Castiglione Falletto, Piedmont
Time has always marched to a different beat at Cavallotto. One of the things I enjoy most about visiting this property is the absolute calm and relaxed pace here. Cavallotto remains somewhat of an anomaly in Piedmont. Up until recently the estate was off the radar screens of all but the most devout Barolo aficionados. The 1990s boom seemed to have passed this winery by. I remember seeing plenty of 1996 and 1997 Barolos still available for sale a few years ago, including a significant number of large format bottles, long after those vintages had disappeared from other producers’ cellars. Perhaps that is because Cavallotto releases their flagship Riservas later than what has become the norm these days.
Alfio Cavallotto and I recently sat down in New York to survey a selection of the winery’s Barolos encompassing a broad range of vintages. According to Cavallotto the estate is less well-known because historically his family preferred to focus on the quality of the wines, and consequently some of the more commercial aspects of the business weren’t given as much importance. As a result the wines remain some of the most reasonably priced Barolos on the market. Cavallotto is also one of a very small number of Barolo producers with a collection of older vintages. Over the last year or so the estate has gradually been re-releasing wines from their extensive library. These bottles offer wine lovers the rare opportunity to taste wines from historic vintages with perfect provenance. I am told that most of the re-releases will end up in restaurants. Readers who have the opportunity to drink these lovingly cared for Barolos are in for a treat. As delicious as the older wines are, Cavallotto’s newer releases are just as noteworthy, as this tasting amply demonstrated. In time they too will offer just as much, if not greater, pleasure.
The Cavallotto winery is located in Castiglione Falletto, the town that is geographically in the center of the Barolo zone. The wines of Castiglione often show an intriguing combination of the floral qualities that are the hallmarks of La Morra and the greater structure, power and age-worthiness that are typical of the Barolos of Monforte and Serralunga. The estate’s largest holdings are in the Bricco Boschis vineyard, which lies just north of Monprivato. Bricco Boschis is divided into three sub-plots; Punta Marcello, Colle Sud-Ovest and Vigna San Giuseppe. Punta Marcello is the highest portion of the vineyard. During the 1970s and 1980s the fruit from Punta Marcello was used almost exclusively for large format bottlings. Despite its name, Colle Sud-Ovest actually has a due south, rather than southwest, exposure. It is the warmest microclimate of the hill. The wines from this part of the vineyard have proven to be more accessible when young, with softer tannins and a shorter aging curve. Vigna San Giuseppe is the heart of the vineyard and yields structured, age-worthy Barolos. Many of the vines are quite old and therefore the exact nature of the clones that are planted is not entirely known. Cavallotto believes that these old clones are just as important as the differences in soils in terms of explaining the unique qualities of the individual parcels.
In 1967 Cavallotto started using the vineyard name Bricco Boschis on their label, although previous vintages were made exclusively from this vineyard as well. In 1970 the estate began bottling the Punta Marcello, Colle Sud-Ovest and Vigna San Giuseppe sub-plots as three distinct Riservas. Deciphering the labels of the 1970s and 1980s Barolos is no easy task. The front labels typically indicate the broader “Bricco Boschis” designation while the exact sub-plot information is only visible on the rear label, a choice which understandably led to much confusion. The decision to abandon three Riservas from the Bricco Boschis vineyard was taken in the early 1990s when the estate decided to replant significant portions of the Punta Marcello and Colle Sud-Ovest plots. Today the old and young vine fruit from those plots is used for the entry-level Barolo Bricco Boschis, which also sees an addition of 10-30% of Vigna San Giuseppe fruit, depending on the vintage. Vigna San Giuseppe is vinified and aged separately as a Riserva. A second Barolo Riserva, from the Vignolo vineyard, also in Castiglione Falletto, was added to the line-up in 1989.
(extracted from Wine Advocate)
|Wine Barolo Docg Vignolo Riserva||Region Piedmont||Vintage 2010||Unit 0.75lt||Price/unit 105.00€|
|Tipe Red WA - WS 95 Avail 9||INFO BUY|
|Wine Barolo Docg Bricco Boschis||Region Piedmont||Vintage 2012||Unit 0.75lt||Price/unit 54.90€|
|Tipe Red WA 92 WS - Avail 3||INFO BUY|
|Wine Langhe Nebbiolo Doc||Region Piedmont||Vintage 2014||Unit 0.75lt||Price/unit 19.50€|
|Tipe Red WA 90 WS 86 Avail 2||INFO BUY|