In the past, people have tried to map the great vineyards of the Langhe. Renato Ratti’s was the one we used for many years. Burton Anderson gave it a try as well. And countless regional Italian pamphlets and booklets tried to organize the vineyards of the Langhe. One of the best one in recent times is A Wine Atlas of the Langhe. Still, the concentration of the area and the Italian sensibility to endlessly discuss things has mired the process.
I believe it was Walter Speller from whom I first heard about this. Entitled Red hot classification of Barolo crus, Walter introduced us to the recent work of Alessandro Masnaghetti and his E-book, Barolo 2001-2008 Assagi e Classificazione. Inside the book he has listed his very own ‘Unofficial Classification of Crus’. What light through yonder window breaks?
Is think there anyone alive who is more qualified to speak to this than Masnaghetti? He has mapped the vineyards, he lives intimately inside his projects, he breathes them as they are his yoga. And I look to him as the top authority on the subject, as does Walter, who said “With a knowledge of Italy’s vineyards second to none, his classification is something many have been eagerly awaiting.”
Ratti. I’m far from the heady days of youth, but this project captures my imagination and inspires me to keep the grey matter in motion. So while I drink my 1978’s and 1990’s I will sit by the fireplace and pour over his maps and recommendations. I’m all in.
|Dante Scaglione (L) with Bruna (C) and Bruno Giacosa (R) in 2004|
In the meantime, if you want to attempt to climb the mountain, or climb out of the tunnel and join in the pursuit of understanding the greatness of the wines of the Langhe, give Masnaghetti’s book a look-over. Barbaresco lovers will be disappointed that their beloved wine is not classified in this book (it's about Barolo) but there are still the maps available for Barbaresco from Masnaghetti. Don't despair, the sequel, Barbaresco Assagi e Classificazione along with a supplemental Barbaresco Unofficial Classification of Crus is also available. Or one could make a trip to Barbaresco and go to lunch with Aldo Vacca at the nearby Antica Torre. In any case it is sure to be a delicious undertaking, whether by the fireside or a fonte.
|Aldo Vacca ~ "Per Ignem Ad Lucem"|
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