At the very top of Serradenari, Marassio is the highest point in all of Barolo. Unusual for La Morra, the soil here is rich in limestone with veins of chalk, giving Giulia’s most dense, profound, earth- and mineral-driven Barolo—a masterpiece to revisit in five, ten, or twenty years.
In the heart of the Serradenari cru of La Morra—the highest point in the Barolo zone, with vineyards culminating at 536 meters above sea level—Giulia passionately pursues her goal of crafting Barolo with a Burgundian sensibility. In fact, she even inherited small parcels of Chardonnay and Pinot Nero that her father planted on the estate’s cooler, north-facing sites, allowing her to pay tribute to the great wines of the Côte d’Or through the lens of Piemontese soil. But Nebbiolo reigns in these parts, and Serradenari yields a Barolo of regal pedigree. The elevation, coupled with a complex mosaic of soils unique to this part of the Langhe, sets the stage for Giulia to create Barolos marrying delicate floral aromas and elegant fruit with a deep mineral foundation. With fine-grained, tightly knit tannins, her seductive wines charm in their youth but have the structure for serious bottle aging.
Kermit’s love affair with the great reds of Piemonte dates back to the early days of his career: the very first container he imported from Italy, in fact, featured legendary 1971 and 1974 Barolos from Vietti and Aldo Conterno. Regular visits since then have seen our portfolio grow to now twelve Piemontesi estates, with a strong focus on the rolling hills of the Langhe.
Nebbiolo rules these majestic, vine-covered marl slopes, giving Italy’s most mystifyingly complex, nuanced, and age-worthy reds. When crafted via traditional production methods—long macerations and extensive aging in enormous oak botti—the powerful, yet incredibly refined Barolos and Barbarescos provide haunting aromatics of tar, raspberry, incense, tea, roses, and more. At times austere in their youth but well worth the wait, they pair beautifully with the hearty local cuisine starring veal in many forms, braised beef, pastas like tajarin and agnolotti, and of course, Alba’s famous white truffles.
Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Piemonte’s climate is continental, with baking hot summers and cold winters. Nebbiolo is only part of the story here: juicy, fruity Barberas and Dolcettos represent the bread and butter throughout the region, and other native grapes like Freisa, Croatina, and the white Arneis are also noteworthy. Value abounds in the Monferrato, while Alto Piemonte also has its share of thrills to provide.
Every corner of Piemonte is rich with tradition, especially when wine is concerned. It’s no wonder we have been singing the region’s praises for over forty years.
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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