I could write for months about Langhe area, Piedmont region (north-west of Italy) and their fantastic wines; the best known is certainly the fateful red “Nebbiolo” as well as Barbaresco and Barolo still produced by Nebbiolo grape.
I have written of this territory with a rustic character as its inhabitants who seem to have remained the same as a few decades ago, a time when the world of the Langhe was far away from the international clamor which, nowadays, makes Barolo one of the best wines of the world. And I absolutely agree!
(Here is the link to the old link then to explore the area in general, the communication -as I usually do in my reports- and more).
And, as already discussed again, everything happens also thanks to a phenomenon, the story of Barolo Boys, a group of young producers who, between the 80s and the 90s, choose to make a “revolution” with success which aroused discussions on discussions until the producers have been trivially classified with 2 restrictive labels: “modernists” (referring to those who prefer the aging in small barriques) and “traditionalists” (who prefer the refinement of Barolo in large wooden barrels). Clearly there is much more, but if this phenomenon has been able to create excitement around a wine that has so much to say … it’s just fine!
At this point, if you had read the previous articles I mentioned above, we can go further! Because I would like to bring some notes on some other producers I’ve had the fortune to meet, in order to further deepen the discussion and expand the list of wines and wineries that I love so much.
As soon as I arrived we began to joke a bit on the history of the Barolo-boys; so they define themselves “modernist”.
The owner, mr. Mauro and his wife are nice and charismatic: you feel it immediately when seated down at the table in front of the window that faces the panorama outside on a clear day, is priceless.
Mauro and his wife are here by chance or … is it “destiny”? I like to think, as Mauro, some years ago, was going to sell the vineyards but he never found a good agreement … thank god! The Barolo “Castelletto” and “Arborina” are known for quality and finesse, “Arborina” is gentle (being produced in La Morra area), the second is straight to be appreciated even in the early stages when you can already appreciate its character and fullness.
Writing about the company and the family Icardi requires insights of various kinds. First of all, the choices of true naturalness that led Claudio Icardi to establish a parallel brand “Cascina San Lazzaro” with 2 fully biodynamic wine, absolutely pleasing; the charity with the association “Cottolengo” of Torino city, of which I wrote in the previous report of Vinitaly 2015. To get then, to the harmony and sympathy of Claudio and his sister, who welcome you, as if you were at home, to taste many wines, all nice, all engaging, that I reviewed and posted singularly.
A myth, under different points of view! When you get into the cellar, you feel like you had knocked the door of someone with
whom you do not have an appointment: the door opens, you enter and do not see anyone; then you see someone: it’s the owner while cleaning the floor saying “Yes, I was waiting for you, come, come.” It is, clearly and evidently an example, just to represent naturalness, simplicity and concreteness! That’s why they do not heavily care about the “prophetic” scores of American magazines despite the files that increase from year to year at their small booth of Vinitaly!
Ladies and gentleman, after all, they produce wonderful wines! And I am not only referring to their great Barolos, for example from the known “Monprivato” to “Villero” and “Perno-Vigna Santo Stefano”, I also refer to other splendid wines such as Barbera d’Alba red wine named “Cadamonte” and the other local red Freisa named “Toetto”, a wine often overlooked, once you meet it, especially the one produced by this winery, you do not leave anymore!
A tour I cannot miss. Not only for the wines of great importance but also for the location. Who has been in this area touring around the internal roads, has certainly noticed the fabulous estate of this company characterized by the immense spaces and, therefore, allowing experiments and processes that a few, a very few, can afford.
I had the pleasure of meeting mr. Giacomo Conterno, son of mr. Aldo (who gives the name to the company itself) who separated from his brother and the company of his father, the famous “Giacomo Conterno” winery (now run by the sons of his brother mr. Giovanni), to start an independent path which reached peaks of excellence. Again I do not only refer to their beautiful Barolo: among these we tried the latest vintages of “Romirasco” (probably their most important cru with a document that attests its presence on the maps, already in 1875), the “Cicala” (more rustic version), the “Colonnello” (gentler, “female” as often defined); I am also referring to the red Barbera: elegant, intense, round, balanced.
Most of these wines are produced in very small quantities compared to the potential (potential calculated basing on the amount of grapes and extraction of wine that may result), all to point to a level of excellence you can easly find in the bottle.
One of my favorite producers for sure. For the quality of wines of course, for her personality, charisma.
It is one of the protagonists of the history of Barolo Boys and, as then, she has not lost that spirit, that smile.
“At that time, the young sons of farmers had known very difficult conditions and had to decide whether to sell up and leave or stay, so they decided to get together and create better conditions”
We are safe, we can still drink these wonderful wines!
I loved so much her Dolcetto, to be “rediscovered” as mrs Chiara states herself, not to mention the Barolo “Mosconi”, rich, opulent, generous. Finally a wonderful “Cannubi” (well-known cru of Barolo), we had vintage 2005: if you taste these wines, you’ll never forget!
Elio is the father, crucial protagonist of the story of Barolo Boys and Silvia is the daughter: dynamic and engaging, nice and enthusiast.
Mrs. Silvia wants to remove any “myths” created around the Barolo Boys phenomenon clarifying thath there was not any friction between those who are called “modernist” (as Elio) and the “traditionalists” who instead were friends (as Elio and the great producer mr. Mascarello Bartolo!).
The wines are very very nice but, in this case, I like to emphasize the goodness a charity project: the name of the wine is common to other producers, “Insieme” (meaning “together”), it is a red, a blend which changes from a winery to another but the all have the same name and, of course, are connected to each other; a “social” wine they promote all together for charity.
Yet, they are also running a “heroic” project to produce wine in Cinque Terre – Liguria region which is not very easy, congrats for the results!
Modern and large, a production center nestled in the rural landscape. The wines are very territorial, with limited qu
antity as they do not want to increase -despite the good success- just to maintain full control. Their symbol is a small star that distinguishes them symbolically.
Family linked to mr. Eraldo Viberti, another producer that I love in the area and that I review already (read here), brother of the wife of mr. Domenico … there is maybe something that runs in the blood of these people, congratulations!