Villadoria Barolo Riserva Speciale 1974
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Villadoria, a winery deeply-rooted in tradition is building a bridge to the future. Over the years, the Lanzavecchia family, winemakers for four generations, has witnessed the evolution of an area which has its most precious treasure in wine. The Serralunga d’Alba hills, in the heart of Barolo, is the ideal location for the cultivation of the native vines at the origin of Piedmont’s most prestigious wines. It is in this invaluable land that Villadoria is located on the Cappallotto Estate: over 20 hectares in the heart of the Langhe. From starting as a nursery selling root stock to other growers in the late 1800’s they opened their winery in 1959.
In recent years, Daniele Lanzavecchia turned over the winemaking to his daughter Paola. Her talents have raised the profile of Villadoria by applying the most modern technology to the concept of traditional production, which takes meticulous care with every stage of the process. They farm naturally/sustainably, not using any pesticides or chemical fertilizers and are founding members of the Associazione Nazionale Biotipico.
Paola has renovated the old cellars and brought in new casks and barriques, designed a new tasting room and the overall look and feel of the winery. She is continually improving the quality and flavor profiles of her family’s wines. Her wines are the “new bridge” in the sense that they are softer, more elegant with integrated tannins yet still uphold the “iron fist inside a velvet glove” tradition of what makes Piedmont wines the most prestigious of all of Italy.
The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo wine 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 hills, is full of history and romance centered on 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 wine, 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 Barolo wine 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 soil 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 Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.