Fratelli Alessandria Barolo San Lorenzo 2005, DOCG
I don’t like categories. Well, no, that’s not quite true, actually… what I don’t like is the way categories are often applied.
Categories are tools for organizing, not for describing.
Misuse = instant homogenization.
I do like when the greatness of a thing resists categorization: J.S. Bach’s Sonata No.1 Adagio; Michelangelo’s Pieta; a poem of Pablo Neruda.
Add to that list –> Fratelli Alessandria’s Barolo San Lorenzo 2005.
NOTE: technically speaking, the list should also include a Balinese girl I met at the seashore during the summer I was 17 years 😉
Existing in a realm insufficiently described by terms like traditional or modern, Fratelli Alessandria Barolo San Lorenzo is pure soul floating across a timeline of taste, some ageless liquid prayer.
Owned by the Battista family, Fratelli Alessandria is located in the municipality of Verduno in Italy’s Piedmont and consists of approximately 12 hectares. The estate makes about 250 cases per year of its single cru Barolo San Lorenzo. The wine is made of 100% Nebbiolo from 20 year old vines of southern exposure grown in calcareous slimy limestone at 300m altitude.
Fermentation takes place over 12-15 days, followed by 6 – 10 months in 500 litre French oak barrels, then 16 – 20 months in 20 – 30 hectolitre oak casks, 3 months in stainless steel tanks and at least 12 months in horizontally laid bottles. Bottled in the summer 33 months after harvest.(1)
Tasting Notes / Impressions
Ruby red with chromatic curves of garnet. An aromatic polyphony of scents dangles in time and space: smoke, tar, violets, hints of burnt orange, dark caramel. Quiet complexity slowly unravels itself in the glass, bringing additional notes of coffee, anise, spice, earthy mushroom, awakening in me a perception of non-linear time, wordless terrestrial language. On the palate, impressions of rich, yet unimposing fruit marry beautifully to matching tannins. Finishes long with sensual, soft intensity.
The wine will please modernists [ that’s organization, not description 😉 ] with its good measure of fruit and will win over traditionalists with firm tannins and good structure. All will appreciate the wine’s superb all-round balance.
Food Pairing Suggestions:
MEATS: generally speaking, rich meats, casseroles and stews are the name of the game, BUT, especially good will be: rack of lamb; beef tenderloin; veal cutlets stuffed with Fontina cheese; roast duck; if you like Asian flavors, do try this wine with Beijing Duck! PASTA: agnolotti / ravioli stuffed with beef, pork, or rabbit; VEGETARIAN: tortelli or ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and amaretti cookie crumbs, scented with nutmeg; wide egg pasta served with creamy gorgonzola- porcini mushroom sauce; herb risotto, using a mix of majoram, rosemary, basil, chives, parsley, sage, tarragon, served with butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese; or radicchio risotto cooked with a small glass of the Barolo added, serve as above.
1, from Fratelli Alessandria website