2006 Barolo, Cru Ravera, Monforte d'Alba , Ferdinando Principiano

2006 Barolo, Cru Ravera, Monforte d'Alba , Ferdinando Principiano

Red, Ready, but will improve   Red | Ready, but will improve | Ferdinando Principiano | Code: 952125 | 2006 | Italy > Piedmont > Barolo | Nebbiolo | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol


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Scores and Reviews

GALLONI - The 2006 Barolo Ravera flows from the glass with layers of super-ripe fruit. This is a voluptuous, sensual Barolo that flirts with overripeness but has just enough freshness to keep things in check. The depth, richness and detail Principiano is able to coax from these vines is impressive.

New leather, tar, menthol and an assortment of other balsamic nuances linger on the round, impeccable finish. This is a terrific effort from Principiano.
Antonio Galloni - Wine Advocate # 187 Feb 2010

The Story

Ferdinando Principiano


Ferdinando Principiano

Ferdinando Principiano is one of the new crop of exciting young winegrowers to farm Piedmont's Langhe hills. He graduated from Alba's Scuola Viticole Umberto-1 in 1993, joining his father Americo at the Monforte d'Alba domaine following an apprenticeship at both Giacomo Conterno & Roberto Voerzio; the best of both worlds you could say.
Initially seduced by the '90s fashion for making supped-up wines that 'guaranteed' 100 point scores in American magazines, Ferdinando changed direction in 2003 when he found that these same wines proved undrinkable, falling over with age.

Now the yields are not so low; the vineyards rich with wildlife; the roto-fermentors removed; his foot off the gas.
Boscareto, Le Coste, Pian Romualdo & Santa Anna are the key vineyards that make up the 10 hectare family estate, producing approx 35,000 bottles per annum of Dolcetto, Barbera & Nebbiolo wines. And since 2006 he has started producing approx. 150 cases/annum of Barolo from 0.5 hectare of Monforte's prized Ravera vineyard.




Nebbiolo is the grape behind the Barolo and Barbaresco wines and is hardly ever seen outside the confines of Piedmont. It takes its name from "nebbia" which is Italian for fog, a frequent phenomenon in the region.

A notoriously pernickety grape, it requires sheltered south-facing sites and performs best on the well-drained calcareous marls to the north and south of Alba in the DOCG zones of Barbaresco and Barolo.

Langhe Nebbiolo is effectively the ‘second wine’ of Piedmont’s great Barolo & Barbarescos. This DOC is the only way Langhe producers can declassify their Barolo or Barbaresco fruit or wines to make an early-drinking style. Unlike Nebbiolo d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo can be cut with 15% other red indigenous varieties, such as Barbera or Dolcetto.

Nebbiolo flowers early and ripens late, so a long hang time, producing high levels of sugar, acidity and tannins; the challenge being to harvest the fruit with these three elements ripe and in balance. The best Barolos and Barbarescos are perfumed with aromas of tar, rose, mint, chocolate, liquorice and truffles. They age brilliantly and the very best need ten years to show at their best.



Located due south of Alba and the River Tanaro, Barolo is Piedmont's most famous wine DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), renowned for producing Italy's  finest red wines from 100 percent Nebbiolo

Its red wines were originally sweet, but in 1840 the then extant Italian monarchy, the House of Savoy, ordered them to be altered to a dry style. This project was realised by French oenologist Louis Oudart, whose experience with Pinot Noir had convinced him of Nebbiolo's potential. The Barolo appellation was formalised in 1966 at around 1,700 hectares – only a tenth of the size of Burgundy, but almost three times as big as neighbouring Barbaresco.

Upgraded to DOCG status in 1980, Barolo comprises two distinct soil types: the first is a Tortonian sandy marl that produces a more feminine style of wine and can be found in the villages of Barolo, La Morra, Cherasco, Verduno, Novello, Roddi and parts of Castiglione Falletto. The second is the older Helvetian sandstone clay that bestows the wines with a more muscular style. This can be found in Monforte d'Alba, Serralunga d'Alba, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour and the other parts of Castiglione Falletto. Made today from the Nebbiolo clones Lampia, Michet and Rosé, Barolo has an exceptional terroir with almost every village perched on its own hill. The climate is continental, with an extended summer and autumn enabling the fickle Nebbiolo to achieve perfect ripeness.

Inspired by the success of modernists such as Elio Altare, there has been pressure in recent years to reduce the ageing requirements for Barolo; this has mostly been driven by new producers to the region, often with no Piedmontese viticultural heritage and armed with their roto-fermenters and barriques, intent on making a fruitier, more modern style of wine.

This modern style arguably appeals more to the important American market and its scribes, but the traditionalists continue to argue in favour of making Barolo in the classic way. They make the wine in a mix of epoxy-lined cement or stainless-steel cuves, followed by extended ageing in 25-hectoliter Slavonian botte (barrels) to gently soften and integrate the tannins. However, even amongst the traditionalists there has been a move, since the mid-1990s, towards using physiologically (rather than polyphenolically) riper fruit, aided by global warming. Both modernist and traditional schools can produce exceptional or disappointing wines.

Recommended traditionalist producers:
Giacomo Borgogno, Giacomo Conterno, Bruno Giacosa, Elio Grasso, Marcarini, Bartolo Mascarello and Giuseppe Mascarello.

Recommended nmdernist producers:
Azelia, Aldo Conterno, Luciano Sandrone, Paolo Scavino and Roberto Voerzio

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