2014 Fratelli Brovia Barolo 'unio'Nebbiolo from Italy
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""Unio" is the only Barolo produced by the Brovia’s for the 2014 vintage, composed of selected parcels in 2 Cru vineyards and a small amount of their Normale Barolo. Evaluatin...
- 92+ Antonio Galloni - Vinous
92+ Antonio Galloni - Vinous
"Just bottled, Brovia's 2014 Barolo is superb. Ample and broad on the palate, it is endowed with serious muscle and pure power. Lavender, mint, pine, plum, sage and a host of mineral and savory notes wrap around a core of plush dark blue/purplish fruit. The 2014 is a superb wine that may very well turn out to be even better than this note suggests."
""Unio" is the only Barolo produced by the Brovia’s for the 2014 vintage, composed of selected parcels in 2 Cru vineyards and a small amount of their Normale Barolo. Evaluating the 2014 Barolo “Unio” blind, one would be hard-pressed to declare it from anything less than a stellar vintage. Brovia’s late-round strategy of assembling one great wine paid off enormously, and the end result is not just good—it is shockingly gorgeous. The nose soars, laden with the beautiful, complex, almost philosophical spice of great Nebbiolo, and anchored by dark, savory fruits. “Unio” is a densely-boned fighter whose musculature makes up in definition what it lacks in size. The vintage’s lightness is felt not in any sense of dilution but in a sense of mesmerizing clarity—the kind of clear-eyed freshness that the heft of riper vintages sometimes masks. In the absence of excess flesh, the wine’s profound minerality is positively arresting, reading as chiseled and foundational rather than as an undertone or a grace note. Furthermore, the family’s remarkable feel for well-judged extraction is on full display here, as the tannins are as perfect as could be imagined—neither coerced past their natural potential nor buffed into insignificance. They are downright sexy tannins, in fact—the lower-lip bite at the end of a kiss that manages to be both tender and suggestive.
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." -Importer