by Paolo Repetto / 01 October 2015
Cavallotto, the deep Barolo Cannubi Boschis
Although in October the Langhe region can bless us with charming sunny days, today has been the common autumnal one, marked by a gray sky threatening the workers who were harvest in the last grapes left in Bricco Boschis vineyard. Cavallotto’s crop too is supposed to be exceptional, thanks to the climate in the last months. Though all the operations taking place in the cellar and in the vineyard proceed promptly, Alfio Cavallotto gave me part of his journey as a gift to tell his family and estate’s story. We spent an hour admiring the Bricco Boschis vineyard, which lies just north of Monprivato and is totally owned by his family.
The optimal exposure facing both southwest and southeast, in addition to due south, creates a microclimate perfect for grapes ripening thanks to the amphitheatre orographic shape.
From 1970 the three well- exposed sub-plots of Bricco Boschis have been bootled as three distinct Riservas: San Giuseppe, Colle Sud Ovest (the downward rows), Punta Marcello (those high up). In 1995, a decision was made to blend the wines from Punta Marcello and Colle Sud Ovest so as to gurantee a bigger production to be sold abroad, and above all, to best enhance the Vigna San Giuseppe plot alone.
We entered the winery through a secondary door close to a small olive tree. Indeed, the Cavallottos produce around 100 litres of sublime olive oil each year for personal consumption (but I agreed on with Alfio to barter some bottle of the excellent one my family craft in Sardinia!). The typical harvest-time flavors pervaded the wine cellar while the winemakers were intent on collecting the grapes just picked and carried there. We did not bother too much their work and, after a brief visit to the aging cellar where only big casks may be found, we got comfortable in the tasting room.
“How many wines would you like to taste?”, Alfio asked me. “Only a couple”, I answered him, but my will did not convince him, in fact I had the pleasure to taste several stunning wines.
At first, I had a taste of the last vintage of the two whites in the lineup, the Pinner 2014, made with Pinot Noir vinified white, and the other one from Chardonnay. The Pinner is an un common wine displaying an unusual purity, being dry, clear and round in the palate, with strawberry and raspberry notes. Its label made me realize that the ‘Vino da Tavola’ caption had been suppressed, ‘Vino’ had took its place.
The Barbera d’Alba Superiore Vigna del Cuculo 2012 has a deep colour, with a rich texture and typical notes of spice, plum and cherry.
The Langhe Nebbiolo 2012, matured for 18 months in big Slovenian oak cask, is a little Barolo.
Cherry and wild herbs meld with its fierce nature. Silky and grippy tannins carry to a balsamic after-taste. The just-released Barolo Bricco Boschis 2011 is highly elegant brushing the senses with a sequence of resin, tar, licorice, cherry, plum and blackberry. Its velvety power and strenght stand perfectly for Cavallotto’s style. An epitome of its vintage.
Lastly, I tasted the Barolo Riserva Vigna San Giuseppe 2008, a classical vintage for authentic Barolo lovers. All its strenght bang into the nose, with dark ripe fruit, tar, mint, pine tree resin opening a countless multitude of balsamic and spicy flavors. It is living now its childhood, a prelude to an evolution taking it to be terrific.
After the tasting we had a nice lunchtime at Locanda del Centro in Castiglione Falletto. Alfio is really an exquisite person able to soulfully convey his land and wines. Time went quickly, to a good piedmontese sparkling and the lovely Oddero’s Nebbiolo, talking about the school we both attended (the famed Oenological School in Alba), football and his beloved team, Torino Football Club (simply known as ‘Toro’). As soon as we had a coffee, some drops of rain began to fall, therefore I left Alfio letting him free to come back to his rows, hoping the grape-pickers had finished yet their daily work. We pledge each other to meet soon with Vinifera’s new store opening in Alba, where Cavallotto’s wines will always hold a special place along with the world’s best ones.
Thank you Alfio, and... Go Toro ;-)
Founder of Vinifera, since 2005 he works in the international business of fine wines.
In 2017 he founded Italian Wine Asset, the first Italian specialised entity for consulting on buying and selling Vineyards and Wineries.