Principiano Ferdinando is a third generation family estate in the heart of the Langhe in Piemonte. In 1934, Ferdinando's grandfather first planted vines (just after phylloxera) on the hill of Monforte d'Alba; the winery and family home sat at the bottom of Serralunga, just across the ditch between the two adjoining hills. In 1946, the 6 hectares next to the home (just under the famous Giacomo Conterno) were planted, giving fruit for their top 'Boscareto' wine. Americo, his son, developed and ran the estate until 1993 when his son in turn took over for the family business. As Ferdinando took the reigns, his concept began to transform the estate into what it is today. In the incredible and perfectly pieced together puzzle of Barolo vineyards, very few stand out with natural flora and fauna, as the land is too valuable to take 'risks' from natural grape growing. The vines of Principiano are one of the few and extraordinary exceptions. Treatments are strictly kept to copper and sulfur only when necessary, amazing calcareous soils without layers of other rocks create for incredible drainage, and chosen crops are planted in the vineyards to add or subtract in aiding to the soil. It is meticulously farmed but pure to the earth, and the winery is the same. Natural yeast fermentations, minimal to no sulfites, large Slavonian oak, 15+ year old French Tonneau, and a sincere love for winemaking create the purest expression of Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto.
principiano ferdinando 'dosset'
The Dosset takes its name from the old local dialect of the grape that rests in the bottle: Dolcetto. The fruit comes from the heart of the Monforte d’Alba zone, in the St. Anna and San Martino vineyards, and is brought into the cellar and treated so delicately in order to retain the pure freshness of the juice. It is made without the use of any sulfites, and meant for easy and everyday consumption, however the quality and style is unlike any ‘typical’ table wine. Low in alcohol, and remarkably fragrant on the nose, the Dosset showcases a light and dainty style of the grape while still being complex with nuanced fruit, ample acidity, and supple grape tannins.
principiano ferdinando 'coste'
The Langhe Nebbiolo Coste comes predominately from a small 40 year-old hectare of Nebbiolo vines in the Le Coste di Monforte subzone on the south side of the Monforte d’Alba hill, and a small portion of incredible fruit from the Boscareto vineyard of Serralunga. Hand selected fruit, natural fermentation with no added sulfur, and 10 months in stainless steel before bottling, the resulting wine is a stunning example of some of the best demarcated Nebbiolo in Barolo. Beautiful freshness of fruit comes across on the nose and pallet, showcasing wild strawberries, red cherry, tea spices, lemon verbena, and sweet tobacco.
principiano ferdinando langhe bianco
The Langhe Bianco is one of the few 100% examples of this old traditional white grape of the Piedmont region called Timorasso. When the grapes are harvested (from a small plot at 750 meters!), they are brought to the cellar for natural fermentation in stainless steel, and rests for 8 months while it also goes through malolactic conversion. The wine is not filtered or fined and is bottled with its pure energy and incredible texture, making it a stand out amongst Italian white wines. In the glass, this wine is savory on the nose, with hints of perfect salinity to accompany the tree-fruit, herbal, and nutty characteristics. The palate is long and rich, complex, yet completely in balance, with apples and pears swimming in profound acidity.
principiano ferdinando serralunga barolo
The Barolo Serralunga comes from a 3.5 hectare area of Ferdinando’s youngest Nebbiolo vines (about 25 years old), in the valley of Boscareto in the Serralunga d’Alba subzone of Barolo. Hand selected fruit in early October, natural fermentation with no added sulfur, and 24 months in large Slavonic oak casks (20 & 40 HL); the wine is then bottled and rests for 1 year before release. A gorgeous earthy aroma rises from the glass, and is echoed on the palate with mushrooms, forest floor, pine resin, black cherry, wild strawberry, mint, and orange zest. A wine with such lovely balance, high acidity and gripping yet soft tannins, it is built to age for years to come, or be able to enjoy now with some decanting. The Serralunga is ideal with intense vegetable dishes, hearty meat courses, salumi, and strong cheeses.
principiano ferdinando 'laura'
The Barbera d’Alba Laura comes from a 1.5 hectare, 40 year-old vineyard, on the southern facing slopes of the Monforte d’Alba hill. Hand selected fruit at the end of September, a natural fermentation with no added sulfur for at least 20 days while only sees minimal punch downs and pump overs before it rests for 10 months in stainless steel, the wine is an absolutely beautiful expression of the grape. On the nose, there are hints of blackberry, fresh strawberry, and graphite, leading to a palate of beautiful acidity, clean red ripe fruit, and balanced tannins. A very bright red wine that is suited well for roasted vegetables, hard cheeses, and lean red meats.
principiano ferdinando ravera barolo
The Barolo Ravera comes a very small plot of 50 year-old vines of the old Michet clone of Nebbiolo, in the subarea of Monforte d’Alba called Ravera. Hand selected fruit, natural fermentation with no added sulfur, and 24 months in 400-liter Slavonic oak casks and old French Tonneau; the wine is then bottled and rests for 1 year before release. Phenomenal depth and complexity shoot forth from the glass, with intense earthy tones and slight floral notes. Bright cherry fruit is on a level playing field with the damp forest floor, mushrooms, rose petals, and tar, giving way to high acidity, gripping tannins, and a rustic overall mouth feel. Striking balance on the palate will let this Barolo age for years to come, and with ample decanting can be enjoyed with hearty meat dishes, salumi, and strong cheeses.