Ettore Germano, 2010 Barolo Lazzarito Riserva
This wine….. The only Riserva wine from Ettore Germano. The iconic Lazzarito vineyard in Serralunga d'Alba shows the power and complexity of the warm vineyard location.
The Germano family has owned 6 hectares of land on the hill called Cerretta, near Serralunga d’Alba, in the heart of the Barolo area, since 1856. Great-grandfather Francesco, and thereafter grandfather Alberto, cultivated vines, producing a little wine but selling most of the grapes, as was the custom. Ettore, the son of Alberto, continued his father’s work, also becoming skilled at grapevine grafting, and in the 1950s he started to replant the vineyards. He used vines that he himself propagated using ‘massal selection,’ with a vine density of at least four thousand vines per hectare, of the varieties typical in this region: Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo. In 1964 Ettore married Rosanna, and they continued to work the vineyards, buying additional neighbouring parcels of land.
In 1985 Ettore and Rosanna’s son Sergio finished enology school at Alba and started to work with his family, starting to bottle small amounts of wine in addition to the wine sold in bulk to friends and private customers, and continuing to sell some of the grapes. Fast forward to today, and we are not alone in believing that Sergio has developed into one of the most talented winemakers from Piedmont. Having all of his red vineyards situated within Serralunga, enables Sergio to make characteristically powerful, muscular and intense wines, that are the biggest, richest and most long-lived of all Barolo. Using what may appear to be very modern techniques (stainless steel is much in evidence), the driving force behind the wine making here is actually solid tradition. Fermentation is short, around 12-15 days, in open wooden fermenters and maturation is completed in a variety of barrel sizes (225 litres and upwards) made from up to two year old French oak.
The Barolos are mineral, earthy and complex with very finely grained tannins, and depending on the vineyard size, touches of cocoa and hints of violet can also be found. The Germano family is blessed with some of the very best vineyards, owning vines in Lazzarito (a true grand cru), Cerretta, Prapò and now, thanks to an inheritance, even the legendary Vigna Rionda, which many experts consider the single greatest Barolo vineyard of all. The single vineyard Barbera “Vigna della Madre” is produced in the same way as the Barolo but inevitably has brighter, blackberry, and coffee undertones while the basic Barbera is fresh, clean and enjoyable.