The village Barbaresco from Verduno is a model of its type, showing absolutely typical aromas and flavors of redcurrant, fraise de bois, sandalwood and rose. Elegant, delicious when young but will age for many years in a good vintage. The grapes come from the Faset and Rabajà vineyards; vinification is traditional, with 21 days on the skins, and the wine is aged for 19 months in large Slovenian oak barrels (made by Stockinger, an artisan cooper from Austria) before bottling. (Barbaresco is only required to be aged in wood for 12 months, and I think this extra time in large barrels makes a difference.)
You might say that there are two schools of Barolo and Barbaresco, 'traditional' and 'modern.' 'Traditional' wines are made with long maceration and aged in larger barrels (made of Eastern European oak) for two years or more; the advantage of this winemaking method is that the combination of long maceration and long aging in large barrels gives an extraordinary complexity and a savory character that can't be created any other way. The disadvantage, especially in the past, is that some producers would use these large barrels for many years and wouldn't look after them very well, which can give the wine off aromas and flavors.
'Modern' wines are typically made using shorter macerations and small French oak barrels, at least partly (and sometimes entirely) new; the advantage of this method is that it creates wines with a glossy, easy-to-like personality that appeals to wine drinkers who are used to similarly-styled wines from Bordeaux and the New World; the disadvantage is that it creates wines that aren't very distinctive, individual or representative of their 'terroir.' The ideal Barbaresco, then, would be cleanly, traditionally made, and aged in well-maintained larger barrels. Castello di Verduno makes just such wines: great vineyards, talented winemaking, large well-maintained barrels, long macerations, and more than the minimum time in wood. I am delighted to represent these wines.
The winery’s philosophy is to produce wines that speak of place in a classic way and are also sustainable and protect the land. As such, they practice organic farming and are meticulous both in the vineyard and in the cellar. Mario uses minimal SO2 and also vinifies with indigenous yeast. Their wines are firmly traditional in style though never rustic; in fact just the opposite, they retain a rare elegance and purity.
The Castello di Verduno, owned by Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco, is a beautiful old building at the top of the village of Verduno, on the edge of the Barolo zone. The Castello di Verduno wine label unites two cellars, one under the castle in the Barolo zone and the other near the famous 'cru' Rabajà, in the Barbaresco area. Wines are produced in Barbaresco and bottled and stored in Verduno. The vineyards owned by Verduno are the Barbaresco crus, Faset and Rabajà, the last being one of the best vineyards in Barbaresco, and the Barolo crus Monvigliero and Massara. All wines are vinified traditionally by Mario Andrion, the talented young enologist who took over the cellar in 2000. The estate also produces a small amount of delicious Langhe Nebbiolo, and an excellent example of the variety indigenous to Verduno, Pelaverga.