Posts with the label "silvia altare"


Piedmont 2016: Il Sogno!

Piedmont 2016: Il Sogno!

Friday 6th March 2020
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Piedmont 2016 Vintage Report: Il Sogno!

2016 has made a reputation for itself as a great vintage in Piedmont. On the evidence of the wines our buying team tasted in February, such a tag is well-justified.  Its place amongst the pantheon of top vintages is assured. The question is whether it surpasses legendary years such as 2013, 2010 and 2001. Many believe it does. People will judge for themselves and no doubt time will tell but, for now, what we can say is that we were thoroughly impressed by this thrilling and harmonious vintage that teeters somewhere between classical and modern in style. Classical in the sense that the wines display fresh acidities and veins of pure, crisp fruit, but modern in the sense of greater attention to detail in the vineyard and the cellar; gentle extractions, restraint in favour of power, and tactile, sophisticated, ripe fruit profiles displaying none of the rusticity sometimes seen in the past. Indeed, 2016, although early days, has every potential to set a new bar for the region’s most dynamic, terroir-driven producers – many of whom are represented in our offer today. Furthermore, the growing trend for more neutral oak and lower density wines is has imbued many of these 2016s with a newfound clarity – it is potentially the most graceful vintage of modern times.         

The Wonderful Women of Wine

The Wonderful Women of Wine

Thursday 8th March 2018
by Justerini & Brooks

We all have our romantic image of ‘Winemaker’ – stood proud on rolling hillside, in worn Timberland boots, jeans, slightly crumpled shirt and hardy jacket – and most of the time that image is male. 

As the riddle goes, a boy and his father are out for a drive when they are involved in a car accident. The father dies at the scene, his son is alive but in critical condition, and is rushed to hospital for surgery. When the boy arrives in A&E, the doctor takes one look at him and says, “I can’t operate on my son.” How is this possible? Of course, the doctor is his mother. 

We are all guilty of our assumptions, our “single stories” and gender biases, and it doesn’t stop at doctors, firefighters, and military pilots. When I show customers our portfolio, they will often stop at a winery and exclaim, “Oh, I love his wines!” leaving me to gently agree that yes, her wines are indeed fantastic. 

Historically this may ring true. Wine-making is a gruelling, physical job – crushing grapes is hard work! There are many winemaking regions where land ownership would have been passed to the sons and not the daughters. But there are electric crushers, and laws have changed. However, as any woman in wine will tell you, changes in technology and law are only the beginning. Attitudes too must change. Here are some of our favourite winemakers who are doing just that.

Harvest Report: Altare

Harvest Report: Altare

Wednesday 14th September 2016
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Back to the Roots: A lesson of Humility... A harvest update from the wonderful Silvia Altare. 


From the domaine that makes some of the most intense wines Piedmont has to offer, in the words of Silvia. "It's that time of year again where we are back to the roots and we're  back to the crazy days. You anxiously feel the need to look at the weather forecast every 4 hours and working 15 hours a day seems normal..."  Read on to discover more.

Interview: Silvia Altare at 61 St James's

Interview: Silvia Altare at 61 St James's

Tuesday 15th December 2015
by Justerini & Brooks

We were lucky enough to speak with Silvia Altare in the cellar last week. Her passion and enthusiasm for the wines Elio, her father, has spent 50 years curating is contagious. In her words, “Elio started the revolution; I am part of the evolution.”

Indeed, Altare has been part of Justerinis’ portfolio for an impressive 30 years. Silvia herself, has been at the winery for 15 years now, but tells us that Elio is still very much in charge.  The Altare team is a small one, “there are six of us running the whole show. We work really hard, from January to December, undertaking everything from pruning to sales.” Silvia has no plans to change this set up, “we are very happy with the current situation, but as a woman, in Italy, in the countryside, in winemaking and Elio being so much a part of the history of Barolo – the pressure is very much on. But the brand is in good hands and everyone is very loyal.”