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“The vineyards of Brunate are divided by the administrative boundary which separates the townships of Barolo and La Morra. A border which has no particular effect from the viticultural and oenological point of view, given that the MGA [ie: the vineyard of Brunate] extends over one sole slope characterized by an exposure which is both homogenous and excellent. Of great significance, instead, are the differences in elevation, which, once again, do not seem to concretely affect the masculine and austere character which makes the Barolo produced in the cru one of great distinction (even if, to indulge in certain disquisitions, the Brunate of Barolo seems to distinguish itself by a dryer and more authoritarian style than that produced in La Morra.)" Alessandro Masnaghetti, in Barolo MGA, Vol. 1
The photo above offers another reminder of just how compact Barolo is: in the foreground are some of Boggione's vines in Brunate; the white boxy structure in the middle is a horrible new winery in Cannubi - you can make-out the ridge of Cannubi above, and beyond that Villero and other vineyards in Castiglione Falletto.
Climbing Brunate makes for a brisk walk that inevitably gets me huffing and puffing. Brunate is a steep hill, rising from 230 to 400 meters (Cannubi Boschis, which faces Brunate, starts at 220 meters). Claudio Boggione owns the southeastern tip of Brunate, and even in his small vineyard there’s a significant change of elevation in a short distance. When I first tasted his wine, I thought, “yep, that’s Brunate”, by which I mean, in part, Barolo that’s both elegant and powerful, with a rich core. I’d expect a certain austerity and reticence in young Brunate, but also wine that’s aromatically expressive. Brunate is close to the center of the Barolo zone, and in some ways good Brunate might be the textbook wine to show if you want a complete and balanced example of Barolo – all the elements in harmony, and characteristic intensity. Boggione’s wine is a harmonious neighbor with my recollections of other fine Brunate - from the Rinaldi’s, (old) Ceretto, and Marcarini. Boggione’s winemaking follows the basic form of these classic wines: indignenous yeast fermentation with 20-30 day maceration, 2+ years in 25HL Slavonian and French oak (all 15+ years old), bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Grape growers and vendors of wine in bulk for generations, the Boggiones only began to sell in bottle in 2008, but their wine expresses their calm confidence and deep knowledge of their land and vines. I find their Brunate totally satisfying in its strong sense of place, classic character, and just plain deliciousness. Jamie Wolff
Last week marked the 3rd time I’ve tasted three vintages of Boggione Brunate together, and it’s reinforced how consistent in quality the wines are, expressive of vintage, but very un-fussed with in the cellar. The 2013 is showing very savory, earthy and chalky, with some cherry fruit and very fine ripe tannin. It’s an expansive mouthful, in a way that suggests it’s going to drink well fairly soon. A very fine wine indeed! Jamie Wolff
After a decent interval to let the wine breathe, the 2015 shows its great potential – fragrant with flowers and earth; plenty of bright juicy fruit, but overall savory in character, with pronounced ripe tannins – as you taste the wine it blossoms, expressing both finesse and the power of Brunate - and it becomes increasingly delicious. I will put some bottles in the cellar, but given sufficient time in the decanter you can enjoy this now. Jamie Wolff
A really terrific 2014, and the most forward of the trio of vintages we currently have in stock. It’s a touch lighter and more open than the 2015, brighter and with grainy, slightly more rustic tannin; good (and balanced) concentration and a mostly savory palate speak to me of Brunate – a wine to drink sooner than the 2013 or 2015. Jamie Wolff