There’s a new law/rule in Piemonte, where the winemakers can put the name of the town on the label for their classic barolo. So when it says Pira Barolo Serralunga, it means that it’s a barolo blend from a winery in Serralunga. In La Morra, Giovanni Corino can write Barolo Del Commune Di La Morra.
What do I mean when I say “blend”?
Back in the day, there was a “war” between the Modernists and Traditionalists. When I use the term “Traditional”, I mean a winemaker that uses big barrels (botti) and generally only make one barolo, a blend. Take Maria Teresa Mascarello – she makes one barolo. And it’s a blend of grapes coming from all her vineyards.
The alternative is the “modern” approach, spearheded by Elio Altare, where multiple barolos are made, one for each cru. So instead of blending the grapes from the different plots, it has become common to make different barolo cru. A modernist also uses small barrels (barrique). Although it’s common now to use all different size barrels. Vietti, for intance, uses barrique, big botti and sizen inbetween.
In my opinion, this whole modernist vs traditionalist is so 2003. Or 1992. But you catch my drift. Most winemakers these days love to experiment, trying new techniques and testing new methods. So many of those who used to be hard core traditionalists are what I like to call “contemporary traditionalists”. Meaning, they still mostly use botti, and many might have just one classci barolo, but some have adopted smaller barrels or cement. Maybe they have one cru barolo.
Cascina Fontana makes their barbera in cement instead of barrique. Why? Because that’s the way Mario likes it. I call it “Barbera the Mario Fontana Way. And i’ts damn good! Fratelli Alessandria make a Monvigliero cru. Do we really care what size barrels they use, as long as the wine tastes good?
Luigi Pira, from Serralunga, makes excellent wines. Apart from the Pira Barolo Serralunga, there are 3 crus, including the famous Vignarionda! The Serralunga barolo is a blend from the multiple vineyards Luigi has, including Marenca, Margheria and Vignarionda. Typically the younger vines are used in the blend, and the older vines are reserved for the different cru barolo’s.
Where can you find Pira Barolo Serralunga?
Unfortunately, you can’t order it online, but there are a few local stores that carry it! If you have your heart set on Pira wines, check out his Barolo Margheria or Barolo Marenca.
You can find the Serralunga at these Vinmonopol:
Sandaker, Oslo – 5
Strømmen – 23
Vinterbro – 16
Bergen, Åsane Horisont – 11
Stryn – 4
Kristiansund N. – 8