Serralunga seen from Ginestra, in Monforte

Barale, Cappellano, Cavallotto, Ceretto

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Cappellano Barolo, from Vigna Rionda        

Translated from the Piemontese: "The winery of Doctor G. Cappellano is faithful to its tradition and has always been managed by the family that founded it -- it is one of the few included in the official "list of artisans" of Cuneo Province. This 1974 Barolo from Serralunga d'Alba is made as they used to do 100 years ago, with selected grapes from the Sori' of Vigna Rionda, and was carefully aged for 3 years. 3,788 bottles were produced under the seal of guarantee, and were numbered from 17,313 to 21,201".

Even though single-vineyard wines were beginning to be more frequent in the 1970s, until this week the Rionda was the only instance I knew of in the period when Cappellano designated the source of the grapes for their Barolo.

 

Cappellano Barolo, from Baudana                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now - for the first time, or perhaps for the first time I've noticed, the Rionda bottling is joined by one from Baudana, which I find exciting because, like Rionda, Baudana produces Serralunga of great typicity - structured, austere when young, powerful and complex.

 

Below you can see what's commonly refered to as a "Troglia" bottling:

Cappellano 1957, bottled for Troglia            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Troglia was a wine merchant in Torino; Cappellano bottled wine for Troglia using the traditional wacky bottle most frequently associated with Alto Piemonte. "Bottled for Troglia" draws the important distinction that Cappellano handled the bottling of the wine, presumably in the same manner as the wines in conventional bottles and under the Cappellano label. I have only tasted a few Troglia bottles; they have ranged from good to outstanding. It's not easy to put aside the psychological impact of the alternate packaging, but then again the Cappellano for Troglia wines are a lot less expensive...

 

 

I love Cappellano, but I am always very excited to taste old wine from any of the other 3 producers on this offer.

Over the last couple of years we've finally had some opportunities to try older Barale wines; as a result I've added them to my very short list of true historical stars. I'm a big fan of Barale's current wines, so it's been great to taste back to the 1950s and learn that their old wines show very well indeed, and are fine classic bottles.

 

Cavallotto - from the 1960s,1970s, and 1980s - is wonderful wine.

 

Cavallotto: Bricco Boschis, Vigna San Giuseppe, in May.                                                                                        

 

I'm hoping to visit Ceretto in the spring; it's been quite a few years, and I keep hearing that the wines are getting better and better (ie, less marked by barique). There are many other wineries that moved from traditional to modern winemaking (and now, some back again), but for me Ceretto is one of the most dramatic examples of an important and historical producer running off the track. That's not to say that Ceretto after 1990 isn't good; for one thing they have made a very important contribution to the quality of viticulture in the region, demonstrating that it's possible to farm organically and biodynamically on a fairly large scale. But the recent vintages are not my cup of wine, and in taste the wines don't seem much connected to their first 3 decades. I love old Ceretto wines, and they still represent great value for bottles that deliver truly classic examples of beautifully made Barolo and Barbaresco. Jamie Wolff

 

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Cappellano 1970 Barolo

Truffle and tar and a surprising rush of raspberry jam on the nose. Very high toned in the mouth — this needs food — but over time the wine is taking on weight and complexity. JW

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Cavallotto 1974 Barolo Bricco Boschis

"This wine, produced with selected grapes obtained only from our vines in Castiglione Falletto, at the center of the Barolo zone, aged in large oak barrels and left to rest in bottle in our cellar, every year, with a ritual that is always renewed, offers people the flavors, aromas, sensations and feeling of something that comes from the earth and that brings an uncontaminated essence and vitality."

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