L’Insieme is the Italian for “together”. It is a project that has brought together eight of the Langhe’s finest producers whose common goal is to protect and promote the territory of Piedmont and the winegrowers within. Each producer makes his own version of L’Insieme, each blend differing slightly, each with the the same graphic design and colour on the label yet with their own slight personalised differences. Each wine-grower member gives up a proportion of money to the association charity for each bottle of L’Insieme they produce. Elio, one of
the founder members, makes an extraordinary blend of Syrah, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto, Barbera and Petit Verdot. Spicy cassis, herb and sandalwood character, long crushed fruit flavours, beautiful floral notes with highly polished tannins providing structure. This offers a quite remarkable taste sensation – each of the varieties seems to come at you one by one before melding together into a long and seamless finish.
Elio has done Piedmont wines a great service over the last two decades. Not only has the outstanding quality of his delightful ‘La Morra’ Barolo wines raised Piedmont’s profile, but he has taken many younger growers, such as Marco Marengo, under his wing giving them advice and instilling confidence in them to make and bottle their own wines. Elio’s production of modern style Burgundy-influenced Barolos is, alas, miniature, meaning many of the Cru Barolos sell out before they even reach our list. Always experimenting and looking to perfect his art, Elio makes some stunning wine outside of his strong Barolo portfolio, including the old vines single vineyard Larigi Barbera and the Barbera Nebbiolo blend, La Villa. As Elio steps ever closer to full retirement, his talented daughter Silvia is taking greater control of wine production. Their flagship wine, Barolo, undergoes a short fermentation of up to a week, followed by ageing in used oak barriques for 2 years, the same method applies to the Cru Barolos apart from are aged in anything up to 30% new oak. The langhe wines are all aged for a shorter time, 12-6 months, in 100% new oak. Despite these modern methods oak or alcohol are not at all the feature of these wines you'd expect. Rather they are packed with vivid character, offer silky textures and are some of the most intense wines Piedmont has to offer.
Piedmont sitting at the foot of the mountains is justly regarded as one of, if not the finest wine growing region in Italy. The noblest grape found in the region in undoubtedly Nebbiolo, with the DOCG's of Barolo and Barbaresco at the forefront of production. Barbera and Dolcetto come in second and third, and being earlier ripening are often found located on those sides of the hills that receive less sunshine. The wines from Piedmont are intrinsically food friendly wines, a fact understandable given the culinary strength of the area.