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CRISSANTE ALESSANDRIA
In La Morra

We had seen this label while in the Langhe over the years and included a bottle of their 1997 Barolo in one of our blind-tastings.

The wine was a wild hit with the "old timers" and a dud with those new to Barolo.  

Being an "old timer" (or dinosaur, if you prefer), I was charmed by this wine.  Here was the textbook fragrance of earth, tar and dried roses!!!  

While visiting Piemonte in February of 2003, I made it my mission to stop at this winery to learn what makes their Barolo so enchanting.



Old man Alessandria started to make his own wines back in 1958 when he was in his mid-30's.  Today the estate comprises about 4.5 hectares of vines and they produce less than 20,000 bottles annually.

Michele and his brother Roberto run the show today, though I met "dad" who was out pruning the vines on the day of my visit.


Michele was eager to show off their wines and we tasted some very good bottles.
I had really liked their "Roggeri" bottling in our blind-tasting at the shop and his 1996 was the highlight of my visit.  Much like the 1997, this is a "bomba!"


An old bottle of Barolo on display in their tasting room.



A look out the window at some vines in La Morra.


Though they make rather "traditionally-styled" Barolo wines, there's an element of modernity in the cellar.


While some Barolo producers are using small French oak barrels for maturing their wines, Alessandria uses a larger format so as not to have too much wood showing in their wines.


Michele Alessandria produces a special red wine made of Barbera grown north of the Langhe in Monferrato.  It's called "Rug," a reference to their being headquartered in the "Roggeri" area of La Morra.  "Roggeri" is Piemontese dialect for "Rug," or 'rouge' in French.
Rug is made from 58 to 80 year old Barbera vines and it's matured in small French oak, half of the barriques being brand new.
Curiously, the vineyard, which they purchased in 1989, is quite densely planted, despite it being an old vineyard!







The Capalot vineyard up on the hill above the winery.


Crissante and Michele Alessandria.



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