2015 Giovanni Manzone "Il Crutin" Langhe Nebbiolo

SKU #1340549

This Nebbiolo comes from a sensational vintage, according to K&L's Italian wines buyer Greg St. Clair, and from one of his favorite villages in Barolo, Monforte d’Alba. Deep but approachable, it's aged in 700-liter barrels for about six months before bottling.


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By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/28/2018 | Send Email
Monforte d’Alba is a village--you can’t really say town because it only has 2,000 or so residents, but it is home to some of the best vineyards in Barolo. Vineyards mostly run from 1,100 to 1,500 feet on steep hillsides and you can run into all of the local winemakers in the village's few cafés. It has a big city feel (okay, I’m kidding a bit)... its center is a crossroads and if you hang out there long enough everyone in town will pass by you. Monforte d’Alba has always been my favorite commune in Barolo. Yes, I like a lot of them, but Monforte d’Alba being more or less the center commune, it is my calibrating tool. The wines in general have more power than La Morra or Barolo and aren’t as earthy and gritty as Serralunga can often be. I visited Giovanni Manzone years ago and what I remember most about the visit was his gentle nature. You could tell by shaking his and that he worked in the countryside...the roughness reminded me a bit of Nebbiolo; it can be a bit rough too. Giovanni has some of the village’s premier Barolo Crus. The family started here back in 1925 and piece by piece added small patches. They now produce three different single vineyard bottlings: Bricat, Castelletto and Gramolere. The Nebbiolo, Il Crutin, reminds me a bit of Giovanni: placid, deep and real. It’s aged in 700-liter barrels for about six months before bottling. The wine is gorgeous--okay, 2015 is a sensational vintage, but this wine almost always thrills me with its aromatics. Did I mention 2015 is a sensational vintage? Okay, you’re going to love this wine’s supple character without giving up any Nebbiolo-ness. I’d drink it with Agnolotti dal Plin.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Nebbiolo

- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.
Sub-Region:

Piedmont

- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.
Specific Appellation:

Barolo

- Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, these wines take their name from the village of Barolo. A maximum of 205,000 cases per year can be made from 3081 acres of land divided between 11 communes and more than 1200 growers. La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte and Serralunga are the most important communes and produce most of the exported wine. Barolo is a powerhouse wine in some communes but also more delicate in others (La Morra is the most delicate and Serralunga the most powerful). Recent technological and viticultural advances are remaking Barolo into a wine that is more consistent balanced. Producers here do not want to change the flavor or feel of their wines, only improve and eliminate poor winemaking technique. A wine of great perfume, body and size the classic nose of "tar and roses". Barolo is best served with roast meats the Piemontese classic would be "Stracotto del Barolo or pot roast cooked with a Barolo, game birds or powerful cheese.