Neal Rosenthal has worked with the Brovias for decades, since he imported the 1978, one of the great years of the last half century for sure. The farming here by the Brovia sisters Cristina & Elena and Elena's husband, Alex, is natural, using zero chemicals in the vineyard. This approach continues in the cellar where the indigenous-yeast fermentations in old, glass-lined concrete tanks took about a month this vintage. Always a pretty old-fashioned house, Brovia has recommitted to more traditional elevage. In 2008 they reintroduced large Slavonian casks for the first 18 months of aging, followed by another year and a half in French oak (previously, the wood was all French; both are 30hL).But the best part is the family's vineyards. With holdings in Altenasso (Garblèt Sue'), Villero, and Rocche di Castiglione, Brovia underscores Castiglione Falletto's crossroads nature. Standing at the meeting point of Serralunga's Helvetian limestone soils of in the east and the sandier Tortonian ones to the west, CF vineyards vary enormously, and Brovia's bottlings offer a unique annual survey of what's happening in the zone.And, as if that weren't enough, there are the vines in Serralunga at Brea, a cru that was featured in Renato Ratti's famous '70s-era map of Barolo's top sites, but which fell off collectors' radar for many decades. Preeminent cartographer and Barolo expert Alessandro Masnaghetti credits the Brovias with returning Brea to its former high regard.
What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...
Some may argue the case but, personally, if we had to pick one of these “cru” Barolo as the “king of kings”, our vote would go the “Villero”. The package is complete: strong yet elegant, powerful but dignified, above all pure and balanced. No matter the vintage, this special site in Castiglione Falletto yields a consistently marvelous wine that will age with consummate grace. Dark and brooding in its youth, it matures into a regal wine of exceptional depth. For us it is the quintessential Barolo. This 1.5 hectare vineyard faces southwest at an altitude of 340 meters. The vines were planted in 1961. The “Villero” is aged in large French oak “botti” for at least two years after a cuvaison of three weeks or more. Approximately 5500 bottles are produced annually; 1200 bottles plus 60 magnums are bottled exclusively for us for the US market.