This month of May was marked by many visitors, tourists, students and journalists from all over the world to enjoy the wonders of the Langhe. I wanted focus the attention on my most important crus, showing a preview of how they will be, once ready in the market.
Notes on Barolo Briccolina
Our approach to viticulture and vinification is simultaneously ancient and futuristic. Anticipating a need sensed by humanity overall, we have realised that in order to move forward we have to recover the best of the past, going back to our origins.
In the process of transforming grapes into wine, human intervention is minimal: we let the grapes express themselves, assisting the process without trespassing on it.
A simple idea, but difficult to implement. To get this path of return to the past underway, we chose the Briccolina vineyard.
The Nebbiolo grape is originally from the hills, it loves cool air and is rather lazy. Experience has taught us that by not pruning during the summer months, the period of the plant’s maturation extends and that carrying out a triple harvest aspiring to a late harvest helps to develop the quality of fine tannins.
For Briccolina, the wait becomes extreme, trusting in good weather, to obtain the desired tannins.
Serralunga d’Alba was geologically formed earlier than the other Barolo zones. Its soil is rich in lime and clay.
Our Briccolina soil is characterised by significant clay content, mixed with a low percentage of sand. The truly distinctive quality of this vineyard is the marl, extremely compact clayey compositions found 2 metres deep and that hold back, favouring absorption, microelements important for the development of aromatic complexity and tannic refinement.
The long maceration periods – lasting at least 40 days (20 submerged-cap and 20 floating-cap) – in our 20-hectolitre oak vat also respect our philosophy: the wood of the vat holds in heat and the quantity of must contained is ideal for maintaining the fermentation temperature around 25–27° C, up to gradually cooling itself in the final phase, without ever hitting extreme peaks in temperature. Only indigenous yeasts are used.
During the long maceration, the tannins are extracted from the skins and develop soft, complex tannins, while the seeds are removed beforehand, to avoid the formation of sharp, bitter, unpleasant tannins.
2012 MOUNTAINS: a year that might surprise us!
The climatic profile was characterised by a very cold winter with extreme temperature peaks (-24° C).
From the perspective of the substances contained in the fruit, there was a discordant development of elements at first: a high sugar concentration unaccompanied by an equal development in acidity and polyphenols. Fortunately, in the end all of the values fell into place.
We detect white pepper and already note a significant floral aspect, as in all cold years. The tannins are notably refined, but the wine does not have great structure.
2011 SUN: an extreme year!
This was a very hot year, with cold nights, and was rainy at just the right time. The result is a Barolo characterised by intense fruity notes and powerful tannins for opulent, rich, structured wines. During the maceration process, lots of sugars were synthesised that developed a high alcohol grade.
2010 ART: a perfect year!
Cold to just the right degree, rainy and thus difficult in phytosanitary terms: the climatic profile allowed the Nebbiolo to give its very best and fully express itself. Very flowery, very mineral, it has all of the characteristics and potential for achieving levels of perfection. Great ageing potential.
The Briccolina was harvested 30 October.