At 520 meters above sea level, the Serradenari cru is home to the highest vineyards in the Barolo appellation, with sweeping views of the Langhe hills and snowcapped Alps on the horizon. I can’t imagine it would get old working amid this scenery, but that’s not to say the work is light. Giulia’s painstaking attention to detail in these sandier-soil parcels, and deliberate choices in the cellar, result in wines with a fine grain, spiced tannins, and a celestial nose of peony and rose petal.
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.
When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:
1. Big wines do not age better than light wine. 2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration. 3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them. 4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would. 5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.
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