2017 Agricole Brandini la Morra, Barolo DOCG, Annunziata, Piedmonte, Italy.
The Agricola Brandini La Morra Estate, owned by Piero Bagnasco and run by his daughters, Giovanna and Serena, is a new producer for me and in fact they are a pretty recent venture, starting back in 2007, they have a tiny collection of prime Barolo vines and I found the wines to be beautifully made and very exciting. It was nice to meet Giovanna at the Slow Wine tasting event in San Francisco and learn about her wines, especially her cru Annunziata Barolo, which made my top ten Nebbiolo(s) list of the Slow Wine tour (SF) and of which I really admired for it’s elegance and exceptional length. Agricola Brandini La Morra uses the phrase “Organic Human Barolo” to describe its wines, as all of their vineyards are certified organic, hand tended and their wines are traditionally hand crafted, with their Barolo being aged in large, used oak casks with minimal intervention and only minimal amounts of added sulfur at bottling. The grapes come from high elevation parcels, 450 meters up in some sites, which is amongst the highest-altitude vines in the Barolo zone all set on the classic clay and limestone marl soils, which all contribute to the wines quality and character. The color of the wines, in particular this Annunziata, were pure Nebbiolo with slightly orangey edges with a dark ruby core at this point and the aromas were inviting with floral and herbal notes, very enchanting indeed.

The tiny production Annunziata cru Barolo by Brandini, as mentioned new winery for me, is a elegant, but firmly structured traditional Barolo with classic Nebbiolo savory intensity and power that absolutely seductive on the medium to full bodied palate with purity of flavors a raw transparency, this is an enthusiasts wine that will drink nicely for many years to come. I was very impressed by the two special bottlings I tried by Brandini at the Slow Wine tasting event in San Francisco, with both this Annunziata and their R56 Barolo being outstanding efforts, well worth searching out, though very little has so far found its way to the states. Made with all sustainable vines and organic grapes, the warm vintage, 2017 Barolo Annunziata was crafted using old school methods, it saw a cool maceration and native yeast fermentation in tank and then was raised exclusively in old large cask. When Giovanna showed me the wine I found a pretty aromatics right away and while the wine was obviously young, it opened up to reveal alluring layers of black cherry, spiced plum, earthy currant and blood orange fruits as well as tarry licorice, cedar, minty herb and dusty tannins that subtly remind you that this is (a) Barolo. I look forward to following this label in the coming years and I can see this Annunziata evolving nicely over the next decade, it certainly is wine that deserves some attention, and it is inspirational to see a new project hit the ground running and cause such a stir, bravo to the Brandini team.
($111 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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