WHEN IS A NOT A BAROLO, A BAROLO?
by Andrew Chalk
When it is made by Enrico Serafino. The winery made Barolo before the DOCG boundaries were established and was grandfathered in as a Barolo producer when they were. Thus, the winery makes legitimate Barolo DOCG outside the DOCG area from grapes grown inside the DOCG area.
Aside from that curiosity, Enrico Serafino has many other interesting facets. It is 140 years old and located in Roero, part of Piemonte but not one of the best known areas. One of its discoveries was a sub-variety of Nebbiolo, named Picotener. Also known as ‘forgotten Nebbiolo’. They are the first producer to release it as a monovarietal. In the same theme, while Piemonte produces sparkling wine, Enrico Serafina broke with the usual choice of the muscat grape (Moscato) and made a Champagne style wine with pinot nero and chardonnay.
In other words, here we have an innovator, an iconoclast.
Enrico Serafino recently sent me three wines to try….
2017 Enrico Serafino ‘Grifo del Quartaro’ Gavi di Gavi DOCG
A classic white wine of Piemonte, Gavi di Gavi is made from the cortese grape. Gavi is the center of its production. The grapes for this wine were grown on slopes of marl, chalk, and clay. The wine undergoes no malolactic fermentation, is aged on the lees with regular batonnage and is aged in stainless steel. 6,500 cases produced.
2015 Enrico Serafino ‘Monclivio’ Barolo DOCG
The grapes for this wine came from 20-35 year old vines in three vineyards: Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, and Monforte d’Alba. The name Monclivio refers to the hills of Barolo that are covered with vineyards. It was not filtered and aged in barriques so it can be described as a Barolo in the modern style.
2017 Enrico Serafino ‘Picotener’ Langhe DOC
This is Enrico Serafino’s bottling of a sub-variety of Nebbiolo. The vineyards are located in Canale and Alba in soils of marine sediment, limestone, clay and sand. It was fermented with a submerged cap and aged 12 months in wood casks from 25-50hl. 500 cases produced