Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Castiglione Falletto: What a difference 27 years makes

Luca Currado is very animated about this land. And with good cause. From a family heritage dating back before the unification of Italy, Luca's family was really out in front of the evolution of modern day Barolo. That's not to say modern Barolo, though. In fact, this second time around, the wines have steered forward in a timeless manner.

The last (and first) time I was here, in 1984, Luca's father, Alfredo, was at the helm. And it was heady times. All of Castiglione Falletto was this vibrating bee hive. Cavalotto, Scavino, any number of people I visited in those days, there was building and barriques. Rotating fermenters, technology gone wild, modernity in full swing.

Happily, my inner Rip Van Winkle, upon awakening and returning, has found that this land has found a few stewards to take the course back due North and maintain the ascendancy of these great wines and terroir.

Can we say terroir? or Cru? Apparently those words are not as politically correct in these times, even though this region has French connections. The word cru was banned 40+ years ago, not to be used on the bottles, by a court order. Alfredo didn't take the word out, simply ( and elegantly) drawing some lines across the word, to imprison these behind a label, but freeing them inside the bottle.

This is a great story and I will dedicate more to it when I get off the trail. But for now, the weather is sunny, spring is in bloom, and I have to get back on it. There will be plenty of time for recollection when I am back in my cave.

Luca (r.) with his new neighbor ( from Valdivilla), Damian Mandola (l.)
In the meantime, some visual lagniappe (oops, there I go now, with the French words). And a time travel shot back as well. God, I love these wines. And this land, so much that I need to change the photo on the cover of this blog. This is my Hill Country.

Alfredo and Alfonso - 1984
Luca and Alfonso - 2011

On to Barolo and a day with my new friend, Anna Abbona. More to come...

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