Elio Altare La Villa Vino da Tavola 2003
Other Red Blends from Piedmont, Italy
Vinification: Maceration on the skins for approx. 3/4 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control , ageing in new French barriques for 18 months
Colour: very intense ruby red
Taste: fresh red fruits, well balanced tannins and with a pleasant acidity due to the barbera
Nose: intense aromas of plums and berries
Serving suggestion: red meats, soft to medium aged cheese, pasta with rich sauce
The Wine Advocate - "2003 Langhe La Villa—Dark ruby. The 2003 La Villa, blend of equal parts Nebbiolo and Barbera, is a study in contrasts, given that the vintage produced such different results for the two varietals. The wine shows plenty of the attractive plummy dark fruit, licorice and tar notes of barrel-aged Barbera, but unfortunately the wine’s overall balance is dominated by the Nebbiolo, with its hard tannins and more prominent alcoholic quality. As good as La Villa can be, I usually find myself headed straight to the cellar to open a bottle of Altare’s Barolo or Barbera Larigi "
Elio Altare Winery
Grandfather Giuseppe Altare purchased the farm and winery in 1948, and our family practiced the typical Piemontese mixed agriculture up until the mid-1970s. Besides winegrapes, the family grew pears. apples, hazelnuts, wheat, and corn. 1971 was the last year in which we worked the land with oxen; after that we gradually acquired tractors and other farm machinery.
Those were not easy times, given the economic crisis that lasted for years. Elio, along with other friends, decided to learn about winemaking beyond the borders of Piemonte and try to grab some of the success that those regions were enjoying. Their first trip to Burgundy, in January 1976, was a revelation, and Elio began experimenting with methods outside of the traditional ones in Piemonte
After a brief period working with his father Giovanni, Elio, at the age of 26 years decided to change direction and to give a different interpretation to the family's wine, favouring elegance, finesse, and balance. He began a strict regimen in the vineyard and adopted new vinification techniques in the cantina in order to highlight the grape variety and the territory in which it was grown.
The winery at this point is a family operation, with the invaluable help of Elio's wife, Lucia, and daughters Silvia and Elena. Together, they continue Elio's tireless effort, experimentation, and research.
Today the family works 10 hectares, of which five are rented. They have adopted techniques aimed at respecting nature. The principle objective is that of limiting the use of chemical substances, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. The wines are not subjected to filtering or fining, so that they keep all of the material and character extracted during maceration View all Elio Altare Wines
Notable FactsNot just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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