Margherita Otto - A new Barolo

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We’re excited to introduce a surprising newcomer to our short list of very fine Barolos. Surprising because if you’re not a member of a local clan – or very rich - it’s hard to imagine how you can get a start in Barolo; good vineyards are now going for about $2m / acre, or more. Surprising because making a very high quality, pure expression of Nebbiolo is something that can take a lifetime. But Alan Manley has managed, by virtue of hard work and unassuming kindness, to crack the code, and he's making very fine, old school wine. Alan's long-time employer Maria Theresa Mascarello has been a generous mentor, and Margherita Otto extends the tradition of blending vineyard sites, with fruit from Pernanno (in Castiglione Falletto), vines next to Ginestra (Monforte), and next to Vigna Rionda (Serralunga). The winemaking is resolutely old school as well; Alan completed his own cellar in time for the 2017 vintage; until then he made the wine “at a friend’s”. The 2015 vintage yielded about 200 cases of wine. You can read Alan's very interesting and detailed description of his work in the vineyard and cantina here.

 

 

 I’ve always been relieved that I don’t want to make wine (for one thing some teenage summers working on a farm gave me an inkling of just how hard the work is; for another there’s already plenty of good wine to go around), but Alan has created something rather enviable. Most importantly the wine is exceptionally good, even without the back-story. Jamie Wolff

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Margherita Otto (Alan Manley) 2015 Barolo

“Smells great!” reads the opening of my note, written last May while balancing a glass and notebook at the cantina. This can only (by me, at any rate) be called classic. Aromatically lovely, with delicate floral, woodsy notes, and bright fruit; the wine is quite intense and lush, beautifully balanced between savory and fruit, with quite pronounced ripe tannin. None of the heat of the vintage is apparent. Super wine, super promising – an amazing debut. Jamie Wolff

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