Burlotto is the flagship producer from Barolo’s Verduno area. This is a property of enormous historic importance, fabulously delicious wines, and outstanding value.
The Commendatore Giovan Battista Burlotto, one of Barolo's great characters, founded the estate back in 1850. The labels still commemorate the royal house of Savoy’s fondness for Burlotto wines, as well as the winery’s exclusive presence on Duke Luigi Amedeo's 1899 North Pole expedition. The Duke lost two fingers to frostbite, but wrote to the Commendatore a year and a half into the trip that “[t]he wine has been conserved in perfect condition.” G.B. Burlotto was also a pioneer of selling wine in bottle (rather than in cask or demijohn), as well as a champion of a now-rare but still-ravishing grape, Pelaverga Piccolo.
Four generations later, G.B.’s great-great-nephew, Fabio Alessandria, has changed little at the winery, doing some of the crush by foot, fermenting the wine in upright wooden vats, using indigenous yeast and little temperature control. We love these wines for their history, but even more for their diversity, their pure fruit, delicate structure, and signature Verduno floral aromatics and spicy palate.
The family's single-vineyard Barolos, especially the culty Monvigliero, are some of Piedmont's most lauded wines, critical and collector favorites year-in and year-out. But they continue to make extraordinary wines for Piedmont's more humble grapes (including Dolcetto, Barbera and of course, that Pelaverga), wines that don't attempt to turn those grapes into Nebbiolo blockbusters but rather that show their unique charms and terroir transparency. The sheer drinkability of these "lesser" wines is is tremendous, and the pricing for such special bottles from such top-rank grower, is shockingly accessible.