Alberto Burzi Barolo 2016

2016
Nebbiolo
Alberto Burzi
$49.00

Minimum purchase 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 or more & $6/bottle for 6.

Our tasting impressions

With all the emphasis in Barolo on Cru or single vineyard,  good-old Barolo can get lost in the shuffle. No need when it's as good as Burzi makes. The 2016 has light, sweet, fresh, red fruit. The tannins are most apparent on the finish. It will take a few years for this to unwind but the balance, presence and structure are all there. Alberto certainly didn't miss in this outstanding vintage.

 

About this wine

Traditionally, Barolo was made by blending grapes from a variety of villages and vineyards. Winemakers used the vines available to them to produce a Nebbiolo cocktail that counterbalanced strengths and weaknesses within vineyards. Today, these wines are called simply Barolo, as opposed to Cru or single vineyard designations.

 

100% Nebbiolo from varied vineyards in La Morra (Rive, Roncaglia, Rocchettevino and a couple of plots in Capalot) planted between 26 and 60 years ago. Yields are t 50 hl/ha and all vineyard work is manual.

 

Maceration is at controlled temperature for 15 days in steel tanks with daily and manual pumping over; followed by racking during high fermentation. The maximum temperature during the fermentation process is 29 °C. The malolactic fermentation and the aging are in Slavonian 30 hL oak barrels for two years. It's moved 

 

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.

  

Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru

Alberto Burzi

The estate of Alberto Burzi in La Morra is young - the first vintage was 2012 - but so are Alberto and his sister Caterina. They are the first generation in their family to grow and bottle wine (a mere 20,000 per year). Their grandfather was part of a cooperative selling grapes to winemakers.

 

While they may be young, their vines are most definitely not - up to 80 years old. They farm naturally and organically, without certification.  Alberto uses the Guyot system for vine training, typical in cool climates. He destems and does manual pump-overs 3 or 4 times per day. Bottling is earlier than most estates. He has begun experimenting with concrete tanks as an intermediary vessel between botti and bottle. He believes it provides more temperature stability. The bottis are neutral Austrian barrels.

 

What they might lack in years, they make up in passion, commitment and curiosity. Their goal is to produce delicate yet true expressions of Nebbiolo and Barbera and they are definitely succeeding. VDLT, the first to introduce their wine to the US is proud to be supporting the vision and dedication of these wonderful young people. 

 

Alberto & Caterina's hard work is enabling them to grow. They are leasing a vineyard in La Serra, from which they will soon produce new wine.