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Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva 1990

Winemaker's Notes:

Bartolomeo Borgogno founded his winery in 1761; upon his death in 1794 his three sons took over control of the business, though only one, the youngest, Giacomo, persevered. When he was little more than a boy, Eugenio Giuseppe, born in 1827, took over from his father and signed a contract to provide wine to a boarding school for the sons of army officers (Esercito Sabaudo di Racconigi) in 1848. This was the first legal document in which the firm is cited, and, it turned out to play a fundamental role in the company's more recent history, for in 1955, the French Institute of Appellations filed a lawsuit filed seeking to block the further use of the name Borgogno because of its similarity to the French word Bourgogne. Those crazy French. The house was in grave danger, but the case was quashed thanks to Eugenio Giuseppe's foresight. In 1861 Borgogno Barolo was served at an official banquet presided over by Garibaldi celebrating the unification of Italy. More recently the wine appeared in one of the Godfather movies. Tradition is the watchword here. The wines can be unyielding in their infancy, and the various components tend to come together magically after about twenty years of snuggling in the cellar. Beauty is the beast. Typical vineyard practices would include green spring pruning, green harvesting to allow for better maturation of the remaining fruit and a final manual selection during harvest. The vinification is of the traditional method; crushing and de-stemming, fermentation on the skins with a long maceration that allows for best extraction of complex tannins and pigments that, together with alcohol and acidity, are fundamental factors for long aging. Fermentation takes place in tanks of reinforced cement. There are two key phases: firstly, a violent fermentation, during which the sugars are transformed into alcohol, lasting about 15-20 days. A cap is formed and immersed, pumped over twice daily, at a controlled temperature of 20-25 degrees celsius. Secondly, maceration with submerged cap; this follows violent fermentation in oak with the grape skins immersed in the newly formed wine. The duration of this phase is variable, lasting anywhere from a week to a month, according to the structural characteristics of the wine. An attentive and constant control of its evolution allows for optimal selection. Following fermentation, the wine is stored in other tanks and augmented with a light pressing of the grape skins. It remains in these tanks for about a week followed by a first decanting to remove the majority of lees that have formed. The wine is then transferred for a second resting period of about a month, after which a final decanting removes all the deposits and impurities of vinification. During this period the malolactic fermentation begins naturally, and is not induced; often this fermentation is interrupted by the cold weather and starts again to complete its natural cycle with the milder spring weather. A third transfer at the end of spring removes any deposits left by malolactic fermentation. The wine is racked once a year while aging in casks of Slavonian oak and non-toasted barriques of French oak ranging in size and age (never new) for a period ranging from two to four years according to the characteristics of the vintage.

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Bartolomeo Borgogno founded his winery in 1761; upon his death in 1794 his three sons took over control of the business, though only one, the youngest, Giacomo, persevered. When he was little more than a boy, Eugenio Giuseppe, born in 1827, took over from his father and signed a contract to provide wine to a boarding school for the sons of army officers (Esercito Sabaudo di Racconigi) in 1848. This was the first legal document in which the firm is cited, and, it turned out to play a fundamental role in the company's more recent history, for in 1955, the French Institute of Appellations filed a lawsuit filed seeking to block the further use of the name Borgogno because of its similarity to the French word Bourgogne. Those crazy French. The house was in grave danger, but the case was quashed thanks to Eugenio Giuseppe's foresight. In 1861 Borgogno Barolo was served at an official banquet presided over by Garibaldi celebrating the unification of Italy. More recently the wine appeared in one of the Godfather movies. Tradition is the watchword here. The wines can be unyielding in their infancy, and the various components tend to come together magically after about twenty years of snuggling in the cellar. Beauty is the beast. Typical vineyard practices would include green spring pruning, green harvesting to allow for better maturation of the remaining fruit and a final manual selection during harvest. The vinification is of the traditional method; crushing and de-stemming, fermentation on the skins with a long maceration that allows for best extraction of complex tannins and pigments that, together with alcohol and acidity, are fundamental factors for long aging. Fermentation takes place in tanks of reinforced cement. There are two key phases: firstly, a violent fermentation, during which the sugars are transformed into alcohol, lasting about 15-20 days. A cap is formed and immersed, pumped over twice daily, at a controlled temperature of 20-25 degrees celsius. Secondly, maceration with submerged cap; this follows violent fermentation in oak with the grape skins immersed in the newly formed wine. The duration of this phase is variable, lasting anywhere from a week to a month, according to the structural characteristics of the wine. An attentive and constant control of its evolution allows for optimal selection. Following fermentation, the wine is stored in other tanks and augmented with a light pressing of the grape skins. It remains in these tanks for about a week followed by a first decanting to remove the majority of lees that have formed. The wine is then transferred for a second resting period of about a month, after which a final decanting removes all the deposits and impurities of vinification. During this period the malolactic fermentation begins naturally, and is not induced; often this fermentation is interrupted by the cold weather and starts again to complete its natural cycle with the milder spring weather. A third transfer at the end of spring removes any deposits left by malolactic fermentation. The wine is racked once a year while aging in casks of Slavonian oak and non-toasted barriques of French oak ranging in size and age (never new) for a period ranging from two to four years according to the characteristics of the vintage.

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