Sanderson: Raspberry, tar and rose aromas and flavours signal this juicy red, whose silky texture gives way to a burr of tannins as it unfolds on the palate. Both elegant and structured, this shows fine potential, with a lingering aftertaste. 93/2018-32. 450 cases made.
Importer Note: The estate is Schiavenza, which in local dialect refers to the sharecroppers who used to work the land. In 1956, brothers Vittorio and Ugo Alessandria assumed control of the vines planted by their father from the 1920s onwards. Schiavenza is now managed by one of their daughters, Maura, and her husband Luciano Pira, alongside his sister Enrica and her husband Walter Anselma. Schiavenza comprises 8ha around Serralunga and just over 1ha near Monforte. They make about 25,000 bottles of barolo a year and 7000 bottles each of dolcetto and barbera, all from estate grapes, keeping their yields to 30hl/ha, around half the allowable limit. They pick the steep vineyards by hand and use only wild yeasts for the alcoholic fermentation in concrete tanks, with 10 to 12 days on skins for dolcetto and barbera and 20 to 25 days for nebbiolo, pumping over twice a day. The dolcetto and barbera go through malolactic fermentation in steel and are never exposed to oak, preserving their freshness and fruit and minimising the tannins. The nebbiolo is transferred to large Slavonian oak (botti) ranging from 20 to 43 hectolitres for three years in all (five for riserva), racked once a week for the first month and then every 10-15 days for another two months, transferred to stainless steel and back again, with the botti scrubbed twice a year. "We are our first customers," Walter says, "and we want to drink clean wine." It's that same philosophy that convinced them to eliminate herbicides and pesticides in the vineyards, use only organic fertiliser, reduce sulphur dioxide to around 60mg per litre and not filter their wines. The Serralunga Barolo is a blend of two crus. The Barolo vineyards Schiavenza bottles individually ‚– Broglio, Cerretta and Prapo ‚– all have the same southeast exposition, so the difference mostly comes down to soil types. Seventy-five per cent of production is exported, with the rest sold in Italy and through the family cantina, a must-stop for lunch or dinner and a cheeky bottle from their museum stock. I'd also urge you to try their barolo chinato, an ancient family recipe containing 15 herbs. It would be perfect with dark chocolate or poured over vanilla ice cream. Walter says it's too complicated to get approval to export such a wine and, as it is made in small quantities, it will remain part of their local appeal.
|Wine Red Nebbiolo