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Today we offer the 2015 Barolo Bricco Boschis and the 2012 Riservass, the ‘Vignolo’ & ‘Bricco Boschis – Vigna San Guiseppe’.

A couple of years ago we had a Barolo Magnum festa. There were some seriously big names amongst the mix. The top 3 wines in no particular order 1999 Bartolo Mascarello, 1999 Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia, and, 2001 Cavallotto ‘Bricco Boschis’ Riserva made from the ‘Vigna San Giuseppe’ parcel within Cavallotto’s Monopole ‘Bricco Boschis’.

At the celebration dinner for one of my Italian wine groups, we hoovered a 2010 Bricco Boschis ‘Vigna San Giuseppe’, again it was at the top of the list with Guiseppe Mascarello, Conterno, and, Giacosa on the table.

That is some serious company to play with.

When you unearth the history of Cavallotto, all the elements are there, great sites, high planting density, balanced healthy vineyards with moderate crops, now farmed organically.

Two additional elements take their wines to the next level, vine age, continuity of farmers with the retention of wisdom it offers! This is, and, has always been a family business, knowledge built on, and, passed from generation to generation.

Common threads run through Cavallotto’s wines, from their Dolcetto, to their Barbera, and, Nebbiolo’s, Langhe, Barolo Bricco Boschis, and, Barolo Riserva from Vigna San Guiseppe and Vigna Vignolo.

They are focused on purity of fruit, without the interference of oak, complexity, and, are one of the best examples off carefully considered élévage on the market. All of this results in wines of great expression and vibrancy.

Cavallotto’s wines clearly sit on the classic, traditional, Barolo side of the ledger.

Cavallotto’s Wine Making

As you’d expect from wines made in a more classical style, there’s longer maceration, time on skins, which often softens tannins, and, layers in complexity, think perfume and truffles. Oak is old and large Botte 2,000-10,000L in volume. Not only do these keep the wine fresher during maturation, but, impart no oak tannins, aroma or flavour. Maturation is longer, than, many in both Botte and then bottle, the very reason you’re just seeing the 2012 Barolo now when many have released 2013’s.

They make such beautiful, expressive wines!

Where in the World do Cavallotto’s wines come from?

Cavallotto is yet another example of knowing your producers, and, their vineyards. In the heart of Castiglione Falletto, Cavallotto holds the monopole (single owner) vineyard Bricco Boschis, only a stones through away from another famed Barolo monopole, Monprivato. Although I don’t like comparing the two, Monprivato, produces some of the most Burgundian, Nebbiolo I’ve ever had.

You can see the Barbera in the light green on the map is planted on the ‘Bricco Boschis’, it’s just going to be good. Just like Vietti’s Langhe Nebbiolo, Cavallotto’s is sourced from vineyards that are effectively declassified Barolo vineyard.

Surrounding the Bricco Boschis, within 500m are the remainder of their holdings. Including the Vigna Vignolo, consistently the source of their Riserva.

All the vines have serious age, with Dolcetto planting near 40 years old, Barbera 55 years, and, Nebbiolo 45 to 55 years old.

 

Cavallotto's Personality Packed 2015 Barolo & 2012 Riservas

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About the Wines

Cavallotto 'Bricco Boschis' Barolo 2015

2015 holds a sentimental spot in my heart, the year our first daughter was born. As if by design the 2015 Barolo’s are beautiful wines. I’ve been fortunate to try many including a 2015 Vajra Bricco delle Viole last month. They sit as classical Baroli, with an edge of restraint, great line and length, fresh fragrant fruit, a great sophistication. Cavallotto’s 2015 sit’s comfortably in this profile of the vintage.

From the importer: The Bricco Boschis cru produces this Estate’s most emblematic Barolo. This is crafted mostly from two parcels within this single vineyard. Firstly there is the Punta Marcello that lies on the top of the slope, by the cantina. This cool terroir is known for its fragrant, pale juice and long, angular tannins. Then there is the Vigna Colle Sud-Ovest parcel of the Bricco Boschis, lying at a lower elevation and facing south, in the warmest microclimate of the vineyard. The wines from these vines are much fleshier and more accessible when young, with darker, fruit-rich juice and softer tannins. The renowned Vigna San Giuseppe vines also contribute something to the blend. Together these three components form a complete picture of the cru, at once complementing each other and building aromatic and structural complexity into the final blend. Although there is the more premium Vigna San Giuseppe Riserva that comes from this site, it would be a mistake to think of this wine as an entry-level Barolo. Bricco Boschis is a truly profound vineyard and the vines for this cuvée average around 50 years of age! The 2015 spent about 20 days on skins before being aged in Slavonian oak casks of various sizes (all large, between 1,000-10,000 litres) for three and a half years. The 2015 is a superb example.

93-95 Points

This is a review that looks far, far into the future since this wine is not even technically a Barolo yet. It has not finished its aging process. Tasted from barrel, the 2015 Barolo Bricco Boschis is shaping up beautifully. I tasted it next to the 2013 edition of the same wine that was reviewed last year (with 96+ points). This vintage shows depth and richness with generous texture and fiber. This vintage recalls 2011 and 2017, although it wasn't quite as scorching hot. Of course, the 2014 vintage was not produced because of hail damage in the vineyard. After 2015, we will be treated to the highly anticipated 2016 edition.

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

Cavallotto Barolo Riserva 'Vignolo' 2012

From the importer: Cavallotto’s Barolo Riserva Vignolo comes from a 1.6 hectare parcel of this cru, which forms a ridge of southwest facing vines along with Codana and Monprivato. Planted between 1948 and 1966, Vignolo has some of the highest limestone content in Castiglione Falletto and lies 60-80 metres lower than the Bricco Boschis. These are two factors, among others, that account for this wine’s more gentle structure, purity of fruit and youthful approachability. In no way a lesser wine than the Vigna San Giuseppe from Bricco Boschis, it’s simply a different, terroir/cru driven expression of Castiglione FallettoThe 2010 spent 28 days on skins before being aged for four years in Slavonian oak casks of different sizes. 

94 Points

The 2012 Barolo Riserva Vignolo shows a darkened and enriched side of the graceful Nebbiolo grape. This effort delivers a bit more weight and power with firm structure and balanced but also slightly dry tannins. The wine's acidity plays an important role in giving this expression such a sharp and focused personality. This wine ages in large oak casks for five years, thus prompting deep complexity and aromatic layering. The Vignolo vines are a bit lower in altitude (from 250 to 310 meters above sea level) compared to San Giuseppe (at 310 to 340 meters above sea level). That lower positioning favors the immediate richness and succulence you taste here.

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

Cavallotto Barolo Bricco Boschis Riserva 'Vigna San Guiseppe' 2012

From the Importer: The fruit for the Barolo Riserva San Giuseppe derives from the small ‘sub terroir’ of the Bricco Boschis known as Vigna San Giuseppe. Rising steeply behind the family’s dwelling and cantina, this 2.45 hectare block has long been considered an ‘x-factor’ site that consistently delivers one of the greatest Barolos of the region. Just as in Burgundy, where the grand crus occupy the mid-slope of the Côte, so it is with the Vigna San Giuseppe vines in the Bricco Boschis. Here you get the best of everything: altitude, but not too high, excellent drainage, but enough water retention thanks to the limestone so that the vines don’t stress in dry conditions, and a complex mixture of soils, including blue tinted clays (power), limestone (freshness and mineral drive) and sand (prettiness and perfume). Add to this, mature vines, old clonal material and a south-west exposure, and the stars are aligned to produce greatness. Reflecting the power of the fruit grown here, the Vigna San Giuseppe Riserva sees a longer maceration than the standard cru and matures for four-plus years in large oak casks, and then one year in bottle. This is simply the finest Bricco Boschis we have shipped. Alfio Cavallotto thinks it is similar to the great 1998 and I think it may be the finest example since the mythic 1999 (one of the greatest Barolos I have drunk). Expect a terrific, old school Barolo, loaded with sweet/savoury, fleshy fruit and then pithy, chalky tannins. Super youthful but there is already some meaty, mushroom complexity flecked through the primary, plummy fruit. The finish is long and driven and structured. Needs time to blossom but greatness is guaranteed.

96 Points

Enticingly fragrant, this gorgeous wine opens with classic Nebbiolo aromas of woodland berry, wild rose, forest floor, pipe tobacco, dark spice and a balsamic whiff of menthol. Reflecting the nose, the delicious, structured palate delivers dried cherry, raspberry compote, truffle, star anise and a note of crushed mint. Firm but noble tannins provide the framework and bestow impressive aging potential. Drink 2022–2037.

Kerin O'Keefe

95 Points

Here is another excellent rendition of the celebrated Bricco Boschis cru (one of the best performing vineyards in Castiglione Falletto) from the talented Cavallotto family. The 2012 Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe sees fruit picked only from the central part of the vineyard parcel. This area suffers less stress during the hottest months of summer because it is more protected and isolated. This wine is the proverbial overachiever among this estate's new releases. The bouquet shows a highly refined and focused quality with extreme varietal precision. The 2012 vintage stands somewhere in between 2010 for its elegance and 2011 for its power. In fact, I tasted this wine next to the 2011 expression and found that the 2012 vintage plays its cards closer to its chest. It has a lot to give in the future as it continues down its evolutionary path. Patience is required. Savory spice and smoke make for an elegant twist on the finish.

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate