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.
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 difficult 2011 year was perhaps a sign of a maturity and wisdom in the winemaking. They guided the fruit to a state of great harmony and balance in that year, pulling back on the structural elements to produce wines that were drinking superbly in late 2016.
This wisdom seems to have continued to the following years. The 2013 base Langhe Nebbiolo, Perbacco, is an excellent wine, upon opening it required around 3 days to deliver it’s full potential. The 2013 Barolo Castiglione and Cru’s are receiving critical acclaim.
If you’ve pre-order some of the Voerzio wines, the Cru’s from Vietti will make for an excellent comparison. Two winemaker’s dedicated to quality, with great vineyards, doing their best to push the boundaries. Both making some of the world’s great wines.
*We will only receive a few bottles of the Crus. 1st come 1st served. Following allocation, in late April you will be invoiced for 50% of the total. The balance payable when the wines are ready to ship in June.