2016 Fratelli Grasso “Vallegrande” Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
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ABOUT THIS WINE
The brothers, Luigi and Alfredo, make classic Barbaresco from cru vineyards in the commune of Treiso, the area with the highest elevation in the Barbaresco DOCG. Here Alfredo and Luigi make their flagship wine with a minimum of 30 months (up to 48 months) of aging in the large old barrels. Polished power and finesse are the hallmarks of this wine with a lighter profile of strawberries and roses. The fruit is ripe, but respectable in a way only fine Nebbiolo can be. Mountain herbs red raspberries, undertones of leather, black cherries, and red currants. A decent amount of bottle age only adds to the approachable qualities of an already elegant wine.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
The Grasso brothers have been making wine since before they founded the Azienda Agricola in 1970. They have been farming the same land and making wine from that land non-stop for 50 years! Nothing seems more traditional or wholesome than joining them for a walk through their vineyards. The vineyards are right out the back door and adjacent to the winery converted from the old family barn. Even though they don’t speak any English, their infectious smiles and easy-going nature make one feel right at home. With large Slavonian oak barrels that average 45 years of age, very little has changed in their approach for the last half a century. The largest portion of their land holdings comes from the Vallegrande cru which runs from the bottom of the hill at 900 ft asl., up to 1300 feet at the crown of the hill. Here Alfredo and Luigi make their flagship wine with a minimum of 30 months (up to 48 months) of aging in the large old barrels.
The Barbaresco region is often times referred to as the ‘Queen’ of the Nebbiolo grape because the wines tend to be more elegant than their neighboring Barolo (The King). Barbaresco is a third the size of Barolo and received DOC status in 1966 and later DOCG status (Italy’s highest designation) in 1980.