Scarzello Barolo

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2013 Scarzello Barolo (Nebbiolo). Italy, 750ml


One rarely hears of Scarzello in Barolo, though they have been producing superb wines for quite sometime. They release their wines late and out of the market sync - the media move on too quickly to care about wines that "should" have been released two or three years ago...Still, fermentation is in cement tanks using ambient yeast, maceration is long, and the wines are aged in botte grande and then again in the bottle before release.

This diminutive, traditional, Barolo domaine owns a mere five and a half hectares, nearly half of which are in Sarmassa, one of the region’s top crus located between Cannubi and Cerequio. Sarmassa delivers wines that are aromatically enticing, bursting with juicy sweet red fruits and irresistible silky textures.

Today the winery has five and a half hectares planted to Nebbiolo, including 2.5 hectares devoted to the production of Barolo, 2 hectares in the famed Sarmassa cru of Barolo, and another half hectare in Terlo and Paiagallo, both highly coveted sites.

Federico uses spontaneous fermentation, traditional long maceration and large cask aging (he even has a few from Stockinger) — the hallmarks of traditional-style Barolo — to make these elegant and long-lived wines. The estate’s top label, the Barolo Sarmassa Vigna Merenda, can spend up to 30 months in 25-30 hectoliter Slavonian cask

This traditional estate is now fast on the rise. The vines may be young, averaging just above twenty years old, but they are in good health and planted densely to lower yields. Federico recently bought a plot of 100 year old Nebbiolo, not a prime site, but the plant material was of the high quality Michet clone. He intends to use cuttings of this for future replantings.
The wines are fermented with wild yeast and undergo long elevage before a further three years ageing in bottle. Scarzello’s wines demand time and are usually released at least a year or two later than those of their peers. In fact, further to that, Federico releases the wines when he feels they are ready and not in succession.

The wines are full to the brim of site specific character, charm, and power in equal measure. Federico’s work hails the re-birth of a great, traditional Barolo estate.
If you are a fan of traditionally made Baroli from great terroir then these are the promised land, they are very special indeed.