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
Vibrant and delicious! It's not often you encounter a Barolo this young (and from a strong vintage) that is classically-styled yet so approachable. But, please don't think that means it is a simple wine. Giorgio strives to show a gentler side of La Morra Barolo and succeeds brilliantly. Introduced by noted Italian wine expert Gregory Dal Piaz.
About this wine
100% Nebbiolo from the bottom of the slope leading up to la Morra. The vineyard Bricco Rocca is in the village of Annunziata. Vines are up to 60 years old, planted in varied soil with more clay than is typical - sand is the norm. After a fermentation that lasts for close to five weeks it spends 27 months in medium sized Slavoninan oak botte so as not to cover the soft, generous nature of the wine.
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
Barolo producers could not have asked for better conditions than those in 2016 and an abundant crop to boot. The ripe fruit of 2015 was replicated but this time with ample acidity and more resolute tannins. Overall, the wines exhibit much better balance, even if they are not as much fun now.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
If you have travelled the road from Alba to Barolo you’ve passed by the estate of Cascina Ballarin as you’ve cruised under the village of La Morra. Known almost as much for their bohemian agriturismo as for their wines, Cascina Ballarin has remained an under-the-radar player for too long. We’re changing that!
Known as Cascina Ballarin since 1980, the estate was founded by current proprietor Giorgio Viberti’s great-grandfather in 1928, Ballarin being a nickname for Giorgio's branch of the Viberti family (no relation to Osvaldo). Until nearly the end of the last century, it was a classic Piedmontese Cascina, supplying the family with enough fruit, vegetables, grain, and yes, grapes for them to enjoy life.
Today, they focus on wine, but classic expressions of the softer side of Barolo (unlike many in La Morra who favor heavier extraction). There are a variety of techniques used here, some more classic, some more modern.