17.5/20 JancisRobinson.com Serralunga d’Alba. ‘From 2009 this wine is 100% whole bunch.’ Why? ‘Ferdinando wanted a “grand vin”, complex and with four years of ageing, but to keep it fresh.’ Very gentle extraction and the bunches are lightly foot-trodden before fermentation starts. ‘With stems the fermentation is faster, hence only 20–25 days on the skins and stalks.’ Aged in large oak casks for four years. Not always made (not made in 2014, and 2015 – ‘in theory we thought we would make it, but after tasting the wine, Ferdinando considered it not good enough’). Their aim is to make a structured wine while still maintaining elegance.
Lustrous mid ruby with orange tinges. Enticing, lifted nose with great purity. Echoes of spice that is reminiscent of oak, but this has seen only large oak casks. Hint of liquorice. Tightly wound yet truly lithe and with plenty of supple acidity and rich, dark tannins. Very closed at this stage but hugely promising. The parts are not yet integrated, but there is near-perfect equilibrium. This wine is definitely not in a hurry. (WS)