John Paul Kaminga
Need to Know: Fratelli Alessandria 2016
When you walk into the cellars at Fratelli Alessandria, you can trace the growth of the facility by the changes in stonework, and you will not see decades of progress, but centuries. The winery we know today as Fratelli Alessandria was officially established in 1870, but the oldest parts of the cellars date back at least couple hundred years before that. These days the Alessandria family makes some of the best wines in Barolo, thus not just some of Italy's best, but arguably some of the world's best. We literally cannot get enough of their Barolo (the wines are allocated) and we always feel privileged to introduce these bottles to fans of Barolo. New shipments from Alessandria are always a delight, but since we've opened, no arrival has been more exciting than that of their 2016 Barolo. The 2016 vintage is superb in Piemonte, and Fratelli Alessandria offers an opportunity to experience the greatest heights the year has to offer. Do not miss these wines.
Fratelli Alessandria Barolo 2016 - $55
A blend of sites in Verduno, this offers a classic and elegant expression of Barolo, with gorgeous notes of diverse fruits, fresh roses, baking spice, mint, licorice, leather and mushrooms. Firm and tightly wound, this opened up nicely over the course of an evening. Certainly fun today, it would be best to lay this down for a few years. This will be worth following for a couple decades, at least.
Fratelli Alessandria Barolo San Lorenzo 2016 - $78
Not yet tasted. This is the most limited of the single-cru bottlings, and is usually the most earthy and savory. This is for the long haul.
Fratelli Alessandria Barolo Gramolere 2016 - $78
Not yet tasted. Gramolere is in Monforte d'Alba, and is the winery's only holding outside of Verduno. Often the winery's most fruity and exuberant Barolo in youth, typically featuring a gorgeous wild mint note. This wine will certainly be worth saving for a few decades, but we're quite tempted to try one soon.
Fratelli Alessandria Barolo Monvigliero 2016 - $98
Not yet tasted. With the 1978 vintage, Fratelli Alessandria was the first winery to feature Monvigliero on its own. They continue to lead the way with a classic rendition of this fabled cru, a site known for making some of the most perfumed and silky wines in all of Barolo. Year in and year out, Alessandria's Monvigliero is a stunner, but with a great vintage like 2016, you're looking at a future legend. We would recommend keeping this for at least 5 years, if not 10 or 20, before opening a bottle... we're nuts for Monvigliero, however, and might just try one before the end of the year!
....and don't forget about Alessandria's fabulous Langhe Nebbiolo, which they dub Prinsiot. It's 100% Barolo fruit from their estate vineyards and they make less than 1,000 cases. The 2018 vintage has arrived and it is the wine you need to have around so you can keep your hands off the Barolo. It features aromas of red cherry, raspberry, strawberry, licorice, roses, mushrooms and mint. On the palate it is at once firm and delicate; classic Nebbiolo grip contends with exuberant ripe fruit. This would trounce many a Barolo. Save it for up to 15 years. It's $25 per bottle, a steal.