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Hints of white truffle, earth and balsamic aromas. A palate of earthy fruit, leaves and moist soil. Delicate tannins, good structure. It will improve in 2016.
This wine has a strong asphalt aroma, in front of the ripe red and darker berries. On the palate it is quite plush and mature with a little fluidity and sweetness in the finish. Drink or grow old.
Very present aromas of blueberry, blackberries and dark chocolate. Full body, solid and well balanced by tannins. Hints of bitter lemon, cedar. A little light coffee. Young wine that needs a few years to improve. It will be better in 2019.
A very refined and delicious Barolo with hints of walnuts, berries and hazelnuts. Full-bodied, but refined, gorgeous. This shows class and complexity. Clearly better than 2010. To drink or grow old.
A lot of dark, dark and dark chocolate fruit, with hints of toasted, oak. Full and soft. Delicious already
Porcini powder with dark fruits and earth on the nose. Full body, with velvety tannins that become astringent and a rich finish. Elements of wood and bark. Juicy wine, it takes time to soften it. Better in 2015.
A fragrant wine with many hints of strawberry. Floral aromas and flavors. Medium body, fine tannins and fresh finish. To drink both immediately and later.
A full-bodied, beautiful wine with dried berries, chocolate and spicy nuances. Very elegant body and tannins. Better in 2017. But why wait?
Ripe red fruits, sweet walnut and cocoa on the nose. Spicy and earthy with a hint of toasty. Dry and complex tannins. Better in 2016
Fascinating aromas of dried fruit, dried plums, dried mushrooms. Also a lot of new wood. Full body, with chewy tannins and has a toasted oak aftertaste. It takes time to bring it all together. Better in 2015.
A large juicy red, with plum jam and chocolate. Full body, with round tannins, slightly toasted hints of oak aftertaste. Better in 2013.
For some, the rather liberal use of new wood could be annoying, I am struck by the richness of the fruit and the maturity of the tannins. It is full and very generous. Try it again after 2013.
Miscellaneous Notes: Claudio Alario always seems surprised when I phone to fix the tasting appointment: I hope I am not the only journalist who goes up from Valle Talloria to Diano d’Alba to taste. First, because Diano itself is a beautiful land and its Dolcetto is a wine that deserves more attention (although few, come at the level of the Costa Fiore). Secondly, because the discussion doesn’t end here: there are impeccable Barbera and Nebbiolo as well as the best Barolo ever of Verduno.
The farm has a century on its shoulders, but the first labels arrived only in 1988, when Claudio Alario decided to put into practice the oenological concepts studied at school. The first decade of activity was dedicated almost exclusively to Dolcetto di Diano, with great satisfaction both from the market and from critics, then there was the new step forward, that towards Barolo. This derives from two very different valid positions: the Sorano (Serralunga d’Alba) is more structured and demanding, the Riva Rocca (Verduno) softer and fresher. Barolo Sorano, which often represented the spearhead of the battery, is this year surpassed by the excellent Barolo Riva Rocca 2010, which stands out for its aromatic range that ranges from officinal herbs to eucalyptus, with an enveloping drink and without sagging. The three versions of Dolcetto are very interesting, with a slight preference for the nervous freshness of the Sori Costa Fiore 2013
Only red wines and only classic Langhe wines for this company born in the early twentieth century, led by Claudio, third generation. The first years saw only the production of Dolcetto, followed by Nebbiolo and Barbera, to reach Barolo in 1995. The vineyards are located in the municipalities of Diano d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba and Verduno. I Dolcetto remains the wine of Claudio’s heart which produces three different wines each from a single vineyard. In Corona the Sorì Pradurent 2017, aged in used barriques, refined, with a rich and delicious palate, with silky tannins. All references denote a character of excellence and the results are evident also with Barbera Valletta and Barolo.
Various News: the Barolo Riva is the first produced by this talented winemaker and, in 1995, it is one of the best in the area. But, in the impeccable proposal of all the classic grapes of the Langhe, there is no wine that stands out for its strength, precision and great quality of the raw material.
Various News: Claudio Alario will start the production of a Barolo from the Riva di Verduno vineyard, good news for all those who value the beautiful wines of this passionate and capable winemaker: Excellent Barbera and Dolcetto among the best of the Langhe made recognized by the prestigious “Wall Street Journal “in the United States, perhaps a sign that when a wine is really good even the financiers recognize it.
Claudio Alario’s hands bear the marks left by the hoe and the pruning shears and he is proud of it, even today that he is increasingly helped by the enterprising son Matteo fresh from studies but already well active both in the vineyard and in the beautiful renovated and enlarged cellar . This company is deservedly known, on both sides of the ocean, for its Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba proposals: the Pradurent is powerful and intense, aged in wood, the Costa Fiore is more fruity and dense, with very old, fragrant and immediate the clear Montagrillo. Significant results also with the two Barolo labels. Starting from Sorano, which in 2014 manages to express refined touches of raspberry on a barely hinted oak background; the mouth has a valuable and enjoyable fruity pulp. Good structure and wood in evidence in the Riva Rocca of the same vintage. The other house wines were not yet bottled at the time of our tastings, so we will talk about it next year
Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba has always been held in high regard by the producers of the Langhe, as it has fruity characteristics of pleasant intensity and on the palate it is rich in pulp, almost chewable. Claudio Alario was and still is one of the safest and most enterprising. Equal expertise is dedicated to Barolo bottled for the first time in 1995, coming from vineyards in the municipalities of Serralunga d’Alba (from the Sorano cru) and Verduno (Riva Rocca). The corporate style is aimed at frankness, drinkability and pleasantness, with a very measured use of wood. Valuable classicism in Barolo Sorano ’13, already very expressive in its notes of licorice and cinchona with an important and structured mouth of precise balance, equally delicate and harmonious the more delicate Barolo Riva Rocca ’13. Great structure in the tannic Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba Sorì Pradurent ’15, while the fruity Sorì Montagrillo’ 16 is more enveloping and immediate.
Born as a winemaker, Claudio Alario quickly proved to be a skilled manner, making wines rich in fruit with fine tenuity, always clean and enjoyable thanks to never too invasive refinements. And, after a few years in which he proved to produce one of the best sweets of Diano d’Alba, he made the leap to Barolo, acquiring vineyards in the cru Riva Rocca in Verduno and Sorano in Serralunga d’Alba. All this while maintaining friendly prices, making it appreciated also on foreign markets. Powerful and incisive the pulpy Sorì Costa Fiore ’15, destined to be refined and harmonized in the next months of the bottle. The Sorì Pradurent ’14 is slightly more evolved and vegetable, while the Sorì Montagrillo ’15 offers a very pleasant fruity freshness, definitely still very young. The refined Barolo Riva Rocca ’12 offers an important olfactory spiciness and on the palate it plays more on elegance than on power
In just over twenty years of activity, Claudio Alario has confidently established himself as one of the most authoritative producers of Dolcetto di Diano, thanks above all to the consistently valuable results of the Costa Fiore selection. Over the years, however, the desire to compete with the most important type of Langhe, Barolo, has grown, so new vineyards have been acquired within this denomination, among which the Sorano di Serralunga d’Alba stands out for its structure and complexity. Definitely competitive prices in the selections of Dolcetto. We open with two wines of fine workmanship, the Barolo Riva Rocca and Sorano, both 2007. The first, with a nice light ruby, reveals notes of sweet spices and camphor; on the magnificent palate it shows all its freshness and firm but not scratchy tannins. Sorano has a more pronounced garnet nail; it is less intense than the previous one, but equally interesting in the notes of tobacco and dried flowers. Excellent proof of Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba Costa Fiore ’10, typical in its hints of black fruit and almond; the mouth is powerful and of great finesse. Montagrillo ’10 is instead characterized by a somewhat green finish. Also worthy of mention is Barbera d’Alba Valletta ’09: red berries, tobacco and well-dosed wood.
We know Claudio Alario. We know what his summer “torments” are, when we claim the samples for our tastings and, regularly, Claudio tells us that his bottling times do not coincide with ours. What to do? Not much, actually. The two paths – that of the wine criticism and the productive one of the companies – must not condition each other, therefore we just have to taste wines with the eye as open as possible on future developments, and producers accept with confidence and serenity the evaluations that we go from time to time to formulate Excellent, simply, punctually excellent the two Dolcetti di Claudio: if the Costa Fiore is an explosion of red fruits, undergrowth, wet earth and, in the mouth, pulp and juiciness, Montagrillo reasons of plus the terms of flavor, measured dryness of tannin and taste-olfactory persistence. If they are large now, with five minutes and a bottle, we can well imagine them tea a few months or years … The other wines are at high levels: an acid Barbera, an austere Nebbiolo and a round Barolo
Claudio Alario is one of the producers of Diano who, with greater continuity, manages to win awards on the pages of our Guide. All this thanks to a great effort made in the 10 hectares of vineyards, but also in the cellar, where he spends whole days experimenting with the best solutions for his wines. Among other things, we were lucky enough to taste his new Barolo 2004, from the Sorano di Serralunga cru, which seems to have excellent prospects from the barriques. The bottles produced in total are around 50 thousand units, of which more than half are from Dolcetto. This year we particularly appreciated the Barolo Riva 2001, the fruit of the Verduno cru of the same name, which presents notes of red fruit well blended with aromas of vanilla and chocolate released from long provenance in small barrels. On the palate it has a velvety, juicy and pleasant tannin. The Diano d’Alba Costa Fiore at the top of its category has an almost impenetrable red color to the nose, releases notes of blackberry, blueberry and black currant, in the mouth it is soft and linear with a conquering fullness. Nebbiolo d’Alba Cascinotto, austere and fragrant, defends itself very well; the Diano d’Alba Montagrillo, still slightly closed to the nose, is a little subdued compared to the past.
Here we are to comment on a new and convincing test of Claudio Alario’s wines. We are talking about one of the companies that have been highlighting the Dianese production landscape for the longest time. Diano d’Alba has a peculiarity in the oenological framework of Langa: a section (minimal, to be honest) of its territory falls within the Barolo production area, while the main vineyard area is destined for Dolcetto, which falls under the Doc Diano here . Finally, these hills have always been suitable also for Barbera d’Alba. These are the three types in which Claudio’s experience and ability are expressed on motto good quality levels. The Barolo Riva 2000 gives itself austere and powerful. The nose at first appears still closed in its youthful impetuosity, with hints of wood that gradually fade freeing the underlying material. Then earthy and spicy notes emerge, well blended with the fruit. In the mouth it is round, supported by a robust tannin, with long closure. The two Diano are excellent, a type in which Alario excels. We prefer the Costa Fiore a little: it has an impenetrable red color and a deep nose, with clear and sequential hints of blackberry, blueberry and plum; in the mouth it envelops the palate, making us find the olfactory sensations and closing long and harmonious. Montagrillo gives nuances of black fruit on an almond background. In the mouth it is soft, linear, well-conducted in terms of drinkability. Nebbiolo and Barbera 2002 are slightly affected by the rainy year: if the former exceeds the correctness threshold thanks to the robustness of the grape variety, the latter cannot go further.
Claudio Alario stands out in the panorama of the Diano area for the qualitative constancy of his wines. Already known for some time for the excellent selections of Dolcetto (which boasts the name Diano d’Alba here), Claudio is becoming increasingly appreciated also for other types of Langhe, first of all Barolo. Waiting to taste, next year, the new label, coming from the Sorano di Serralunga cru, here comes the Riva di Verduno vineyard the best version ever produced by this company: 1999 is really big, sumptuous and elegant. The color is dark ruby red with a garnet nail, the nose releases intense notes of coffee, sweet spices and licorice; in the mouth it develops harmonious and powerful, without sagging throughout the gustatory process characterized by soft tannins. The finish is of impressive length and harmony. Simpler the Nebbiolo Cascinotto, all played on fine and fruity tones pleasantly soft and balanced. Barbera Valletta makes the most of the excellent South-East exposure of the vineyard to give itself fragrant and velvety. Once the main typology of the area has passed, Dolcetto di Diano (or simply Diano d’alba) confirms what has already been expressed in the past: Claudio is one of the happiest interpreters, as demonstrated by these two selections drawn from the 2002 vintage. Costafiore and Montagrillo are not affected by the difficult vintage and they are given fragrant, clean and complex. The first is austere with a strong almond note and remarkable tannins; the second has a blueberry and black fruit nose and convincing taste-olfactory correspondence
Claudio Alario, a skilled winemaker from Diano Alba, runs a fine farm that has eight hectares of vineyards, with two Nebbiolo plots from Barolo: one in the municipality of Verduno, from where; he obtains Barolo Riva, and the other in the Sorano cru in Serralunga, which will go into production in 2004. From this year, Claudio has increased the hectares in Diano d’Alba, acquiring two in the Pradurent sub-area, where a new Dolcetto will be produced. These vineyards are all in excellent exposure and offer quality grapes that Claudio knows how to transform into excellent wines. It starts with the charming Barolo Riva, which in ’98 is austere, with aromas of licorice and wild rose and with a powerful mouth with sweet and silky tannins. Between the Dolcetti di Diano the difference is minimal, even if the Montagrillo 2001 (6.000 bottles) is more ready and inviting to drink. The Costa Fiore of 2001, however, is still quite compact and has hints of blueberries and raspberries on the nose; it is explosive and dense in the mouth, with a long finish characterized by a note of almond. The Barbera Valletta from 2000 also comes in very well, coming from a vineyard facing south-east overlooking the Talloria Valley. The color is intense garnet and the aromas are clear, with well blended fruit and vanilla; the mouth is powerful, only slightly marked by wood on the finish. Complex aromas, with notes of licorice and graphite, pervade the elegant and austere Nebbiolo d’Alba Cascinotto from 2000. A wine of great charm, which best enhances the characteristics of the nebbioli produced in the denominations bordering Barolo.
Eight hectares of land for 35 thousand bottles: these are the numbers of the company that Claudio Alario, with his parents and wife, runs with passion. Here are the ingredients for success: enhancement of the identity of the vines, enhancement of the vineyards and low yields to encourage the complete ripening of the grapes; in the cellar a modern style that tends to enhance the fruit and to give roundness with short macerations and the use of small wood (or steel in the case of Dolcetto). The two Diano are exciting for their richness and fragrance. Costa Fiore has an impenetrable garnet color, with a nose that offers perceptions of blackberry, cherry, fresh hay and cocoa on an intriguing mineral background; in the mouth the copious fabric and the gritty structure give life to a play of forces that lead to a long finish centered on the agreement between fruity and spicy. Montagrillo, intense to the eye, highlights herbaceous and almond notes; in the mouth it reveals its remarkable thickness by proceeding solid, with tannins that give volume to the long finish. Another successful wine is Barbera Valletta: of a very thick ruby-garnet color, the nose is deep and complex, with perceptions of blackberry and black currant accompanied by touches of mint, almond paste and fig leaf; in the mouth it is large, broad, but never soft or vulgar; the finish is long and composed. Nebbiolo Cascinotto offers notes of leather and rosemary which embellish a well-expressed fruit and a growing mouth, with noble and melted tannins on a finish that reverberates hints of licorice. Barolo Riva, a very well made wine, is characterized by a remarkable structure and finesse.
Claudio Alario, who boasts the meritorious ability to give his products an enviable qualitative consistency even in difficult years, has been able to take the opportunity of favorable harvests (such as ’96 and ’97) to churn out a series of wines of remarkable merit. So the two glasses assigned last year to both Dolcetto ’96 are renewed with the vintage ’97, adding to those conquered by Barbera ’96: the total “score” is very respectable. The spearhead of this happy production is undoubtedly Dolcetto Costa Fiore: it has a dense dark garnet ruby color and a complex and fascinating nose, with perceptions of black cherry, black currant, licorice and pepper on a choral olfactory picture and harmonic. In the mouth the wine is no less: the gustatory attack, sumptuous and concentrated, announces a wide and continuous progression, supported by the solid and elegant polyphenolic structure and concluded by a composite and satisfying finish. The slightly lower Montagrillo presents itself with a concentrated garnet ruby color still associated with youthful violet memories on the edge; the nose highlights notes of ripe strawberries and cherries, field herbs, geranium and almonds; the rich drink is supported by a slightly nervous acidic vein and a dry and fruity finish. Barbera Valletta is dense to the eye and captivating on the nose (hints of black currant, blackberry, pepper and vanilla); the taste is full, round and soft in character, enlivened by a gritty tannic vein felt in the fruity and spicy finish. Nebbiolo Cascinotto deserves “only” a full glass: the wine offers notes of violet, vanilla and coffee and a safe and pleasantly scratchy drink
Claudio Alario’s wines convince us more and more: especially the two Dolcetto di Diano, which find in this cellar one of the highest expressions of the typology; their style combines elegance and balance with an unusual structure and concentration. Ultimately, these are wines that can be enjoyed immediately, but which are not afraid of aging over time. The future Barolo of the vintages ’95 and ’96 also rests in the new cellar recently set up – but other expansion works are in sight – which Claudio leaves to age in barriques after harvesting the grapes of almost a hectare of vine in the municipality of Verduno. But let’s get to Dolcetto Montagrillo, which already with its dark and impenetrable color suggests a wine of great impact; and in fact it offers a range of aromatic sensations ranging from fruity to floral found both in the nose and in the mouth; here the sweet and silky tannins envelop a substantial and very enjoyable material. This great Dolcetto is surpassed by a trifle by the Costa Fiore, able to extract even more complexity and depth from a particularly happy terrain and exposure. Barbera Valletta and Nebbiolo Cascinotto come from a less important vintage of ’96 and show less structure than the two Dolcetto: they are both, however, very well vinified, with a careful dosage of new wood, and widely deserve the allocation of the glass
That things are going quite well in the Langa, despite the last years, it is clear: new cellars are being built, more and more innovative machinery is being purchased, new groups of producers are emerging, but above all the good names are reconfirmed. And this certainly applies to Matteo Alario and his company: six hectares of vineyards, cared for with extreme punctiliousness, on the hills of Diano d’Alba and a well-equipped cellar to produce no more than 25,000 bottles a year. From theory to facts. Cota Fiore is confirmed as one of the best Dolcetti di Diano on the market: purple, intense, brilliant, long, vinous, fruity; despite the vinification in steel, it has elegant vanilla notes. Even Montagrillo, from more clayey and less windy soils, consequently a bit harder and dry, expresses itself at similar levels, with good panache, balanced and with excellent nose / mouth correspondence: made precisely to deny those who support “Dolcetto it doesn’t last. ” Barbera has a captivating drinkability, with intensely violet colors and hints of red fruit to accompany a velvety, vanilla-flavored taste, with a pleasant liveliness of the acid component: a fine example of careful use of the barrique. Nebbiolo also confirms the good level of the cellar: color between ruby and garnet, it presents an intensity that anticipates the concentration of aromas (cooked fruit and rhubarb) and the good structure of the taste sensations, with an exemplary balance between softness and astringency. All that remains is to wait for the next release Barolo: if the results are similar to those described so far, the new vineyard in Verduno will convince even the most skeptical.
Claudio Alario runs his own small company on his own, in which he directly follows all the processing phases, from cultivation to winemaking, up to the bottling of all products. This winery has been able to establish itself in past years for the excellent results obtained by its Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba: the two versions of Claudio Alario’s main wine, which bear the names of the Costa Fiore and Montagrillo crus, for the excellent quality of the vintage ’92 will not be bottled. The choice to sell the two bulk products therefore demonstrates the seriousness and correctness of this cellar, which hopes for a good 1993 to be able to return to the market with the two bottled wines. Meanwhile Claudio continues his commitment with great will, paying particular attention to the work in the vineyard (mainly with the aim of reducing yields) and adopting the most modern techniques in the cellar. like temperature control. In tasting the Barbera d’Alba Valletta particularly impressed us, also interesting for the price. At sight it reveals a ruby red color; the nose has a frank, elegant and persistent perfume, with hints of fern and hay. Finally, the entry into the mouth is vigorous, full-bodied, with very fine and pleasant aftertaste sensations. A fully deserved glass for a wine that will surely grow again with the next harvests.
Claudio Alario has just taken the right path. Although he continues to dream of a Nebbiolo vineyard from Barolo, perhaps reminiscent of his Lamorrese origins, his goal is much more concrete and precise: to give just dignity to Dolcetto di Diano, according to him discredited especially for excessive production. Claudio pursues this goal with exemplary stubbornness, personally taking care of every aspect of the vineyard and cellar, without failing even in difficult years. As is logical to expect, such perseverance cannot fail to bear fruit. After a disastrous year like ’92, in which Dolcetto had not been bottled and the productions of Nebbiolo and Barbera had required a bunch by bunch selection, the ’93 vintage represents for Dolcetto, in the two versions Costa Fiore and Montagrillo, the right statement. Both obtained with very low yields (50 quintals per hectare) and vinified in steel, the former differ in concentration, balance and elegance, the latter for more astringent and pleasantly fruity sensations. Barbera ’92 is also well made despite the vintage: derived from a very old vine with yields around 30 quintals per hectare, it suffers from a slight structural deficiency, but the gustatory sensations are those typical of wine, expertly harmonized by aging in well-dosed wood. Finally, the two Nebbioli, of which Cascinotto, derived from more clayey soil, is more loaded and complex both on the nose (notes of violets and strawberries) and on the palate.
Claudio Alario continues to manage the development of his small company with clear objectives in mind: one of his great aspirations is to acquire Barolo vineyards in one of the most suitable areas of the Langhe; in the meantime, it has put on the market for the first time this year a Barbera and a Nebbiolo aged in barrique, without diminishing the attention for Dolcetto di Diano, the company’s historical product. The constant growth of this winery is testified by the passage from 3,000 bottles produced in 1988 to the current 20,000: it is mostly Dolcetto, from 4 hectares of property, plus a small amount of Nebbiolo and Barbera. The two crus of Dolcetto both prove convincing also in the vintage ’91, with a particular note of merit for the Montagrillo, with penetrating aromas of black cherry and red fruits supported by a good acidity, rich in extracts and alcohol content, with a pleasant final taste of licorice. The two wines aged in barriques are interesting since their first edition. Barbera Valletta receives from the soil part of the typical characteristics of Dolcetto: intense color, fruity aromas, large body; it needs further refinement, to harmonize the vanilla hints of the wood with the powerful acidity typical of the grape variety and the richness of the extracts; it is a wine that will surely give great satisfaction to Claudio Alario. Nebbiolo Cascinotto (which will only be produced in the best years) also convinces, in which the dosage of new wood appears well balanced in relation to the aromas and structure of the wine.
The choice of making wine, bottling, labeling, selling the wine produced in the beautiful family business, in those four hectares of vineyards located in the Diano d’Alba locality, proved to be a very guessed choice for Claudio Alario. The family tradition, as often happens in the Langa, wanted the grapes to be sold and the little wine produced, sold in bulk; also because the mixed economy of a typical Langhe farm (breeding, cultivation of vineyards and cereals) leaves little room for the care of the cellar. Claudio instead decided to make the leap in quality by starting to work between the rows, lowering the yields and then adopting the most modern techniques such as temperature control in the cellar. The result is there for all to see: Dolcetto and Nebbiolo are excellent drinks and score high. This year we reconfirm the glass with Dolcetto Costa Fiore ’88 which has proved to be a very interesting wine, with light but strong aromas and a soft and velvety taste. Another glass with Nebbiolo delle Langhe Cascinotto: a fresh and round wine, easy to drink and of excellent enjoyment. Reporting instead to Dolcetto Montagrillo, perhaps still too thin and anonymous. A score that is even too stingy but that will certainly increase if the company has the persistence to insist on this path.
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