2013 Fratelli Brovia BaroloNebbiolo from Italy
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"The Brovia family has acquired vineyard holdings since the estate’s founding in 1863 that profoundly voice the terroir of their zone in the village of Castiglione Falletto. T...
"The Brovia family has acquired vineyard holdings since the estate’s founding in 1863 that profoundly voice the terroir of their zone in the village of Castiglione Falletto. The base of this cuvee is sourced from the lower part of the “Brea” vineyard (roughly 60%) with the remaining portion coming from younger vines in “Garblet Sue,” “Villero,” and “Rocche.” Aged in large 70-hectoliter Slavonian oak, this wine is always the most approachable of their bottlings. That said, you might be surprised by the seriousness of this exceptional vintage. The fruit is silky, pure and compact, with a fresh, high-toned character. Quite structured, this wine shows a bit more tension and architecture than it normally does — it will be interesting to watch this wine develop over the next few years.
Since its inception, the Barolo has offered a stylish take on the Brovia approach to this appellation. There is never excess here, no attempt to showboat or to flaunt an image of power. Above all, balance is the key element in faithfully rendering a Barolo of great stature. You will find here the classic grainy tannins, the long, mineral-inflected finish, the aromas of late-summer roses and flavors of dried cherries. After a fermentation of approximately three weeks, the wine is aged for at least two years in a combination of large and medium-sized barrels of Slavonian and French origin. Annual production is in the neighborhood of 13,000 bottles of which 3000 are dedicated to the US market.
In 1863 Giacinto Brovia founded the Brovia estate in the village of Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of the Barolo district. The family has been continually engaged in the growing of grapes and the production of wine since that time. The phylloxera plague, economic upheaval and two wars interrupted production for almost 30 years but, in 1953, two brothers, Giacinto and Raffaele, grandchildren of the founder, resumed full-scale wine production. Giacinto, a trained enologist, was (and still is) responsible for the production of the wine while Raffaele, a trained agronomist, supervised the vineyard work. Sadly, Raffaele passed away in 2011 but two of Giacinto’s daughters, Cristina and Elena, are now completely engaged as the fourth generation, in the affairs of this family-run estate. Marina, Giacinto’s wife and mother of their children, is a brilliant cook and provider of wise counsel, and Alex Sanchez, husband of Elena, has joined the family enterprise. For our part, Rosenthal Wine Merchant has worked in close collaboration with the Brovia family for several decades, having made our first purchases in the exceptional 1978 vintage.
The Brovias, from generation to generation, have been conscientious buyers of some of the finest vineyard sites in this noble zone, concentrating their efforts in their home village of Castiglione Falletto and the neighboring Serralunga d’Alba. Brovia owns land in a variety of the best “cru” of Piedmont such as Rocche, Villero and Garblét Sue, all in Castiglione Falletto, as well as Brea in Serralunga. These different vineyard plots represent a range of soil types, from heavier clay to friable limestone. The Brovias are extremely conscientious winegrowers and farm organically in every sense of that word (without being formally certified). They perform soil analyses every two years to ensure that the elements are in equilibrium; pruning is done to limit harvest levels; and grape clusters are thinned, when necessary, in the summer. Harvest is done entirely by hand and usually begins in late September with the Dolcetto, Arneis and Barbera; of course, the Nebbiolo ripens later, and harvest for the various Baroli occurs normally in mid-October.
The Brovia wines are vinified in the classic style. Grapes are lightly crushed before going into the fermentation tanks. The length of the fermentation period depends on the grape variety but the Nebbiolo for various Barolo cuvées can extend as long as a month or more at temperatures between 28 and 30 degrees Celsius. The Baroli are aged for at least two years in 30 hectoliter barrels of Slavonian and French oak. The wines are then bottled without filtration and released to the market after an additional 18 to 24 months of bottle-aging. The cuvées of Dolcetto and Barbera are handled differently, with the Dolcetto being aged exclusively in stainless steel tanks and the Barbera in stainless with a portion of the Serralunga-based wine in smaller barrels (more detail is provided below)., with a portion going into French oak barrels for 9 – 10 months. The wines are bottled without filtration.
The Brovia estate encompasses 19.2 hectares with 55% of the production dedicated to Barolo, 25% in Dolcetto, 10% to Barbera and the remaining 10% produced from Arneis, Nebbiolo d’Alba and Freisa." -Importer