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Fratelli Alessandria: The elegance of Barolo from Verduno

The feel of the warm sun finally caressing my pale winter skin filled me with the energy and positivity that I needed. With a much needed weekend off and the sun shining, my inclinations took me to the land of Pelaverga in Verduno, where we could taste a light refreshing and spicy red Piemontese wine.

 

 

Right in the heart of the old town, we were greeted by Alessandro (Alex) in the front garden of this beautiful old stone winery. Slightly reserved in the beginning, as locals tend to be in this region, I started doubting whether he would have rather enjoyed his Saturday afternoon outdoors too. This was probably true since we found out that he was actually the brother that worked the vineyards.

I had always thought Fratelli Alessandria was a large scale winery, but when I walked into the “cantina” I was pleasantly surprised by its cozy Italian style. With a mere two round tables in the tasting room, and a few rows of large casks, I soon found out that they only produced about 75,000 bottles a year. Little by little, Alessandro started opening up and showing a sincerity that both he and the winery possessed.

The history that he told was astounding, as he pointed out an old wine diploma from the 1800s! This had always been a cellar and may have even been the place where King Carlo Alberto kept his very own stash. It would be impossible for this winery not to have ties to tradition and the land.

We tasted an incredibly generous array of 7 wines! The one that interested me the most was Pelaverga, produced by only 12 wineries in the world (and one of Italy’s smallest DOC areas: Verduno). Much different than Nebbiolos, it is light, refreshing with Piemonte’s characteristic acidity and easy flavors of wild strawberries, raspberries and the special kick, spicy white pepper. 

This may in fact be MY wine, a great summer option for grilled vegetables and even seafood. Barbera, Barbera Superiore, Nebbiolo, and 3 Barolos coming from 3 different vineyards. All showing typicity with nice structure, acidity and those very present tannins, they were all rustic and full of personality. Barolo San Lorenzo 2008 was well balanced, elegant and smooth while Monvigliero 2008 was bigger and robust. Finally there was there only Barolo coming from a 60 year old vineyard called Gramolere from Monforte. Aromatic and fruity, surprisingly fresh for a wine from such old vines. We tasted and compared a few times before choosing Monvigliero.

Although not as refined and balanced as San Lorenzo, I liked its roughness and personality, intrigued by its future development. At about 30 euros a bottle, I think it was a great deal and a nice memento of a sunny spring day well spent in Verduno!