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Paolo Scavino

Following the death of their father, Alfonso and Paolo Scavino divided their father’s vineyard holdings in the commune of Castiglione Falletto. Paolo chose an eponymous title for his estate, which included a 2-hectare plot in Falletto’s Fiasco cru known as Bric dël Fiasc, situated in Castiglione Falletto. While established in 1921, the site was first represented via a single-vineyard bottling in 1978, a production Paolo undertook at the behest of his son, Enrico. The Scavino estate’s premiere cru production and most renowned bottling, Bric dël Fiasc is now one of four cru wines in the portfolio (Cannubi, Rocche dell’Annunziata Riserva, and Bricco Ambrogio are the other single-vineyard Barolos).

Enrico assumed direction of the estate upon his father’s passing, having cultivated an intimate knowledge of Paolo’s craft and viticultural philosophy. Enrico, however, unlike many other second-generation winemakers in Piemonte, did not wholly adhere to the established protocol. After a period of time, he began implementing a quality-driven course of modernization, becoming among the first in the region to institute temperature-controlled winemaking and storage facilities. He instituted the most demonstrative shift in 1993, when he removed Slavonian oak from his Barolo aging regimen—which, until that time, had been the sole medium of aging—becoming a pioneer in the use of 100 percent barrique and rotary fermentation. While this radical stylistic shift effectively served to brand Enrico as a modernist, it never really established itself as the reigning house style, constituting more of an experimental phase than a period in the estate’s evolution.

In 1998, just a few years into the new regime, Scavino brought the Slavonian oak back, abandoning the sole barrique protocol for a more balanced approach—one year of aging in barrique, followed by one year in cask. He didn’t merely reinstate it, however, having come to believe that the wine that is Barolo requires both barrique and cask. He also extended the maceration period for his Barolos by two to three days. In effect, this transitional stage in Scavino’s production philosophy reduced the vigilant attention that had previously been accorded the cellar. With the cellar no longer serving as the pivotal focus of the process, heightened attention was directed towards the vineyard, resulting in Scavino’s practice of extreme yield restriction. While this modified take on modernism has been in effect for a significant period, the estate may continue to reach back further yet. For her initial solo venture—a 2006 single-vineyard Barolo (representing Via Nuova Vineyard), Paolo’s daughter Elisa opted for manual pumping over and punchdowns rather than rotary fermentation, despite the fact that her father privileges this method’s user-friendly properties and ability to extract a more substantive degree of polyphenolic material than the older approach. She also referenced the more recent past in her use of 100 percent new Taransaud oak.