New Release: Fratelli Alessandria Barolo 2020s

5 June 2024

Bewitching Barolo at its finest

One of the most exciting small family estates in Piedmont, Fratelli Alessandria has become highly in-demand over the past decade. Famed for their Monvigliero holdings, they also produce a Barolo Comune di Verduno which captures all the perfumed, graceful hallmarks of the township, plus the stunning San Lorenzo di Verduno – a chip off the Monvigliero block (situated just above), just in a slightly more supple style, and finally, a striking single vineyard Gramolere from Monforte d’Alba.

Gramolere is a spicy, mineral-rich, minty-styled site that was added by winemaker Vittore Alessandria’s mother – originally of the Giovanni Manzone family.

Staunch advocates of long ageing and bright colours, the 2020s were bottled in December 2023 after three years in large old oval casks, the Nebbiolo harvest taking place in early October, only a week earlier than in 2019. Vittore Alessandria explained how in warm vintages such as 2020 they avoid drastic crop reduction in the vineyard. They prefer to encourage leaf cover to shade the grapes, and for a while now have not used fertilisers, to gradually reduce vine vigour. “We don’t want to feel forced in to picking early. We need the diurnal shifts that come later to enhance perfume and complexity in our wines.” Vinifications are carried out plot by plot and blended gradually over the course of the ageing process. In 2020, maceration time averaged 30 days, the ferments carried out in stainless steel as usual, with only light pumpovers for the extraction of colour, no submerged cap, no pigeage.

As always, this is a tender, pure and delicate range that will delight in the glass. The Alessandria wines also provide the perfect opportunity for Pinot Noir lovers to fall for the lifted, silky, expressive charm that characterise the estate’s output. They are a far cry from the brooding, dark and tannic styles that were popular in the past. This is bewitching Barolo with a terroir-focus. Citrus-driven red fruits and flowers lead the way in the wines from Verduno, star anise, berries and mint in Monforte.

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