About this WINE
Fratelli Alessandria, Piedmont
Crowning the small hilltop village of Verduno in Barolo, the 12-hectare Fratelli Alessandria estate has been producing wine since the 19th century. There is a long history of quality at this address, with the wines recognised by King Carlo Alberto in 1843 – continued today by current proprietors, fifth-generation Vittore and his uncle Alessandro.
Since Vittore returned to the estate in 2001, there have been significant changes, with increased attention to detail in both the vineyard and winery. Winemaking is a combination of modern and traditional, with stainless steel tanks, temperature control and French oak tonneaux complemented by long (15 to 20-day) wild-yeast fermentations and ageing in large (30-hectolitre) botti.
Verduno’s location – close to the sandy Roero region, with some chalk in the soil and with the Tanaro river running below – gives the village’s wines a trademark softness and perfumed charm; an authentic expression that the Alessandria family is keen to emphasise in its wines.
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.