Nothing Like it in All of Italy
One of the most unique and delicious wines I brought in with our recent Italian shipment comes to us from the Viotti company in Piedmonte. The grape varietal they’re using dates to 1939 when one Professor Dalmasso – one of Italy’s most famous experts in the study and classification of cultivated varieties of grapes, an ampelographer – crossed two varieties to produce what is today known as Albarossa. Professor Dalmasso was well known for his work, having crossed multiple grape varieties, producing what would eventually become Italy’s most famous hybrids.
His goal with Albarossa was to produce a variety which would temper the austerity so often found in Piedmonte’s mountain grown reds. He sought to produce a hybrid which would give a wine of more immediate appeal, yet one which age well in the cellar.
To that end, he crossed the “mother” grape of Barbera with the “father” grape of Nebbiolo. But not just any Nebbiolo would do. Remember, he was seeking early appeal, a wine we could enjoy young. So, he selected the Nebbiolo clone of Dronero, historically grown on the slopes at the foot of the Alpes-Maritimes. By blending this with Barbera, he gave the world one of the most succulent, black fruited and sweetly tannic (soft, yet age-able) wines ever found in Italy.
In 2000, Viotti became one of the only Italian wineries to begin work with this historical variety. The Viotti family have been grape growers and wine makers in Piedmonte for 7 generations, so their knowledge of Albarossa goes back even further. Ensuring perfect growing conditions and the finest wines emanating from their Albarossa holdings, the family works Bio-dynamically. Watching the father, daughter combination in their fields is amazing; you understand why their wines – especially their Albarossa – are so stunning!
James Suckling: This is very essence-like on the nose with blackberries and licorice reduction, as well as licorice and bark extract. But there’s no overripeness. The soft, gentle texture continues through the palate with plenty of plummy notes. Fruity on the finish. Drink now.
That’s the perfect description. Especially that last part: Drink now. And who would wait? This is too good to pass up; drink up folks – you’ll thank me later!
Special price: only $19.99 (!)