Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exceptional single vineyard Barolo with an amazing history.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Fratelli Alessandria
Wine Subject: 2006 Barolo ‘Gramolere’ DOCG
Winemaker: Vittore Alessandria
The greatest of all Italian wines are arguably made with from the Nebbiolo grape. Barolo, from the Piedmont made this grape famous, and for good reason. Most people don’t give Barolo enough time and drink them young, but those patient enough to wait at least ten years, and often as much as 20 plus years are handsomely rewarded with a wine that is the ultimate expression of the grape. The most prized bottlings of Barolo are those from an exceptional single vineyard such as today’s from the Monvigliero in Verduno.
Look – Dark and deep garnet and ruby red with very pink and orange hues along the edges and a dark clear core. Clusters of slow fat legs ring the glass that are followed by thinner legs hang for a moment before slowly descending to the wine below.
Smell – This wine has a rich and redolent nose that really opens after decanting (an absolute must with this wine) with aromas of ripe spiced plum and tangy cherry tangy along with other earthy red and black berries are layered over delicious coffee, herbal including black licorice, rosemary and a thyme laced base. Highly complex, add floral violets, savory and mushroom notes, dusty earth, zesty Italian tar, and toasted oak.
Feel – Full-bodied, dry and bold with firm but silky textured, dusty, almost powdery and etched tannins (softens as it breathes) that generously expands to edges of the palate. Exceptional vibrant acidity and a earthy textured minerality that lingers on and on.
Taste – Rich, ripe and deeply complex initially but even more so after this wine opens to reveal its classic bold character. Balanced and its complex herbal and licorice over its plump, tangy and tart red fruit including tangy cherry, plum and raspberry. Zesty tar, floral violets, mushroom, dusty earth and a touch of cedar cigar box emerge and linger framing the fruit perfectly. As this wine opens, after several hours, the flavors integrate and reveal themselves.
Finish – Extremely long with tangy and sweet cherry, raspberry and spiced plum melding with the herbal, earthy and savory notes as this wine’s textured tannins, dusty minerality and acidity linger with slowly fading.
Conclusion – The 2006 Fratelli Alessandria Barolo ‘Gramolere’ DOCG is quite simply one of the finest Barolo we’ve reviewed this year. This is a wine that is both bold, focused but also elegant, representing the best of what Barolo is known for. This wine’s textured mouthfeel grasps and frames the fruit and other complex flavors long ito the finish. The epitome of Barolo is its bold elegant power. An exceptional wine that is perhaps five to ten years from getting close to its peak. As all exceptional Barolo, we love pairing this classic with simple buttered tagliatelle noodles and shaved truffles. If enjoying this wine now, be sure to give it plenty of time (open several hours before) or decant, otherwise cellar it for up to ten to fifteen and save it for a special occasion. Buona sera & cin cin!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Vittore Alessandria
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Show through the wine the elegance and the balance of my territory: the hills of the Langhe area.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Wine is the poetry of the Earth.” (Mario Soldati)
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: The first Barolo produced by our cellar was a 1870 Barolo!
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Vittore, We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Barolo Gramolere DOCG today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
VITTORE: I’m excited to be featured today on The Wine Spies, thanks for giving this opportunity.
WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
VITTORE: I born and I lived in a small village: Verduno in the middle of the Barolo area surrounded by Nebbiolo vineyards. For my family making wine it’s a tradition that has gone on for 150 years.
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
VITTORE: All the wines and the winemakers that are able to give emotions, showing the “terroir” of origin and also stimulating the knowledge of this world.
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
VITTORE: For wine consumers that love wine.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
VITTORE: Gramolere is a cru in Monforte d’Alba located between Gavarini and Bussia. Our vineyard has got South exposure, is at an altitude of 400 meters and is a over 40 year old. A big structure and character are the features of the Barolo from Monforte. The wine from Gramolere hill is characterized by delicate notes of herbs that melt into the typical complex scents of leather and liquorice.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
VITTORE: I think that it could be delicious with a stew of veal. But in any case the best pairing is with a good company!!
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Langhe and Barolo region so special?
VITTORE: There are many reasons that make the Langhe so lucky: for example the personal relationship between the producer and its vineyards, its casks and its customers. That it’s possible because, generally, in our region the cellars are family owned ! An other very special feature is the beautiful landscape – very charming-!
WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
VITTORE: First of all with the glass! :) Then I think that the best way is going deeper, to the origin, for example visiting the winery, meeting the wine producer and knowing the territory in which the grape is grown, discovering traditions, old recipes and different flavors.
WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
VITTORE: Verduno is unique: it’s one of the eleven villages where you can produce Barolo and the only one where you can produce Verduno Pelaverga, one of the smallest and most particular DOC of Italy. I would suggest to try it!
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
The location of the approximate location of Fratelli Alessandria can be seen in this satellite photo.