Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “As for the 2015 Riserva, right from the pull of the cork, the intoxicating aromatics of Nebbiolo grab you by the nose hairs and pull you in. On the palate this is some serious old school Barolo, it begins with a mouthful of ripe, generous red fruit, black cherries, strawberries, citrus, cinnamon, iron, sandalwood, saddle leather, tar, and wet earth. It’s an imperfect Barolo that is perfect for those that love rustic, old school Barolo, and makes us think of the early years of IWM. Yes it is a big Barolo with drying tannings, and will best benefit with age, but with aeration and the right winter Italian dish like Brasato al Barolo, or even Risotto with truffles, this wine can be enjoyed today.”
Alessandro Fantino spent ten years as winemaker for the legendary Bartolo Mascarello before starting his own small winery with his brother Gian Natale. The estate is the only one in the center of the old city at Monforte d’Alba, and the cellar, parts of which date as far back as the 1600’s, is a lovely sight worth visiting just for its aesthetic qualities. Their vineyards are limited to under 10 hectares contained in the Vigna dei Dardi site, which imparts an unusually clear rendition of specific vintages. Like Mascarello, the Fantino brothers are wholeheartedly dedicated to the traditions of the Langhe, and they harbor a profound respect for Mother Nature. Along with their classic Barolo, Barbera, and Rosso, they distinguish themselves with a passito wine (now known as ‘Nepas’) made from grapes that are dried on rush mats for three months, during which time the fruit undergoes a slight onset of grey mold.
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