Here are some of the wines from Fratelli Alessandria …….
Fratelli Alessandria 2014 Verduno Pelaverga ‘Speziale’ – This paler hued red is a wine made for the lighter side of life – fun and convivial company sitting around a table with platters of food. The noseful of spicy pepper, cherry and raspberry fruit has a savoury herb edge. True to Vittore’s word, the tannins are soft and provide some flesh to the knife-edge acid. This acid tends to drive the cherry fruit and cloves to the finish. The surprise at the end is a very long finish that opens up to a pepper and tapenade flourish. Drink it now! Drink it to bring the fun back to your glass.
Fratelli Alessandria 2012 Priora Barbera d’Asti Superiore – A warm red made from a blend of grapes from two vineyards (Rocche dell’Olmo in Verduno and Gramolere in Monforte). The nose has an intriguing mix of spicy nutmeg and vanilla amongst the cherry and dark fruit, raisin and earthy chocolate. The fruit retains its plushness and shapes the mouth with finely grained tannins without entering into the full body realm. Youthful yet, I would like to see it again in a few years.
Fratelli Alessandria 2012 Prinsiot Langhe Nebbiolo – Like most Barolo producers, Fratelli Alessandria have a Nebbiolo story to tell. The Prinsiot is a popular wine in bars and restaurants and it is very easy to understand why. Its fruit remains its prettiest feature after spending about 10 months in large format oak to allow the Nebbiolo to ‘relax’ and then some resting time in stainless steel. A violet perfume sits over the raspberry, dried herbs and pepper, but the oak has added some low level spice too. According to Vittore, this Nebbiolo has some resemblance to Burgundy in structure and weight. Plush and fuller bodied, it is one of those uncomplicated, versatile wines.
Fratelli Alessandria 2011 Barolo DOCG San Lorenzo di Verduno – sourced from the San Lorenzo vineyard in Verduno from older vines around 25 years old. This wine sees some serious ‘botte’ action, spending up to 10 months in 500 litre French oak, then a further 24 months in the large format casks. I got to taste the wine after being in bottle for just one month.
Now, I admit that I am a sucker for a hedonistically pretty nose, but I could sit and smell this wine all night. The first heady scent that greets you is a mix of both fresh roses and dried potpourri. Then enters the earthy chocolate and cinnamon wrapped around cherry and plum fruit lightened with some dried sage. This fragrant melding of scents continues seamlessly to the palate.
A flush of soft acid and finely grained tannins keep the wine fresh. It is as generous in the mouth as it is aromatic. It finishes a little warmer on the finish. It would be interesting to see where this wine goes over the coming years, but it is open for pleasure now.
Fratelli Alessandria 2011 Barolo DOCG Monvigliero – This Verduno Barolo delivers a more elegant Nebbiolo experience. There is an earthy, stony edge to the cherry pastille fruit that cannot suppress the pretty rose and violet floral notes. Here the 30 odd month oak regime of small then large oak cask has enhanced the smoky spices.
The intense fruit in the mouth is youthful and vibrant. The lick of velvety tannins and silky acid make this a textural wine that has softness and generosity at its heart. Out of what Vittore calls their ‘Grand Cru’ wines, particularly the Gramolere and the Monvigliero, I would happily drink a few bottles of the Monvigliero 2011 earlier and might wait out the Gramolere 2011 for a while. But, I would also keep a few bottles of this elegant wine for cellaring too.
Fratelli Alessandria 2011 Barolo DOCG Gramolere – The soils of the Gramolere vineyard in Monforte d’Alba are geologically older than F. Alessandrio Monvigliero vineyard with more sand content in the limestone. The vines are also older with an average age of 45 – 55 years old and higher and steeper at 400 metres. Although, it still sees the same small /large oak regime as the San Lorenzo and Monvigliero, this is a rather different Barolo.
There is a smokiness to the floral and a darker fruit, black cherry, mulberry persona of the Gramolere, topped off with some fresh sage. There is still some tightness to the nose and it is a densely packed wine with plenty to offer.
It is full bodied, with lively yet soft acid and an additional dollop of vanilla spice on the finish. Whereas, the Monvigliero is all about generous fruit, this wine has a more muscular frame. Like a good Italian suit over a well muscled arm. I would let it get some years under the belt and enjoy it later, whereas the Monvigliero I would enjoy now with that prettiness.
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