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Pecchenino Le Coste Barolo 2010
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Company was founded at the end of the nineteenth century, in an area where Dolcetto vineyards have been a typical feature for centuries, as is documented by a writing that dates back to 1432, which is kept in the communal archives.
The farm has always been family run, and the land has passed from father to son throughout its history. The first historical evidence of the farm is from the beginning of the twentieth century, when the farm was led by Attilio Pecchenino (the grandfather) and had little more than 8 hectares of land. In the 70s, the farm was given to Marino Pecchenino (Attilio's son), and in 1987 to Orlando and Attilio (Marino's two sons) who currently own it and manage it. At present, after having recently bought a new farm (Bricco Botti), the total land owned by Pecchenino is approx. 25 hectares, all in the area of Dogliani. For a couple of year now, Pecchenino has expended much energy on making his dolcettos more elegant and appetizing abroad as well as in Italy. The results clearly show in his two main house Dolcettos: the San Luigi and the Siri d'Jermu that recently was upgraded to Dogliani DOCG status.
Pecchenino winery is managed in a sustainable fashion: Orlando is convinced that the quality of his wine is strictly related to the natural health of his vineyard. His main objective is that of growing the best possible grapes with the lowest possible impact on nature. In the vineyards, he opts for organic compost and avoids the use of any chemical products for weed or pest control; his treatments in the vineyards are all natural unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
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.
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.
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.
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.