Tuesday, June 5, 2012


There was rain on our way to Monferrato, and a lot of wind. The trees that normally toss their pollen gently through the air at this time of year were doing all they could at that moment just to maintain a straight composure.

Undeterred, we arrived at the Luli residence and winery.

We shared lunch with Fabrizio Luli and he showed us several wines, including a complete vertical (from 1999) of his "Barabba" Barbera. The 2004 from both 750ml and magnum (the latter is a special bottling) is very good. In 2004 Fabrizio began a less intensive use of new wood for the bottling. That being said about 2004, my preferred vintage on the day was the 2006.

After the tasting we got a chance to go see the Barabba vineyard, where the old vines - some as old as 80 years - are planted.

It is a bit of a climb to get to this height. The ground was slippery with the wet grass, and each of us took small, careful steps. Even the vines seemed to go in small steps up the hill, along the terraces.

Fabrizio bottled a special parcel of old vines in magnum in 2004. The label is identical to the normal bottling, the only difference being the size of the bottle.

Fabrizio has plans to expland, and talks about the future vineyards he will plant. Already, though, the cellar is full.

Every so often someone asks me which Monferrato producers they should check out. Luli would be a good place to start.

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