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Fratelli Alessandria's Gorgeous 2014 Barolos
31 July 2018

Fratelli Alessandria is an historic Verduno estate that until recently was flying under-the-radar. “Flying” is exactly right though, and 2014 continues a fine run of form that has seen this charming family swiftly move in to the upper echelons of Barolo production. Under the guidance of Vittore Alessandria the wines are more accomplished and precise than ever. Gently extracted and raised in the best “Botti Grande”, they will not appeal to those seeking richness and exuberance, instead to those who find pleasure in controlled power and pure, understated elegance.

By now it is well known that 2014 was a challenging vintage in Barolo. However it is in the tough years that the best estates prove themselves, and this range of 2014s is, without question, a roaring success. A success not just in the context of the vintage, but a flat-out, beautiful range of grace, profundity and perfume that in no way lacks for concentration or intensity. These are wines that will make old-bones and delight for many years to come. Sadly, there is no San Lorenzo di Verduno this year; sacrificed to support the Cantina’s core village Barolo - the casualty of a crop that is at least 25% down on a normal harvest. San Lorenzo’s loss is the Barolo’s gain though, and in 2014 it feels more complete, more ravishing, and classier than ever, with a sweetness of fruit and languid pliancy that will seduce tasters from the outset. As ever, Gramolere, representing the estate’s Monforte d’Alba outpost, is a wine of perfect pitch with invigorating mineral intensity and small winter berries. Patience will be rewarded. The Monvigliero, one of the Langhe’s undisputed Grand Cru sites and the flagship Verduno vineyard, is laden with concentrated sweet, sultry fruit, and a core charged with taut, rocky mineral flavours and striking, perfumed aromatics that will capture the hearts of many. Forget the nay-sayers. This is as good a range as anyone is likely to come across, 2014 or otherwise.

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