The Brezza family own 12.5 hectares of vines split between the commune of Barolo (in Cannubi, Castellero and Sarmassa), the two-hectare Santa Rosalia estate just outside the Barolo DOCG zone between Diano d’Alba and the town of Alba itself, and two further plots in Monforte d’Alba and Novello. Throughout the vineyards, the family practices an environmentally friendly approach to viticulture and the estate has been certified organic since the 2015 vintage. In the cellar, winemaker Enzo Brezza follows a traditional approach with minimal intervention. In order to maintain freshness and purity, many of the wines are bottled with glass Vinolok closures.
High rainfall during the winter restoring the soil’s water supply, which had diminished due to the dry 2017. Spring saw ‘classic’ weather with low temperatures, and bud break, flowering and berry set were all regular. Challenging weather at the end of May with high rainfall and storms required vigilance in the vineyard. A warm summer, with fine weather from mid-July onwards ensured excellent grape maturity in 2018.
The grapes come from a tiny, single vineyard called Vigna Santa Rosalia, which is located around the town of Alba. Planted in 1952, it covers 0.88 hectares and has been organically farmed since 2010. Situated at 300 metres’ elevation, the vines are planted at a density of 4,630 vines per hectare and have a westerly orientation, capturing the afternoon sunshine. The Barbera vines are from rootstock K5BB and are Guyot pruned and espalier trained. They are carefully cultivated by hand, with green harvesting and thinning taking place to control yields and increase the concentration of flavour in the grapes. Green manure is employed to enhance the vitality of the soil and the cuttings from the grass cover crops are left on the soil, to help increase the nutrient value. In accordance with organic viticulture, copper and sulphur are used when necessary; herbicides and pesticides are not employed. Harvest takes place by hand at optimum maturity.
The selected grapes were destemmed, crushed and placed in stainless steel tanks where fermentation took place at controlled temperatures not exceeding 26°C. Maceration lasted for seven days, then the wine was pressed off the skins. It was then transferred to another stainless steel tank where it underwent malolactic conversion at 18°C. The wine was made without the influence of oak and was aged for eight months in a combination of stainless steel tanks and cement vats. The wine was made organically, with the minimal addition of sulphur and was cellared for 12 months’ bottle ageing prior to release.
A vibrant and fruity red wine with enticing aromas of cherries and wild red-berried fruits, which are echoed on the fresh and juicy palate and a delicate hint of spice on the finish.
• 16 Points, Jancis Robinson, 2021