Why is this Wine so Yummy?
Back in 2005, I spent some time at Vietti. Their winery sits in the castle atop Castiglione Falletto. It’s walls broken by slit windows for archers to defend the grounds. The escape tunnel leading from the castle to the plains below had been filled in only a few years prior to my visit. Somehow they’ve managed to modernise aspects of the winery carving into the rock without collapsing the ancient buildings surrounding it.
One of my earlier experience of Vietti was at the Australian Wine Research Institutes Advanced Wine Assessment Course. A blind bracket of 9 Nebbiolo’s was presented, Vietti’s Perbacco from 1998 and Brunate from 1996. The Brunate was superb. My notes from the tasting read “Very complex, great harmony, texture, rich, long, very together, perfumed, incredible layers and vibrancy.” The Perbacco excellent, particularly at 1/8th the price. “Great purity, balance, and poise. Supple with an excellent core of fruit and lovely floral notes.”
In many ways, little has changed. Perbacco, typically declassified Barolo, is the wine to crack while you’re waiting for your Barolo to mature!
Vietti intrigues me. Some of the best Barolo I have devoured have come from their winery. Watching the wines evolve over time, both the same vintage and across vintages has been fascinating. Modern technology at times pierced the tradition. Last year a vertical tasting going back to 1982 was fascinating. It again highlighted my growing consensus that the drinking window for good Barolo, from great years, starts at around 10 years and is right in the zone between 15 and 20 years.
The Vietti family has been producing wine in Castiglione Falletto in the heart of Le Langhe in Piedmont for five generations, with 33 estate vineyards located across all 11 communes designated for the cultivation and production of Barolo, plus Roero for Arneis and Agliano Asti for Barbera and Moscato. In 2016 Vietti was purchased by the American Krause family, however current generation winemaker Luca Currado-Vietti continues to direct the Vietti Estate meticulously, together with his wife Elena Penna-Currado, to produce some of the finest and most representative wines of Le Langhe.
The grapes are selected from vineyards located in Castiglione Falletto, Monforte, Barolo and Novello where the vines are planed an average of 4.800 vines per hectare. The vines are 7 to 35 years old with yields of 35 hl/ha, grown using the gouyot system. After harvesting, the grapes are gently pressed. Fermentation occurs in stainless steel with daily cap submersion for extraction of flavor and colour.