Burlotto in 2010

Revisiting the Cellars of Commendatore G B Burlotto


As many of you know, I am a big fan of the wines of the village of Verduno. I was introduced to this small hamlet largely because of the wines that Fabio Alessandria has been making in modest cellars at Burlotto. While the premises and actual cellar may be modest -- and while we're at it, so is Fabio -- the wines are simply spectacular.

The wines of Verduno tend to be light and elegant as far as Piedmontese wines go, but they certainly don't lack for flavor, intensity, or balance. Fabio has been consistently crafting some of the finest wines of the region for several years now, and it is always a treat to visit him and take stock of the recent releases.

A tasting at Burlotto is a special experience. One not only gets to try the great Barolo of Burlotto -- single vineyard wines from the famous Crus of Monvigliero, from which Burlotto makes an iconic wine -- and Cannubi (one of the granddaddy's of all Barolo vineyards), but also inventive wines like the Elatis Rose, Freisa, and Veduno's own native daughter, Pelaverga.

The Author

Gregory Dal Piaz is a proponent and admirer of a broad range of wines and styles. During his decades of collecting and tasting he has discovered that a wine need not cost a fortune to drink well. Feel free to ask him questions at the Snooth Forums where he regularly engages with beginners and experts alike.
The wines from Burlotto really capture the style of Verduno. These are never forced, and have an elegance and ethereal tone to them. They rely as much on frangrance as power to grab the consumer's attention. I love the style: Bright, full of fresh acid, ripe with velvety tannins. I'm not sure how Fabio achieves this fine balance but the wines tend to burst with red fruit and yet have gentle spice notes and wonderful hints of herb and flowers that add remarkable complexity to these wines.

The winemaking style at Burlotto is firmly traditional, even if the barrels (big botti) are made of French oak. Fabio prefers French oak because he feels that they actually contribute less to the wines than comparable Slavonian oak barrels! In all other respects, these wines are made in as traditional a style as anyone's, and frankly, the results speak for themsleves.

I urge everyone to try these wines. They are classic examples of their types and have remained exceptionally affordable in a period when many wines of equal stature have soared in price. And as an added bonus, the style here, bright with juicy acidity and ripe tannins, make these wines wonderful food wines, and remarkably flexible at that. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. For additional information on Burlotto, please see my previous article on the great wines of Burlotto.

A thoughtful Fabio Alesandria (R) discussing the wines of Burlotto.

10 wines reviewed, after the jump.

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  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 5,000

    Thanks for another great closeup, Greg. I've had earlier vintages of the Cannubi and Monvigliero before, and these are, IMHO, great wines. I haven't had their rose, and from your description I'm wondering if its the kind of thing I look for in that style of wine. I will be keeping a lookout for the Pelaverga, though....

    On a separate note, when you talk about the 2006 Barolo you say: "Smells famine and slightly perfumy." Should I assume you mean *feminine*? ;-)

    Jul 06, 2010 at 4:36 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks so much.

    Yes indeed. Correction made! The Elatis is a lovely, very vibrant wine with just a hint of Residual sugar. It's a fun rose, and one well suited to casual drinking but it is a bit round. Not that there's not enough vibrant acidity to cut right through the hint of extra fruitiness.

    The Pelaverga on the other hand is electric!

    Jul 06, 2010 at 4:57 PM

  • Snooth User: cigarman168
    Hand of Snooth
    227923 333

    Gerg, thanks for your introduction to Burlotto. Its Barolo is excellent. So, you think Barolo 06 and others your mentioned are ready to drink now?

    Jul 07, 2010 at 12:54 AM

  • Gregory, you seem to be on an Italian roll with recent articles on Barolo and now Burlotto. My wife and I are planning a drive trip from our home in Kyiv to just north of the Piedmont during the first week of October - if lucky we may hit the harvest just right. As I've asked my old and very dear friend Bill Mosby at Mosby Winery in Buellton (Santa Ynez, CA) for his suggestion on what wineries to visit, I would ask the same of you.

    Bill has suggest checking in with Remo Falconieri the founder of the winery 'Azienda Agricola Cieck'. What about opportunities up in the Alto Adige Valley north of Verona and also down in Marche? Your thoughts please and thanks in advance.

    Jul 07, 2010 at 12:37 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Hey Mike, what is your route. I can make recommendations in Alto Adige, Trentino and Piedmonte. How much time will you be spending in each place?

    Jul 18, 2010 at 11:17 AM

  • Gregory:

    We have no particular route planned, just seeking advise on wineries. Our "base camp" is Valle d'Aosta to the north. We are staying at a private residence for two weeks and will make two or three trips down to the Piedmont region by car to visit specific wineries.

    Jul 18, 2010 at 12:44 PM

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