Our tasting impressions
This displays real elegance probably because the tannins are super smooth. Spicy and floral flavors. I dubbed this the James Bond Barolo - stylish and refined but powerful as well. Just an awesome wine!
About this wine
100% Nebbiolo from the village of Verduno, whose wines tend to be among the most elegant of Barolos - more accessible early but no less age worthy. The vineyard, which sits 350m up and faces southwest, is planted in loose, sandy soil.
Fermentation is in steel tanks for 20-22 days with skins and pumping over at a controlled temperature of 28-30°C. After a racking, the malolactic fermentation is enabled by holding the wine at 20°C. The wine is transferred to barriques and tonneaux for 6-7 months before transfer to botti to age for about 2 years. Bottling takes place in August but the 5,300 bottles were not released for another 7 months.
About the grape
Nebbiolo, the name believed to be derived from nebbia, Italian for fog, is a grape with one of the most protracted maturation cycles. It buds in early spring and ripens late fall (when the winter nebbia from the Alps reaches the vineyards).
Nebbiolo vines tend to grow upwardly with abandon, so management is essential to limit grape production and channel energy to them. They also are very particular about where they will thrive, which is why Nebbiolo is seldom found outside of Piedmont. Even there, it only is successful when planted on south facing slopes (much sun is needed for ripening), at elevations between 250 and 450 meters (lower there is too much frost exposure, higher the grapes won’t ripen).
Wines from Nebbiolo usually are pale-colored, high in acidity and very tannic. Common flavor descriptors are rose and tar. They tend to be highly aromatic.
About the vintage
Heavy rain in the winter and spring delayed fruit development and ultimately resulted in late October harvests - at least 2 weeks later than typical. The vintage was more than redeemed by a summer of very hot days but cool nights. This is an excellent, classic vintage with sweet, rich-fruited wines.
On your table
Herb-crusted pork spare ribs, preferably more flavorful, heritage pork like Berkshire. Non-red meat is best with this more delicate version of Barolo and the herbs will draw out more flavors in it. Serve the wine at cellar temperature.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
L’Azienda Agricola Bosco Agostino in La Morra is a third generation business started by Pietro Bosco who sold his grapes to wine makers. His son, Agostino, was the first to bottle his own wine, albeit minimally. The 5.5 hectare farm has been in the hands of his son, Andrea since 2000.
Bosco sustainably grows Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto with minimal use of chemicals and no herbicides. He manually harvests and destems. Annual production is less than 30,000 bottles.
Andrea is contemplative, yet warm and amiable. His dedication to his work is evident. His overriding aim is to produce wines that are the purest expression of his land and its grapes. Somehow, you can taste his sincerity in his wines.