Elio Altare’s 2008 Barolo
Most people know of the story of Elio Altare, who in the 70s and 80s introduced to the family estate the concept of low yields, winery hygiene and shorter fermentations. These methods, particularly the low yields, upset his father and led to Elio being ostracized by his family. Since then he has gained repute the world over for his Arborina, Brunate and single vineyard Langhe bottlings.
However for us it is the straight Barolo that represents the most enticing buy. A blend of La Morra and Serralunga fruit, made exactly the same way as the single Crus but nearly half the price, we believe that the 2008 Elio Altare Barolo is, pound for pound, one of the best Barolos there is. In his report on the 2008s, a truly great Barolo vintage in our opinion, Antonio Galloni rates this as the top straight Barolo, aside from that of Bartolo Mascarello who makes just the one Barolo. No mean feat given the quality of the vintage and the plethora of good wine being made in Piedmont.
"The 2008 Barolo is a striking wine. This is all finesse and grace. Dark red cherries, flowers, spices, mint and minerals are some of the nuances that flow from this beautifully delineated, gorgeous Barolo. Floral notes reappear to frame the sublime finish. Altare's straight Barolo doesn't get as much recognition as some of his other wines, but it is once again fabulous in 2008." 93 points Antonio Galloni, April 2012 www.vinousmedia.com