Elio Altare Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
Below the hilltop town of La Morra and above Annunziata, lay the 5 hectares that make up the Altare Vineyard, which has been planted and maintained by the family since 1948. After a trip to Burgundy in the 1970s, Elio returned with new visions of modernizing the family winery--which meant replacing the large aging barrels with smaller French barriques. His father did not share his vision, and the tension culminated when Elio took a chainsaw to his father’s old barrels. He was banned from the winery until his father’s death in 1985. Since he has regained control, he has implemented organic agriculture, the use rotary fermenters and short macerations and he has employed small barriques for aging. Elio’s focus is on simple and natural wines without chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides.
Since 2006 we heard whispers of a new Altare wine that remained super-top secret. This particular new wine was rumored to be on the value side of things, and from the most coveted variety that Altare cultivates: Nebbiolo. Only 800 cases are produced annually from two dedicated vineyard sources. The first is a half hectare on the north facing slope next to the cantina in Annunziata La Morra, and the other is about a hectare in Monforte, just outside of the Ginestra cru. The vines in both are about ten years old, and both are classified to produce Langhe Nebbiolo. The wine does a short fermentation-maceration of 3/4 days, and then is aged in used barriques for six months.
A delicate wine with fresh aromas of rose petals, red fruits and herbs. Fresh and juicy with notes of strawberry and sour cherry. The Langhe is medium bodied wine that has nice soft integrated tannins that lead to a long mineral finish.