Today we offer the 2014 Perbacco, Casitglione (375ml + Mags available), Lazzarito, Ravera, and, Barbaresco Masseria. In addition to Mags of 2015 Perbacco, poissibly the best value party Neb, and the 2016 Barbera d’Alba Vigne Vecchia Scarrone. The 2014 Perbacco is available immediately, the rest are due late April, the Scarrone in September.
This is an absolutely phenominal set of wines from Vietti. The 2014s are every bit as magnificent as they have always been from barrel. The dual flagships Rocche di Castiglione and Ravera are superb, while the entry-level Barolo Castiglione does just as good a job of conveying the personality of the year. Sadly, Brunate sustained 60% hail damage. As a result, Luca Currado opted not to bottle a Barolo Brunate. Yields are down about 25% across the board, so readers who are interested in these Barolos should snap them up before they disappear. Galloni
The 2016 Scaronne is a great way to test the quality of a vintage which is reportedly very special in advance of the release of the Baroli.
Pricing of the pre-arrival wines will increase by ~10% post arrival.
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 2014 base Langhe Nebbiolo, Perbacco, is an excellent wine, upon opening it required around 3 days to deliver it’s full potential. The 2014 Barolo Castiglione and Cru’s are receiving critical acclaim.
Where in the World is Vietti?
The Krause Family bought Vietti a couple of years back, leaving, Luca and the Family in full control of production, hence the name below.
The 2014 Vintage
Despite being one of the most complex vintages to manage in the vineyard, the favourable end to 2014 resulted in excellent quality. A mild winter and spring saw and early start to the season. Summer began with average temperatures, however rainfall was above average with some really significant rain events in late July leading to increased risk of fungal attacks. September and October were extremely positive with clear skies and good diurnal temperature shifts. Dolcetto was the most affected in terms of low yields and whilst less structured than 2013 show enticing aromatics and intense colour. Generally speaking the 2014 barberas show greater acid balance, firmer tannic structures and longer cellaring potential. Nebbiolo in 2014 shows great potential, with the best results coming from the most carefully managed vineyards with the sunniest aspects and well-drained soils. Patchy hail storms in Barolo did create some issues, whilst Barbaresco faired beautifully with a third of Barolo’s rainfall and no hail! The nebbiolo-based 2014s are elegant with excellent bouquets packed with minerally notes, and superb acids making them long-lasting. The 2014 vintage confirms how fundamental the end of the season is in affecting the final quality of the grapes and wines.
2014 Baroo: Surprise, Surprise – Vietti (FEB 2018) By Antonio Galloni
This is an absolutely phenominal set of wines from Vietti. The 2014s are every bit as magnificent as they have always been from barrel. The dual flagships Rocche di Castiglione and Ravera are superb, while the entry-level Barolo Castiglione does just as good a job of conveying the personality of the year. Sadly, Brunate sustained 60% hail damage. As a result, Luca Currado opted not to bottle a Barolo Brunate. Yields are down about 25% across the board, so readers who are interested in these Barolos should snap them up before they disappear.
2015 began with high levels of snow providing good water reserves. Combined with mild spring temperatures and various rain falls, bud break and flowering were early, followed by an excellent fruit set. From the second half of June throughout July, there was no rain and temperatures stabilized to above-average maximums. Fortunately the vineyards were not stressed thanks to the plentiful water reserves. In terms of quantity, production was average allowing for careful, targeted green harvesting with special care taken to ensure foliage was managed to provide good protection for the clusters. There was no disease pressure so preventative measures were not required. The white varieties were harvested between the end of August and mid-September and the excellent sugars were matched by wonderful acidity. The Dolcetto harvest began around the second week in September and the wines were aromatic, softer and deeply coloured. Barbera is the variety which perhaps most benefited from the 2015 season with the usually high acidity tempered by excellent ripe tannins, dense colours and richly flavoured fruit and body. Nebbiolo ripened perfectly, though slightly earlier than the last few years. The excellent quality of the tannins balanced by perfect acidity will certainly ensure elegant, long-lasting wines with good structure.
The 2016 Vintage
The 2016 vintage was one of the longest-lasting in recent years. Early winter was dry and mild, however from the end of February through March, the temperatures dropped with plenty of rain, providing good reserves of water. The “late” cold delayed the vegetative cycle, and spring proper also started wet with average daytime temperatures but low overnight minimums, helping retain good health. This phenological delay continued until the end of the summer, which began slowly but extended until the end of September. The white harvest ran from September 5th to 20th, with the wines showing excellent aroma and good acidity due to cooler summer temperature peaks. The red harvest began immediately after with Dolcetto, followed without a break to the middle of October with the Barbera and Nebbiolo. 2016 was a very good vintage for Dolcetto, but even more so for Barbera, which acquired excellent levels of sugar over a long period of stable conditions, while maintaining the varietal’s typically good acidity. Nebbiolo also achieved good phenological ripeness, a direct result of the perfect warm, sunny conditions of the second half of September. Whilst it is still early, the 2016 vintage wines display excellent balance, generous aromatics and great structure, and in some cases lower alcohols, compared to 2015. 2016 promises to be a vintage which will be talked about for a long time to come!
*We will only receive a few bottles of the Crus. 1st come 1st served. Following allocation, in late June you will be invoiced for 50% of the total. The balance payable when the wines are ready to ship.