 500 & 700litre tonneaux as that’s all the space will allow. At bottling, they use c. 96mg of total sulphur. Bottled production is tiny, as they sell off much of the fruit while they get established.
Their inaugural Barolo, all 733 bottles of it, is vintage 2015, from vines in the Diano d’Alba cru of Gallaretto planted in 1970.
Dolcetto d’Alba Superiore
2016 Barolo – as tasted by CR & DBG on 17Jan’20, only 725 bottles (Oct’19), 15.20%, TA 5.79, total sulphur 74mg/litro. 100% Nebbiolo (Rose sub-variety) from their Diano d’Alba Gallaretto vineyard at 300m asl that sits on a bricco facing east. Vinified & malo in stainless steel, with 45 days on the skins (including submerged cap), followed by 20mths in one 500litre used French tonneau. Focus, pieno, glacier cranberry, griotte cherry, briary, sublime; the palate’s complete, with brilliant cherry stone, calc lampone/raspberry, cherry kirsch/sotto-spirito, racy, with a talcum powder, sapido thing going on! Needs time in bottle, ovviamente.
2015 Barolo – after hail decimated their 2014 crop, this is Paolo & Cristina’s inaugural Barolo, all 733 bottles of it! Bottled in Aug’18, 14.80% abv, 5.82 TA, 96 mg total sulphur at bottling. Paolo recalls a hot, dry, healthy year in 2015 without any extra-ordinary events, if a slightly earlier (than 2016) harvest of their Gallaretto vigna/cru, during the first 10 days of October. Vinified in stainless steel, with 25 days of submerged cap, followed by 24 mths in a single 500 litre French tonneau (usato). Bright, translucent, rosehip red; the nose is refined with tea, kirsch, brine, rose & arancia, tight red berried rush, talc & cleansing tonico notes, along with something approaching saponette & sandalwood – mandorle? To taste: pieno, presenza, sucoso but notable for its (Serralunga) sapidity, stretto, minerale, great energy/slancio, wow! such lines & exciting acidity for 2015! Very fine tannins (Roero like?), with slender licorice root, mandarin & peachy fruit…centrato! Wonderful sea freshness. Tight lines. Organic. Sublime!