The Nebbiolo was hand-harvested from the lower slope of the Bric Valdiana, one of the finest vineyards in Roero. After a three-week period of cold maceration, the grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks, and the wine matured for 18 months in large Slovenian oak casks. As if it were illuminated from inside the glass, Almondo’s Roero Bric Valdiana 2017 has a limpid burnished redwood color, with flashes of bright ruby at the edge. When the wine is first poured, compelling aromas of dried red currants, sun-warmed raspberries, faded rose petals, and dried pine needles move in and out of the foreground, later alternating with fleeting suggestions of sweet herbs, white tobacco, chiodini tree mushrooms, and goudron, as the nose unfurls and evolves over time. On the palate the wine is stunning: elegant, mouthfilling, and generous on entry, with spiced brandied red berry flavors that echo the nose, and very present velvety tannins, all gracefully seasoned with fine Roero minerality. More like a fine Chambolle-Musigny than a Barolo, with a seemingly endless elegant finish.
About this wine producer: The Almondos have grown grapes in Roero for more than three centuries, but it was Domenico’s father, Giovanni Almondo, who was the first to bottle the wines. There are six hectares of Arneis, the noble white variety of Piemonte, along with four hectares of Nebbiolo for the Roeros, one-and-a-half hectares of Barbera, and a tiny parcel of Brachetto which goes into the classic, slightly sparkling, pale sweet Fosso della Rosa. Giovanni Almondo still works in the vineyards, but day-to-day operations are in the hands of Domenico and his sons, Stefano and Federico, who are all uncompromising perfectionists in the vineyard and in the cellar.