Altare

Altare – the first of their name

Silvia Altare, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the first Cry, Protector of the grape, Queen of the Langhe, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mother of Dragons, The Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and the Lady of the Annunziata

Toni Fadnes
Altare Family
Photo of the Altare Family, from their website

The words that come to mind when thinking of the Altare family are: Insieme & Energy.

And for those of you who are not Game of Throners, when I say that the Altare family is first of their name, I am referring to the “Barolo Revolution” and the introduction of barrique to the area. On top of that, they are known for their extraordinary wines and and incomparable energy.

Winemaking

In 1976, Elio traveled to Burgundy and it was a trip that would change the course of history forever. Elio infamously took his father’s big barrels outside and chopped them up. He wanted to use small barrels instead, barrique, like the french. This act would eventually lead to his disinheritance. But Elio persevered.

Today, the family still use small barrels (barrique) for most of their wines, and steel tanks for the dolcetto d’alba , barbera d’alba and langhe nebbiolo. The oak is used as a tool, and none of their wines have a significant presence of oak flavors. Try putting it in a blind tasting lineup and see for yourself.

With a total of 10 hectares, they make about 70,000 bottles a year.

Fun fact

SEVEN PRODUCERS,
SEVEN DIFFERENT STORIES,
ONE SINGLE LABEL: L’INSIEME

Silvia’s father, Elio Altare, isthe founder of L’Insieme. And what is L’Insieme? It’s a project between 7 winemakers in Langhe where they donate a percentage of the proceeds to a good cause. Below you will see their own explanation of the project (found on their website).

The project aims to make wines which, under a single brand, tell a story of friendship and collaboration, of hard work, shared passion for the Langhe and its outstanding grapes.

The dream is that, from this union, the resultant label will be a symbol of friendship and mutual aid. A wine that is our personal way of thanking the land that gave us our roots and its support.

Our goal is to make L’Insieme wine a practical ethical tool, allowing us to fund projects of high social value as a way of giving back to our local area a part of the good fortune and beauty it has given us.

Fun fact II

When it comes to blind tasting, we all know Silvia and Elio are very good. They have trained their noses for years. But the one who always seems to surprise us with her incredible ability is Lucia, Elio’s wife. She will sit quietly, while everyone shares their opinions and then all of a sudden she will blow you away with her analysis. A very impressive woman.

The Altare Wines

Wines available in:
Norway
Sweden
Denmark
USA
UK
Italy

Altare Uno Per Uno

It’s exactly what it says: one by one. The family hand destems the grapes, berry by berry, and the results are magnificent. It’s also why the price might be a little higher. Imagine the work behind this wine. And if you can’t, check out the picture below.

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Uno Per Uno
Grape: 100% nebbiolo
Classification: DOCG
Number of bottles produced: 1,500
Color: light ruby red with garnet reflections
Fragrance: fresh fruits, rose petals and flowers
Taste: warm, elegant, smooth silky tannins
Food pairing: red meat, aged cheese

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: hand-destemming the berries, one by one. Looking for the purity of the fruit of nebbiolo, making sure there are no stems, no leaves and no ugly berries
Ageing: 

VINEYARD

Soil: marna with clay and sand
Exposure:  south, south-east
Year of plantation: 1948

Barolo Brunate

The last vintage of Brunate is 2011. Altare rented the plot and the owners decided to make their own wine.

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Brunate
Grape: 100% Nebbiolo
Classification: DOCG
Number of bottles produced: 1,200 – 1,500
Color: intense ruby red with garnet reflections
Fragrance: red fruits, floral, light and feminine
Taste: warm, elegant, long finish with wild rose and violet
Food pairing: red meat, game, aged cheese

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 4/5 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing: 24 months in french barrique

VINEYARD

Soil:  various
Exposure:  south, south-east
Age of plants: 20 to 90 years old

Cannubi

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Cannubi
Grape: 100% Nebiolo
Classification: DOCG
Number of bottles produced: 1,500
Color: light ruby red with garnet reflections
Fragrance: fresh fruits, rose petals and flowers
Taste: elegant, soft silky tannins
Food pairing: red meat, aged cheese

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 4/5 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing:  24 months in french barrique

VINEYARD

Soil: marna with clay and sand
Exposure:  south
Age of plants: 30 years old

Barolo Ceretta Vigna Bricco Riserva

Altare chooses to release this wine later than the rest of the barolo’s. The extra time can be beneficial for a wine with more masculine characteristics.

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Ceretta Vigna Bricco Riserva
Grape: 100% Nebbiolo
Classification: DOCG
Number of bottles produced: 5,000 – 6,000
Color: intense ruby red with garnet reflections
Fragrance: mature fruits, spicy, tobacco, darker fruits, licorice
Taste: warm and elegant, with mint and spice notes
Food pairing: red meat, aged cheese

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 4/5 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing: 24 months in french barrique

VINEYARD

Soil: sandstone, limestone and chalk
Exposure:  south, south-east and south-west
Age of plants: 15 years old

Barolo Arborina

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Arborina
Grape: 100% Nebbiolo
Classification: DOCG
Number of bottles produced: 6,000
Color: intense ruby red with garnet reflections
Fragrance: rose petals, flowers, light, sweet
Taste: elegant, with smooth but intense tannins
Food pairing: red meat, game, aged cheese

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 4/5 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing:  24 months in french barrique

VINEYARD

Soil: marna stone with clay and sand
Exposure:  south, south-east
Year of plantation:  1948

Barolo

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Barolo
Grape: 100% Nebbiolo
Classification: DOCG
Number of bottles produced: 10,000
Color: intense ruby red with garnet reflections
Fragrance: red fruit, raspberry, redcurrant, wold roses that evolve into licorice and spice notes
Taste: elegant, persistent with long finish ans soft tannins
Food pairing: red meat, aged cheese

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 4/5 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing:  24 months in french barrique

VINEYARD

Soil:  various
Exposure:  south, south-east
Age of plants:  from 20 to 30 years

La Villa

La Villa is a blend of nebbiolo and barbera grapes, which gives the best of both worlds; tannins and acidity.

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Langhe La Villa
Grape: Barbera & Nebbiolo
Classification: DOC
Number of bottles produced: 2,500 – 3,000
Color: intense ruby red
Fragrance: plums, berries, rose petals
Taste: fresh, well balanced tannins, pleasant acidity from the barbera
Food pairing: pasta, charcuterie, meat

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 3/4 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing: new french barrique for 18 months

VINEYARD

Soil: clay and tufa stone
Exposure:  south-east
Year of plantation/age of plants:  various

Giarborina

A “baby barolo”, somewhat in the middle of a langhe nebbiolo and a barolo, made with grapes from the Arborina vineyard.

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Langhe Giarborina
Grape: 100% nebbiolo
Classification: DOC
Number of bottles produced: 2,000 – 2,500
Color: ruby red with garnet reflections
Fragrance: intense balasmic notes, aromas of fruit, rose petals
Taste: red fruit, raspberry, persistant
Food pairing: red meat, soft to medium aged cheese

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 3/4 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing: new french barrique for 18 months

VINEYARD

Soil: clay and sand
Exposure: south, south-east
Year of plantation:  1948, 1989

Larigi

Could also be called a “barbera superiore”, but I prefer the name Larigi. The vineyeard is located next to the winery. A “single vineyard” barbera named Larigi.

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Larigi
Grape: Barbera
Classification: DOC
Number of bottles produced: 2,500 – 3,000
Color: dense purple red
Fragrance: small red fruits, very persistent
Taste: warm, soft, intense, silky tannins, pleasant acidity, red berries
Food pairing: grilled meat,c heese and salami

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 3/4 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing: new french barrique for 18 months

VINEYARD

Soil: clay and sand
Exposure:  south, south-east
Year of plantation/age of plants: 1948

L’Insieme

You can read more about L’Insieme here.

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: L’Insieme
Grape: various
Classification: 
Number of bottles produced: 1,500
Color: intense ruby red
Fragrance: spicy and intense
Taste: big structure, taste is much more “international”, spicy and herbal
Food pairing: red meat, game, cheese

VINEYARD

Soil: various
Exposure: various
Age of plants:  10 to 30 years

Langhe Nebbiolo

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Langhe Nebbiolo
Grape: Nebbiolo
Classification: DOC
Number of bottles produced: 8,000
Color: intense ruby
Fragrance: rose petals and red fruits
Taste: Tannins, but not dry. Red fruits and good acidity
Food pairing: antipasto, pasta, red meat

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 3/4 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing: 5 months in aged french barrique

VINEYARD

Soil: calcareous but also sandy
Exposure: various, south-east, east
Age of plants:  20 to 50 years old

Barbera d’Alba

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Barbera d’Alba
Grape: Barbera
Classification: DOC
Number of bottles produced: 15,000
Color: ruby red with violet reflections
Fragrance: violets and black cherry
Taste: full bodied, good acidity, dark red fruits
Food pairing: antipasto, pasta, fatty cheese and salami

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for 3/4 days in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing: 5 months in aged french barrique

VINEYARD

Soil: calcareous but also very sandy
Exposure:  various, east, north-east
Age of plants: 10 to 30 years old

Dolcetto d’Alba

BASIC INFORMATION

Product name: Dolcetto d’Alba
Grape: Dolcetto
Classification: DOC
Number of bottles produced: 18,000 – 20,000
Color: intense violet
Fragrance: violet and black cherry
Taste: cherries, black cherry, medium-bodied, easy to drink
Food pairing: antipasto, pasta, light cheese, pizza, panini

VINIFICATION (Wine-making)

Method: maceration on the skins for approximately 2 to 3 days maximum in rotary fermentors with temperature control
Ageing:  stainless steal tank for about 10 months

VINEYARD

Soil: calcareous but also very sandy
Exposure: various, mostly north and north-east
Age of plants: 20 to 40 years old

Altare Winery

Frazione Annunziata 51, 12064 La Morra
elioaltare@elioaltare.com
+39 0173 50835

Cover photo: Elio Altare Website
Labels: Elio Altare Website
Other photos: Oda Randmæl
Text: Oda Randmæl & Toni Fadnes

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