The Elio Altare 2014 Barolo Arborina normally sees short skin maceration times (of about three days), but they were cut even shorter in this challenging vintage in order to preserve the primary fruit freshness of the wine. I was struck by the immediate and accessible quality of fruit here that seems very generous and open, even at this young stage. In fact, I have reduced the drinking window to about ten years as a result. The wine wraps thickly over the palate with ripe cherry and prune. The tannins are ripe and soft.
Elio Altare is a producer of Barolo in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. It is known for having introduced modern winemaking techniques to a traditional, old world region, and Elio Altare wines, made predominantly from the Nebbiolo grape variety, are famous for their richer style.
Elio Altare has 10 hectares (25 acres) in various vineyards around La Morra. These are mainly planted on calcareous marl soils known as Tortonian, and produce more opulent fruit than their eastern counterparts. In the cellar, the wines undergo a short fermentation in stainless steel before aging sur lie in small French oak barriques. This is quite different to the traditional aging of Barolo in large Slovenian oak casks. The resulting wines are more approachable in their youth than traditional Barolo. The winery produces a range of single-vineyard Barolos, including a Cannubi and a Brunate bottling. Elio Altare also produces a Dolcetto d'Alba and Barbera d'Alba, as well as a Langhe Rosso DOC.
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