Our tasting impressions
At present, the aromatics of this Barolo are playing hide-and-seek. Amazingly, on the palate it is pure and utterly delightful. This tastes like traditional Barolo, and from such a wonderful vintage, that is a very good thing.
About this wine
The Nebbiolo was planted in 1995 at 350m in mostly sandy soil. The vineyard has a southeast exposure. Maceration is on the skins for about 15 days. Aging is 30 months in 25hl French botti.
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
According to Silvia, the mild and dry early winter set the stage for the remarkable vintage of 2016. Water reserves were replenished in February and March when temperatures dropped and rain was extensive. A wet and cool spring delayed the vines cycles. The remainder of the growing season only helped. Overall, the grapes had ample and positive conditions under which to reach full maturity with great balance and concentration.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
The Pressenda family is large, happy and rather entrepreneurial. Diego and Rosanna started producing wine on the land his parents began as sharecroppers. The 15ha sustainable vineyard, known as La Torricella, sits between Monforte d'Alba and Roddino.
In 2010, the family developed an agrituirsmo featuring a restaurant run by Chef (and daughter) Alessandra and her husband Francesco and a spa, managed by daughter Annalisa. The views are amazing.
Today, the winemaking is the responsibility of daughter Silvia (Sergio Molino consults). Son, Oscar handles sales and marketing. Production is about 60,000 bottles annually. VDLT was introduced to the Pressenda family by Sergio Molino, who consults on their winemaking.
The next generation of Pressendas are utilizing their talents while showing great respect for tradition and the land. The future looks very bright.