A walk through history
to a fascinating world, that the more you know it, the better you will appreciate it.
We'll take you through the history of Barolo, along its roads of the areas where it's produced, and in the taste of Barolo to help you discover the Cru Briccolina, a special vineyard, ambassador of Serralunga d’Alba.
“The king of wines, the wine of the kings”.
History and legend mix up in the tale of the origins of Barolo. Barolo was born in the first half of 1800 thanks to the relations and to the foresight of some key figures in the history of our country and of our wines: the Marchioness Giulia Colbert Falletti, Conte Camillo Benso di Cavour and winemakers Di Staglieno and Oudart.
It was general and winemaker Di Staglieno to introduce the method already used in France; later on, other innovations in winemaking came thanks to the suggestions of the oenologist Oudart, employed by Cavour, an acquaintance of the Marchioness Giulia Colbert Falletti, that applied the new techniques to make wine from the Nebbiolo vineyards in the areas of Barolo, La Morra and especially in Serralunga, where he owned the best crus, including Briccolina, although at that time the crus were a way to distinguish the vineyard by name rather than to indicate value or prestige, a use that came later. The advice of Cavour made it possible to obtain a dry wine, suitable to world markets and so noble as to be suitable for aging.
It is said that one day the King Carlo Alberto asked Giulia Colbert to taste his famous Barolo and a few days later in Via Nizza, Turin, passed 325 "carrà" (a type of barrel used at the time) full of precious wine from Serralunga d'Alba: one for each day of the year, except for Lent (the Marquis Falletti had a reputation for being very religious).
First mention of the Nebbiolo vine in the list “Vini fatti d’ordine del Castellano di Rivoli”
First description of nebbiolo by Pier de Crescenzi (Bolognese jurist) in "Ruralium Commodorum" (Treaty of agriculture): "a species of black grapes that Nubiola ... which is wonderfully vinous ... and wine is excellent."
First historical reference in a document for the wine trade in London of the "wine of Barol" to refer to wines from the Langhe.
The wines with denomination of origin and guaranteed (DOCG) "Barolo", must be made from grapes from vineyards consist exclusively from Nebbiolo grape.
Nebbiolo, in its three varieties included in the specification, Lampia, Michet and Rosé, is a variety of noble lineage with very long vegetative cycle: it is the first to bud and the last grapes to be harvested (in late October). The bunch is very compact: it has enough berries small and very dense color "turchino" (dark blue).
The term cru is a gallicism that during the year acquired a meaning more and more complex and hard to translate, within different agricoltual cultivations.
In France, the term indicates a single vineyard with its own characteristics. In the Italian legislations, there is no hierarchical classifications of these small parts of land, similar to the ones there is in France. Nevertheless, many denominations, especially the historical and famous ones, have their own sub-zones. But the most effective analogy with the French "cru" is what is called "menzione geografica aggiuntiva", the town or the vineyard (in this case, to be compliant with the law you need to add the term "vigna", which means "vineyard") that is added to the denomination. Barolo is the most prominent example.
In 1850, Giuseppe Siccardi, the ministry of Justice in the piemontese governement, made a law that established the current territorial fragmentation of the Barolo area: it was a law that abolished the privileges of priests. The lands of the church were sold and bought by rich businessmen. Ths explains why, even today, the average size of each winery is about one hectare.
In the enology essay by Fantini (1879), the Briccolina cru is recognized as the hill owned by Ornato and Falletto. At that time, when the Serralunga territory ended near Cascina Areto (Boscareto), the most known and unique name of the hill was in fact Briccolina, called this way to indicate the peak of the hill.
- The Crus of Serralunga
Aging and vinifications
The Barolo Briccolina
Briccolina is a barolo made with long maceration, that has a strong minerality. It has the name of one of the most prestigious and calling crus of Serralunga, and it's the result of a long research in the vineyard and in the winery.
Our approach to grape growing and vinification it's old and futuristic at the same time. Anticipating a need perceived by the whole humanity, we realized that going forward also means taking the best from the past, go back to our origins.
In the transformation process, the human factor is minimal: we let the grapes express themselves, man assists to it without invading.
A simple thought, yet hard to enact. To start this process, we chose the Briccolina vineyard.
Sunny and hot days, cool weather at night, ventilated and dry, alternating with periods of rain: a weather pattern that is revealed in a Barolo from young fruit and tannins rich and able to give a good structure. To appreciate right away if you do not have the patience to wait.
Classic vintage, climate capable of enhancing balanced maturation of the nebbiolo grape, which was able to show his best side and develop the wine elegance and finesse typical of the best vintages. Featuring a delicate bouquet and complex at the same time, with notes of berries, cassis, licorice, violets and roses. The palate confirms sharp and clean. For long aging.
Hot vintage but with cool nights and rain falls at the right time. The result is a Barolo characterized by fruity notes and powerful tannins and opulent, rich and good structure. Appreciable immediately.
Art: the perfect vintage!
Cold at the right point, rainy, thus a difficult one on the plant: this weather pattern allowed the nebbiolo to give the best of themselves, to express themselves fully. Very floral, very mineral, has all the features and potential to reach levels of perfection. Great potential for aging. The Briccolina was harvested October 30.