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Elio Altare Barolo 2012

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • WS93
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • RP92
  • JS95
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • JS92
  • WS92
  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

Very intense ruby red with garnet reflections in the glass. Fresh scents of small red fruits, raspberry, redcurrant and wild roses that evolve into licorice and spice notes. Warm, elegant, persistent with a long finish and soft tannins.

Enjoy on its own or pair with red meats or aged cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Aromatic and expressive, displaying macerated cherry, licorice and rose flavors, with hints of leather. Elegant, pure and well structured, showing great balance and finesse. The finish echoes the fruit and adds a mineral element. Best from 2018 through 2033.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
With fruit from La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and Barolo, Elio Altare's 2012 Barolo is a classic expression of the vintage. Fruit from each township is vinified separately and after the malolactic fermentation, the wine goes into neutral oak. The wine exhibits less baby fat compared to the 2011 vintage and its color is not as deep or black. The aromatic intensity of the wine is also carefully delivered and more subtle. This is an elegant, food-friendly Barolo that can be consumed in the medium-term.
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Elio Altare

Elio Altare

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Elio Altare, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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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

The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hilltops, is one full of history and romance of the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.

There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.

On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soils types.

The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape and needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

SKRIAT208_2012 Item# 163410