The vocation of this small patch of hill for producing Nebbiolo grapes has always been grand. It is one of the best areas in the municipality Serralunga d’Alba for producing long-aging Barolo wines. I talked it over with Sergio Molino, a friend and wine expert, and we decided to follow a triple harvest scheme in the vineyard, which has given us great results in other vineyards, and to support the Briccolina terroir in the winery through long maceration times.
The fermentation takes place in 20-hectolitre vats and the wine pressing is soft and regular, and all done by hand. We take out as much grape seed as possible and let the wine must macerate with the skins for at least 40 days, 20 submerged-cap and 20 floating-cap. It is a return to the old system, which was a way of doing things that I hated when I first came out of oenology school, proof of how shutting oneself up in and stubbornly adhering to a single approach is really not very intelligent. The ageing takes places over 3 years in 15-hectolitre oak casks.
The packaging picks up details from the past, like the lunette, the label and the short capsule, which blend with modern linearity and simplicity, like the turquoise tissue paper, an element that both breaks with and joins the two worlds. The 3-bottle wooden case is purposely left unfinished and rough to the touch, and the tannin of the past grape harvest takes me back. I would like the Barolo Briccolina to represent refinement, a concept that
my grandfather identified with salinity, as the antithesis of boredom. Our interpretation of this wine is old, but at the same time, it looks to the future, following the desire of all humanity to return to the past, returning to our great grandfathers’ ideas about wine making.
The fundamental characteristic is an aroma of wilted flowers, spiced with a powerfully rounded tannin and ennobled by long maceration periods. We are not interested in the fruit and not even the colour; our full concentration is on the tannin.
The new wines always give me a big adrenaline rush. The 5-year wait is emotional, and one can only hope that the series of choices and decisions one has made will end up giving the best possible results. A wine where the tannin is the main component and the polyphenolic maturation of the skin will act as a protagonist, a wine that respects long-term development, a Barolo that is spontaneously and silently ambitious, at the beginning of a long journey: a journey toward the search for balance.