Gianni Gagliardo Fallegro Favorita 2018
The origins of Gianni Gagliardo date back to 1847, when the Colla family first began working vineyards in the Langhe zone of Piedmont. It was Paolo Colla, the fourth generation of the family who, in the 1960s, began bottling his own wine in the township of La Morra. In 1973 his daughter, Marivanna, married Gianni Gagliardo, a young man from Monticello d’Alba in the Roero zone on the west bank of the Tanaro river. Gianni was a passionate young man with a notable entrepreneurial talent. It was in 1973 that the winery, as it exists today, was established.
Today, the sixth generation of the family; Gianni’s sons, Stefano, Alberto, and Paolo, are the guardians of the estate. Stefano, the first-born, a careful and competent oenologist, has taken charge of the style of the wines, which are characterized by a tireless search for elegance, balance, and harmony. At his side, his brother Alberto, who has taken on the responsibility for the vineyards, continues to seek optimal balance in the vines and a perfect ripening of the grapes. Paolo, the youngest, after a doctoral thesis in Agricultural Sciences, dedicates his energies to the commercial growth and development of Gianni Gagliardo.
Over the years, Gagliardo has gradually purchased land in many of the best vineyards in the townships of La Morra, Verduno, Barolo, Serralunga, and Monforte d’Alba, the very heart of the Barolo appellation, and in Monticello d’Alba in the Roero district. The goal is to coax the very finest expression of the Nebbiolo grape, allowing each parcel’s particular characteristics to shine.
Today the proprietary Nebbiolo vineyards are split equally between Roero and the Barolo zone, in eleven parcels situated on the two different banks of the Tanaro river. The special character of the terroir is the dominating factor behind the excellence of the Gagliardo wines, particularly the various Barolo offerings. This wide geographical range gives these wines their unique and exceptional personality, which gather and bring out the finest qualities of the Langhe and Roero zones.
The management of the vineyards is based on balance and on the maximum respect of the vines and the soil; the estate is certified organic as of the 2017 vintage. In order to best protect the richness and the delicacy of what Mother Nature produces in the vineyard, no selected yeasts are added during fermentation. The wines are not filtered, but rather rendered more brilliant and naturally stabilized by winter cold.
Set upon a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, the enchanting and rolling hills of Piedmont are the source of some of the country’s longest-lived and most sought-after wines. Vineyards cover a great majority of the land area—especially in Barolo—with the most prized sites at the top hilltops or on south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. Piedmont has a continental climate with hot, humid summers leading to cold winters and precipitation year-round. The reliable autumnal fog provides a cooling effect, especially beneficial for Nebbiolo, Piedmont’s most prestigious variety.
In fact, Nebbiolo is named exactly for the arrival of this pre-harvest fog (called “nebbia” in Italian), which prolongs cluster hang time and allows full phenolic balance and ripeness. Harvest of Nebbiolo is last among Piedmont's varieties, occurring sometime in October. This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure; the best examples can require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. Across the Tanaro River, the Roero region, and farther north, the regions of Gattinara and Ghemme, also produce excellent quality Nebbiolo.
Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin and juicy red fruit. Dolcetto, Piedmont’s other important red grape, is usually ready within a couple of years of release.
White wines, while less ubiquitous here, should not be missed. Key varieties include Arneis, Cortese, Timorasso, Erbaluce and the sweet, charming Muscat, responsible for the brilliantly recognizable, Moscato d'Asti.
There are hundreds of white grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles.