Alcohol Grade: 13%
Aging/ Vinification: Spontaneous fermentation in steel (a rarity in Barolo nowadays), with maceration on skins for 14 days; and then a 6-8 month elevage in steel tanks. 40 mg/ l total SO2 was added only after fermentation, while the wine was racked to botti grandi, and right before being bottled.
Aging Potential: 10 years or more.
Best to have it: 14-18ºC.
The Winery: Ferdinando Principiano
Ferdinando Principiano is one of the new crop of exciting young winegrowers to farm Piedmont’s Langhe hills. He graduated from Alba’s Scuola Viticole Umberto-1 in 1993, joining his father Americo at the Monforte d’Alba domaine following an apprenticeship at both Giacomo Conterno & Roberto Voerzio; the best of both worlds you could say.
Initially seduced by the ’90s fashion for making supped-up wines that ‘guaranteed’ 100 point scores in American magazines, Ferdinando changed direction in 2003 when he found that these same wines proved undrinkable, falling over with age.
Now the yields are not so low; the vineyards rich with wildlife; the roto-fermentors removed; his foot off the gas.
Boscareto, Le Coste, Pian Romualdo & Santa Anna are the key vineyards that make up the 10 hectare family estate, producing approx 35,000 bottles per annum of Dolcetto, Barbera & Nebbiolo wines. And since 2006 he has started producing approx. 150 cases/annum of Barolo from 0.5 hectare of Monforte’s prized Ravera vineyard.