Emidio Pepe is one of Abruzzo’s reference-point producers. Before anyone else, Emidio strongly believed in the ageing potential of Trebbiano and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Since founding the winery in 1964, he dedicated all his energies to those two indigenous grape varietals, proving their incredible potential and showing it to the world. Whilst Emidio still keeps an eye on everyday business, the winery is now run by the second and third generation of the Pepe family with sisters Daniela and Sofia having taken charge in 1997. More recently, the dynamic Chiara de Iulis Pepe has joined the estate!
Situated in the northernmost part of Abruzzo. the estate cultivates a little over 14 hectares of vines of Montepulciano, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and a little Pecorino. Since the very beginning, organic and artisanal methods have been carefully followed in both the vineyard and cellar.
Picking is exclusively done by hand to insure that only perfect grapes are selected. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is de-stemmed manually and the whites grapes are crushed by foot in a wooden vat. Only the juice goes to ferment in small concrete tanks, where spontaneous fermentation will start and last around 30-35 days. From concrete, the unfiltered wine will go straight into bottle to start their long bottle ageing. Before the release of any bottle of more than 10 years of age, will be re-opened and decanted by hand to sediment and to check the quality. When rebottled, the year of the decantation will be indicted on the new cork.
The resulting white wines are golden hued, balanced and complex, with hints of nuts, hay, and yellow fruit. The Montepulciano bears little relation to most other wines of this appellation; they are big, bold, and filled with the intense flavors of dried black cherries, licorice and wild herbs. These are some of the most age worthy and unique wines in Italy!
Elio Sandri - Cascina Disa
Few vignerons are as down to earth and as brilliant as Elio Sandri. Meeting him has been a seminal moment for us, not unlike meeting Emmanuel Reynaud of Chateau Rayas. Sandri and Reynaud are both people who shun the limelight, and want to be kept away from the world of money and fame so that they can focus entirely on the task at hand: producing the greatest wines possible. Elio Sandri therefore might well be the greatest Italian winemaker you have never heard of.
Located in Monforte d’Alba, Cascina Disa was set up in 1965, by Sandri’s father. Since 2000 Elio has been running the winery and started making wines that have their very own identity: They are extremely perfumed, elegant and yet have plenty of richness and joie de vivre just like Elio himself. He is someone who likes to play with different ageing vessels. In a hot vintage like 2015, he will partially use concrete vats to age the Baroli so as to give them more structure and freshness. In cooler vintages, he might place them longer in wooden botti. Thus, he is unique in Barolo, and somewhat reminds us of Henri Bonneau, who was an absolute master of long-term elevage. Sandri, however, pushes things even further still. He aged a part of his finest Barolo Riserva from the brilliant 2013 vintage entirely in concrete for close to seven years. The resulting wine is an unforgettable combination of purity and precision that we have hardly ever seen in any young Barolo.
This is just an example of the perfectionist approach that dictates everything Sandri does. Production here is tiny, as the estate produces no more than 10,000 bottles of wine a year, and we are extremely grateful to be able to be allocated a part of these for China.
Barolo Perno Vigna Disa Riserva
Barolo Perno Riserva
Barbera d’Alba Superiore
Located in the village of Verduno, at the northern tip of the Barolo Appellation, Fratelli Alessandria was founded at the beginning of 19th century. Today the owner Gian Battista together with his wife Flavia, his brother Alessandro and his son Vittore proudly carry on their ancestors' tradition and passion for wine making.
The family’s 12 hectars of vineyards are located in Verduno and Monforte d’Alba, with a focus on Nebbiolo; other grape varieties include Dolcetto, Barbera and the rare Pelaverga, a grape native to Verduno and grown only in the region. White grape varieties include Favorita and Chardonnay.
Local soils are called “marne di Sant’Agata,” a mix of sand and clay with a high proportion of limestone, unique to Verduno. Vineyards are farmed according to organic practices, but the estate is not certified. The winemaking here is resolutely traditional: the grapes are harvested by hand, de-stemmed and fermented with indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in the family’s 19th-century underground cellar in old Slavonian and French oak casks (20-40HL).
Vittore Alessandria’s wines have quickly risen to the top of the qualitative pyramid in Barolo, with numerous critics and winemakers naming them as one of the most promising estates for the future. Their holdings include some of the finest crus of the region and with carefully monitored winemaking practices this will most definitely become one of the region’s finest producers over the next years!
Barolo Gramolere DOCG
Barolo Monvigliero DOCG
Verduno Pelaverga Speziale DOCG