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2010 Could Be The
Finest Vintage For Piedmont Ever
Single Vineyard Barbera dâ€™Alba
From My Friend
Last week I sat down with one of my
favorite winemakers in Piedmont Cladio Viberti, tasted though his great wines
and his 2010 Giovanni Viberti Barbera dâ€™Alba
Superiore â€śBricco Airoli absolutely floored me. The length, the
purity of fruit, the depth was spectacular. The 2010 vintage for Piedmont is
spectacular. Italy in 2010 had an exceptional vintage. One of the greatest
ever! Parkerâ€™s WA has hailed the vintage as one of the greatest ever.
Spectator, Suckling and Galoni have also given huge praise, "In my view, 2010 will go down as one of the great
The wines show beautifully delineated aromatics, punchy fruit and vibrant,
mouth-watering acidity." Other comments include, "Exceptional"
and "one of the greatest" Claudio shared with me how they get
such deep concentration in this wine. In the month of August they remove
bunches of grapes (see picture) , leaving each vine with only one bunch of
grapes that is allowed to fully ripen. This stresses the plant and it puts all
its energy into that one bunch to ripen as perfectly as possible. When you add
a great vintage to this mix where nature also co-operates, the results can be
absolutely brilliant like they are in this wine. Claudio uses steamed vertical
oak to age his wines resulting in wines that display there superb fruit and
sense of place, accentuated by the oak but not dominated. The results in this
case are superb. I loved this wine and I am sure you will too.
The Viberti (â€śvee-behr-teeâ€ť) winery was established in the early 1900's when
Antonio Giuseppe Viberti purchased "Al Buon Padre", a small Inn with
a trattoria (a place to eat) and farmhouse in a district town of Barolo. In
1967, Antonio's son Giovanni (pictured) supported by his wife, Maria, assumed
the responsibility of running the family business. Over the decades since, the
farmhouse has been converted into a state-of-the-art winery along with a
quaint, nine room Inn. The trattoria has remained in full operation and is
considered as one of the best within the town, offering their own exquisite
Today at Viberti, Claudio, the
youngest son, represents the third generation to run the family business.
Claudio is directly committed to the wine making process using his know-how,
which has been passed down through the generations. The winery currently has
annual production of 70K bottles, a number that continues to grow in part to
its motivated young staff who are ambitious to reach new goals with each new
In 2004, Claudio joined the family winemaking team working alongside his father
and brother. The philosophy is clear, according to Claudio: "We believe
that 70% of the quality of our wines is in the vineyards. Therefore, the key to
achieving top wines is to reduce the quantity and improve the quality of the
grapes. In the winery we combine the use of modern technology in the
fermentation process, with the traditional aging of our Barolos in
"tini" -- the unique, vertical wooden vats made with no toasted oak. Additionally,
thanks to the long aging period of our wines we are now able to bottle
unfiltered." With Claudio at the reigns, there still is the same
consideration for the territory and its traditions, as well as the desire to
progress to much-coveted family goals.
The wineâ€™s name, Bricco Airoli, is the
nickname given to an historical area in Barolo where some of the Viberti-owned
Barbera vineyards are located. Situated at the highest point of the village,
bricco is Italian vineyard word for â€śa steep hill top.â€ť The picturesque
vineyards (shown) slope south and southwestern facing the Sunâ€™s rays range at
an altitude from 320-500 meters (1,000 â€“ 1,600 ft) above sea level.
Winemakerâ€™s production notes:
100% Barbera, hand-harvested from mid to late September, the
grapes were brought to the cellar for immediate destalking and pressing.
Fermentation took place in roto-fermenters (horizontal stainless steel tanks)
over 14 days at 28-30Â°C, with maceration following over an additional 14 days.
Since the roto-system was implemented, pump-overs have become less frequent,
but were conducted on occasion as needed. Malolactic fermentation occurred. The
wine was aged for 12-18 months in previously-used French and Slavonian oak
vertical vats. The oak was not toasted, but rather steamed to the point where
it became pliable enough to form the vats, allowing the juice to remain
uninfluenced by the wood. After bottling, the wine was cellared an additional 3
months prior to release.
â€śA burst of juicy cherry marks this smooth red, defined by the brisk
acidity. Stays focused and long, as earth and tobacco accents chime in on the
finish. Drink now through 2016. 1,330 cases made.â€ťâ€“ 90 pts.
Bruce Sanderson/Wine Spectator (03/31/2013).
â€śCherry and almond flavors abound in this bright, clean, pleasant bouquet. It
is well-balanced on the palate with a great acidity that is supported by the