Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In the cellar of Burlotto

The saints in the chapel of Burlotto were as steadfast and still as ever.

The emblem of a royal family stays affixed to an old cask in the cellar, immobile.

But in the courtyard it was all bustle on this day.

Two casks of Dolcetto were already fermenting, nearby a cask of Levi Dalton's future favorite Pelaverga.

The Barbera would be brought in the following morning.

Equipment was everywhere you might look for it, and also some places you might not.

The new cellar, barely finished, was filled with bottles recently moved in.

And Fabio Alessandria was busy inspecting his handiwork.

A man in demand this time of year, Fabio was nice enough to share some of his time with us.

Some of his botti contain future releases from some of the best vineyards in Piemonte, Monvigliero and Cannubi.

We headed to the tasting room to sample some of the splendors.

Fabio opened several bottles for us.

The 2011 Barbera d'Alba, bottled just a month ago, was already extremely delicious.

And I absolutely agree with Gregory dal Piaz, who says that the Burlotto Barbera is perennially one of the Piemonte's very best values.

I was also extremely impressed with how the 2008 Barolos were coming along, and I was apparently so in awe of them that I forgot to take a picture to show you here. The 2008 Barolo normale was fabulous, and it was amazing what a few months in bottle had done for the 2008 Barolo Aclivi, which was much more forthcoming in this tasting than it was in the summer. You really would be hard pressed to find better Barolo for the money asked than these two.

Fabio told me that before he dies he wishes to make wine from the grapes of Serralunga or Monforte, communes with wines very different than his own native Verduno. But I cannot think of anyone with a better understanding of the nature of the places he already turns from vine to wine. He brings forth the soul of Verduno from behind cellar doors.

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