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Fratelli Alessandria

A selection 2012, 2014 and 2015 Barolo (and a Barbera) from a wonderful producer in Piedmont - notes from Antonio Galloni attached:

Fratelli Alessandria is a wine estate in Piedmont, in the Northwest of Italy. It was founded at the start of the 19th century and in the hands of the Alessandria family since 1870. The estate is focused on Nebbiolo grape variety under the Barolo DOCG, but also produces a range of wines from other local grape varieties including Dolcetto and Barbera.

The estate covers 30 acres of land in Verduno and Monforte d'Alba. There are a total of nine different vineyard plots with a variety of different terroirs. From these vineyards, Fratelli Alessandria produces a selection of Barolo wines, including three single-cru expressions, from the Monvigliero, San Lorenzo and Gramolere vineyards.

Antonio Galloni:

Fratelli Alessandria is one of Piedmont's under the radar jewels. Alessandria make compelling, classically-built wines from estate vineyards in Verduno and Monforte d'Alba. In 2012, the straight Barolo and the Gramolere are particularly of note. Best of all, the wines remain very reasonably priced by today's standards. Readers who enjoy structured, age-worthy Barolos won't want to be without these wines.

Vittore Alessandria's 2014 Barolos are coming along nicely. I tasted them in the summer of 2017 and then a few months later, just before they were scheduled to be bottled. The 2014s saw about 22 days on the skins and were aged in cask. Production of the vineyard designates is down by around 20% across the board, with the exception of the San Lorenzo, which Alessandria decided was better added to the straight Barolo than bottled on its own. In a world in which Barolo prices are going through the roof, Alessandria delivers serious quality for the money.

Fratelli Alessandria's 2014 Barolos have turned out beautifully. In 2014, Alessandria did not bottle a San Lorenzo Barolo, but instead used the fruit to bolster the entry-level wine. All three Barolos in this range are terrific and will appeal to readers who enjoy traditionally-made wines. Pricing remains very fair given the quality of what is in the bottle.

Vittore Alessandria's 2015 Barolos are quite attractive. Alessandria explained that rain early in the season gave the vines enough water to avoid hydric stress later in the year. Interestingly, tannin levels are close to those of 2010, the most structured vintage ever made here, although the wines don't really come across that way. The 2015s saw 25 days on the skins and were aged in cask. I tasted them just prior to bottling.

2014 Barbera d'Alba Superiore 'Priora'
£120 per 12 x 75cl UB

2012 Barolo
£176 per 6 x 75cl UB

Vinous 92 points - Antonio Galloni

Fratelli Alessandria Alessandria's 2012 Barolo is pure class. Floral, lifted and gracious, the 2012 can be enjoyed young or cellared. Sweet red cherry, strawberry, cinnamon, rose petal and mint are woven together in a fabric of total finesse. Weightless and gracious from start to finish, the 2012 is flat-out delicious. The 2012 is 80% Verduno fruit (from Riva Rocca, Rocca dell'Olmo, Neirane, Campasso and Bosco, plus younger vine fruit from Gramolere, the family's vineyard in Monforte). In 2012, the straight Barolo is the hidden gem in the lineup. Don't miss it.

Drinking window: 2018 - 2032

2014 Barolo
£174 per 6 x 75cl UB

Vinous 91+ points - Antonio Galloni

Now with a few months in bottle, Alessandria's 2014 Barolo is a real powerhouse. Smoke, scorched earth, tobacco, menthol, licorice and wild cherry all convey an impression of gravitas, as this potent, muscular Barolo shows off its personality. The 2014 has quite a bit of density and richness at this level. I won't be surprised if it turns out even better than this note suggests. There is so much going on here.

Drinking window: 2019 - 2024

2015 Barolo
£185 per 6 x 75cl UB
£215 per 3 x 1.5L UB

Vinous 89 points - Antonio Galloni

Fratelli Alessandria's 2015 Barolo makes for a very fine introduction to the vintage at this address. Macerated dark cherry, leather, cedar, tobacco and spice give the 2015 lovely shades of nuance. Best of all, the 2015 will drink well right out of the gate. This is such a pretty and expressive md-weight Barolo that really hits all the right notes for a wine in its peer group. Another year or two in bottle will only help the tannins soften.

Drinking window: 2020 - 2030

2014 Barolo Gramolere
£285 per 6 x 75cl UB

Vinous 94 points - Antonio Galloni

Alessandria's 2014 Barolo Gramolere is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel, and every bit as potent, too. Huge swaths of tannin give the 2014 its shape and overall structure, with the deeply spiced, mentholated, balsamic notes that are so typical of this site. Readers will have to be patient, but the 2014 is a jewel of a wine.

Drinking window: 2022 - 2039

2015 Barolo Gramolere
£290 per 6 x 75cl UB

Vinous 92 points - Antonio Galloni

The 2015 Barolo Gramolere is powerful and dense in the glass, with a good bit of richness but also less of the tension that is such a signature for wines from this site in Monforte. Cedar, sweet tobacco, pine, mint, dried cherry, licorice and dried flowers develop with air, adding attractive layers of complexity. Overall, the 2015 looks like it will drink well relatively early.

Drinking window: 2022 - 2035

2014 Barolo Monvigliero
£360 per 6 x 75cl UB

Vinous 94 points - Antonio Galloni

The 2014 Barolo Monvigliero has really tightened up after its recent bottling. Today, what comes through is an unusually potent, virile expression of Monvigliero, rather than the more aromatic, perfumed style that is typical of both this site and wine. Readers should expect a brooding, classically austere Barolo that is going to need a number of years to unwind.

Drinking window: 2024 - 2044 

2015 Barolo San Lorenzo di Verduno
£270 per 6 x 75cl UB

Vinous 92 points - Antonio Galloni

The 2015 Barolo San Lorenzo di Verduno is a powerful, muscular wine, and yet it also has a sense of translucence that is hugely appealing. Iron, smoke, blood, leather, tobacco and incense give the San Lorenzo a distinctly feral, wild quality. I expect the 2015 will always remain a bit rustic in feel, but it certainly has plenty of character, as well as the structure to develop well for a number of years.

 Drinking window: 2022 - 2035


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