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.
Mild temperatures and low rainfall in winter encouraged an early start to the vegetative cycle. However, temperatures dropped during March, slowing the vine’s progress. Summer experienced low average temperatures, due to low overnight minimums, resulting in slow but steady phenological development. The 2016 vintage produced aromatic red wines with excellent balance and great structure.
The 1.4 hectare vineyard in the prestigious Cru of Cannubi was planted in 1994 with further plantings in 2003, and has been organically farmed since 2010. A well-respected vineyard area since 1752, it is in Cannubi that two of the four important geological formations which characterise the area of Barolo merge: the Sant’Agata Fossil Marl, comprising mainly fine silty and clay sediment; and the Diano Sandstone, which consists of compact sand alternating with grey sandstone. The vineyard’s soil composition is silt 39.5%, sand 36.9% and clay 23.6%. The Guyot-pruned vines are planted with a south-easterly orientation and are planted at 250 metres’ elevation. The vines are Lampia and Michet clones, which are grown on rootstocks K5BB and 420A. Planted at a density of 3,700 vines per hectare, they are carefully cultivated by hand, with green harvesting and thinning to control yields and increase the flavour concentration. In accordance with organic viticulture, copper and sulphur are used when necessary; herbicides and pesticides are not employed. Manually harvested.
This wine was made organically with minimal sulphur. The must was fermented followed by maceration lasting a further 10 to 15 days, where it underwent frequent pump-over to submerge the cap, extracting colour, flavour and tannins. The wine was racked and underwent malolactic conversion in cement vats at 18°C. The wine was then transferred to Slavonian oak barrels of 15 to 30 hectolitres, where it matured for 24 months. The wine was bottled, numbered (only around 9,000 were produced) and cellared for one year at 15°C prior to release.
A wine of great charm and impressive structure, offering intense notes of wild berries, cassis and delicate highlights of herbs, violets, liquorice and dried ginger. Elegant, with a long, smooth finish.
• 96 Points, Wine Enthusiast, 2020
• 92 Points, The Wine Advocate, 2021
• 92 Points, Robert Parker, 2021
• 17+ Points, Jancis Robinson, 2021