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Guido Porro may be the best Barolo producer you’ve never heard of. A quiet fellow most content to work away in his steep Serralunga d’Alba parcels, this Barolista prefers to avoid the spotlight. Guido is simply a hardworking traditionalist who makes Barolo the old-fashioned way: that means fermenting with natural yeasts, macerating the juice on its skins for at least three weeks, and aging the wine for three years in Slavonian oak casks. Lazzairasco is a sunsoaked amphitheater that gives correspondingly rich, lush, powerful Baroli, loaded with sumptuous ripe fruit and streaked with notes of tar and tea. It drinks well young, but there is certainly no hurry to uncork this big, bad beauty.
While the Barolo appellation features marl soils throughout, the town of Serralunga is home to particularly poor, limestone-rich marls that give especially potent, structured expressions of Nebbiolo. The steep Lazzairasco vineyard lies in the lower portion of the famed Lazzarito cru and enjoys full southern and southeastern sun exposure and shelter from prevailing winds. As a result, this site bakes in the summer heat, producing ripe, full-throttle wines with all the heft, concentration, and aging potential Nebbiolo can provide.
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch
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