Friday, September 26, 2014

5 generations of tradition in Barolo winemaking w/Agricola Giacomo Fenocchio

As many of you know that follow my blogs I love the Piedmont wine region not only for its wine, but its food, people and the overall beauty of the land.  I had sampled some pleasurable wines from this region last week meeting the export manager that shared with me a variety of wines from Azienda Agricola Giacomo Fenocchio.  
Giacomo Fenocchio vineyards in Piedmont
Vineyards of Fenocchio 
The Fenocchio estate was founded by the patriarch of the family, Giovanni Fenocchio, in 1864.  There have been five generations worth of winemaking within this family still carried on to this day by Giacomos' sons, Claudio, Albino and Alberto. 

Claudio Fenocchio wines in Barolo, Piedmont
Claudio Fenocciho
It wasn't until the 1960's when the family began exporting their wines and today are exporting over 80% of their wines.  Prior to World War II all the wines were consumed locally.  This presence abroad is what has driven folks to explore this winery as I did and appreciate yet another family that has such rich culture and traditions and whom highly respect the land on which they live and work. 

The Fenocchio family believes in continuing the traditions of what Barolo is known for and doesn't believe in altering much the traditional ways of making these wines like some of the modern style winemakers.  They balance their yields and try to produce the wine as naturally as they can with natural yeasts.

2009 Fenocchio Barolo BussiaI tasted the 2009 Fenocchio Barolo Bussia.  This Barolo comes from the area of production, Monforte d'Alba, but the specific cru named Bussia.  The Fenocchio family aged this barolo for 6 months in stainless steel followed by 30 months in large Slavonian oak barrels and finished with a year in the bottle.  This wine is 100% nebbiolo, which is required by the Barolo DOCG law.  It comes from 30 year aged vines with south to south-west facing slopes. It had rich black cherry with hints of licorice.  Nice structured tannins.  I compared this wine to their 2009 Fenocchio Barolo Villero, but I enjoyed the complexity and depth of the wine much more with the 2009 Fenocciho Barolo Bussia.  

This wine has received a number of awards including 93 points from the Wine Enthusiast and the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri.
Wine cellars of Azienda Agricola Fenocchio Piedmont
Barolo is one of the best wines in all of Italy and is a wonderful wine to pair with aged cheese and meats.  It's a very powerful, complex wine and usually is on the pricier end.  Definitely a wine to splurge on and with the holidays it's the perfect time of year to celebrate.  Although, when I open a bottle like this it becomes its own celebration.  When you think of the history and the process this wine goes through it's well worth the investment.