Vietti’s Riserva ‘Villero’ is not made every year. Like all Barolo Riserva’s it is matured for a few extra years before release.
Each release being celebrated with a unique artist label just like the wines of Château Mouton-Rothschild. The ’09 Villero features another striking artwork as the label, this time by Anton Fuchs of Köln, Germany.
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 andvibrancy.” 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 Villero Riserva is in the rare class of Barolo that will push this window out to 30 years+.
Whilst Vietti have always produced more structured wines, they have never shifted to the overt new oak regimes of the likes of Clerico. The wines have always shown harmony and balance.
The 2009 Vintage & Villero
The 2009’s I’ve had across Barolo and Barbaresco from quality produces have been stunning. 2 weeks ago I devoured a Produttori Rabajà, a week ago Capellano’s Pei Francesco, last year Bartolo Mascarello’s Barolo. All were exceptional.
In 2017 Vietti are releasing just the 11th vintage of their Barolo Riserva Villero from the 2009 vintage, with the label another striking work of art, this time by Anton Fuchs of Köln, Germany.
Vietti have just under one hectare in Villero with an average vine age of 41 years. Produced only in exceptional years, the wine is aged extensively in large Slavonian oak botti and then in bottle (the 2009 was bottled in July 2012). The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner recently wrote of the 2009 Vietti Barolo Riserva Villero scoring it 100/100 “In a word, the 2009 Barolo Riserva Villero is magic. I’m not sure I understand how Luca Currado does it. With his wizard’s wand, he achieves a level of purity and intensity that I have rarely ever seen in Barolo or any other Italian appellation for that matter…”
Villero is a large Cru within the Commune of Castiglione Falletto, which is noted for the structure and excellence of its Nebbiolo wines (22.07 Ha with 93% planted to Nebbiolo) divided amongst 10 producers and all uniformly exposed south/south-west at around 250 to 350 metres above sea level on white and blue marl soils typical to the Commune.
Vietti have a long held tradition of specially-designed original art works as labels. Initially in 1974 Luca’s parents Alfredo Currado and Luciana Vietti engaged specific artists for several of their wines, however since the presentation of the 1982 Barolo Villero in 1988, this practice has been reserved exclusively for the Barolo Riserva Villero. The print run is the same as the number of bottles produced, and the first hundred labels are signed by the artist. Each work is only used once, just for the wine of that vintage.
*We will only receive a few bottles of the Riserva. Following allocation, in early November you will be invoiced for 50% of the total. The balance payable when the wines are ready to ship in December.