"Here's a great value for Nebbiolo watchers. The Ellena Giuseppe 2016 Barolo del Comune di La Morra shows the precision and focus of the vintage with soft tannins, bright fruit flavors and balanced acidity. The bouquet is redolent of wild berry, cassis, tilled earth and blue flower. Skin maceration times are long, at up to 60 days in stainless steel, and the wine completes its final 24 months of aging in both barrique and botte. This Barolo represents a blend of fruit from the Ascheri cru and other sites in La Morra. Some 13,000 bottles (approx 1,000 cases) were released."
The fruit for the 2016 release primarily hails from the younger vines off of the ‘Ascheri’ block (planted in 1980) on a southwest facing slope at 1,100 feet in elevation. The other block is from ‘Cascina Motturone’ just southwest of Ascheri at 900 feet in elevation on a west facing slope. Matteo describes 2016 as an ‘epic’ vintage and one that really has a perfect balance of elegance and power. While this ‘entry level’ Barolo may appear to be simply that, there is so much more here and it is easily the best vintage that Matteo has made of this wine.
The grapes were organically farmed and in mid-October handpicked with the bunches being destemmed and fermented without any additions in stainless steel vats. Frequent pigeage was employed to gain optimum extraction and the lots spent between 45 and 60 days on skins after which everything was pressed to a combination of French oak barrique (predominantly used barrels) and Slavonian botti. After 24 months of aging with only a single racking during the two years in wood, the wine was racked to tank, blended and bottled without fining or filtration.