Our tasting impressions
The most robust nose of all Daniele's Barolo. On the palate, it beautifully displays the elegance of Verduno. A few years in the bottle has allowed it to become really crisp and focused. The length is good and the tannins are smooth. A superb Barolo that we like very much. There is ample reserves in its tanks to cellar confidently (or enjoy now with a long decant).
About this wine
Nebbiolo grapes from the clones Michet, Lampia and Rosè planted at 330m up to 70 years ago and trained in the Guyot system. Pelassa is one of about 3 estates to produce a Cru of San Lorenzo di Verduno.
Harvested in the last 2 weeks of October, the grapes are de-stemmed and undergo a soft pressing before a traditional fermentation of about 15 days at 26°C. The must is pumped over via racking to improve the extraction of the color and the aromas. After the malolactic fermentation, the wine is moved to Slavonian and French casks and barrels with weekly topping up. Aged for 2 years in tonneaux and 1 year in steel tank before bottling.
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.
Daniele's suggested musical pairing: Brahm's Symphony No. 1 op. 68 in C major
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
Mario Pelassa and Maria Teresa Pelassa established their Montà d'Alba wine estate in 1960. For the remainder of the century, they sold their wine to grateful clients in northern Italy.
When their sons took charge, the scope and ambition grew. Daniele makes the wine and is a tour-de-force in global marketing and sales. Davide prefers to stay close to the land and manages the vineyards. From their 15ha in Roero and Verduno, they now concentrate on three grapes - Nebbiolo, Barbera and Arneis and produce 100,000 bottles per year.
Daniele sub-titled Pelassa Romantic Wines of Piedmont. We are particularly enamored of his inclusion of musical pairings for each of his wines (which we will faithfully convey to our members). It is appropriate because his wines so beautifully inspire intellectually and emotionally.