Historic Barolo producer Borgogno joins La Place de Bordeaux
The latest in a little flurry of exciting press releases from northern Italy sees one of Barolo’s most legendary and historic producers, Giacomo Borgogno & Figli, announce its first release on La Place de Bordeaux.
The exclusive global distribution, which excludes Italy itself, will be coordinated by the Piedmont specialist, Timothée Moreau, and his team at Bureau des Grands Vins (BGV).
The details are fascinating. For, in something of a first it will see the release on la place of single cru mixed cases (of three or six bottles). What is more, they are of Borgogno’s most prestigious riserva wines from Liste and Cannubi – the jewels, in effect, of their entire portfolio. What makes this so interesting is that the wines themselves come from a mix of vintages: 2009, 2012 and 2014 for Cannubi; 2009, 2011 and 2012 for Liste. In other words, for the first time we will see the release of wines with significant bottle aging at the estate in addition to the long-aging in bottle and botti that allows these wines to be designated riserva.
The quantities are undisclosed. But given the rarity of these wines, amongst the most famous of northern Italy, they are presumably very small. Unremarkably, then, the distribution will draw on the talent and experience of just a handful of Bordeaux’s leading négociants including Ballande & Meneret, CVBG, Sobovi and Millésima.
This is big news for Borgogno and big news for La Place, as Andrea Farinetti, Borgogno’s wine-maker makes clear: “I’m deeply excited and proud of this new chapter in our long history. Making our debut on La Place de Bordeaux means becoming part of an elite club amongst the most prestigious wines in the world. Liste and Cannubi are two historical vineyards which embody the soul of our estate. Liste is our history because it was our first vineyard, the place where it all started in 1761. It is an example of the austerity and discretion of Borgogno and of all those men and women who, for over 150 years, have been committed to building the legend of Barolo. Cannubi is the dream of all Barolo lovers: a cru where soil, altitude, exposure and microclimate are almost perfect and give us a unique Barolo. I’m extremely lucky to be able to work on these unique vineyards and I will be grateful to all the enthusiasts and friends who, thanks to La Place de Bordeaux, will honour us by tasting a bottle”.
Borgogno, located in the very heart of Barolo, is one of Piedmont’s most visited, most historic and most famous producers. Its philosophy is encapsulated in the proud inscription to be found on a plaque in the centre of the wine cellar: “Nothing is immortal, except for a wine that is conceived in a slow, methodical, thrifty and stubborn manner. This is what we’ve been doing since 1761”.
The Barolo crus
Of Borgogno’s total vineyard holdings of 40 hectares, 16 are located in the municipality of Barolo. These are divided between the five historical vineyards of Liste, Fossati, Cannubi, Cannubi San Lorenzo and San Pietro delle Viole.
Cannubi is the most famous cru, in the heart of the municipality of Barolo and the denomination. It was mentioned in historic documents as early as the 19th century, even before the birth of Barolo itself. It has an excellent terroir complexity and a uniquely favourable micro-climate. Borgogno’s 1.30 hectares have a southern exposure and an altitude ranging from 290 to 320 meters. They are located just above the plot of Bartolo Mascarello and produce an elegant and powerful Barolo of legendary aging potential.
Liste is a vineyard of 6.75 hectares with a south to south-eastern exposure and an altitude ranging from 270 to 330 metres. Its soil is composed of calcareous marl, clay and sand and it too has a very distinct micro-climate. It produces a Barolo full of harmony and body, complexity and a with vibrant tannin. A deep, tumultuous and vivid wine, it is perhaps the most expressive of the style and tradition of Borgogno.