Andrew Guard

2017 Barbera d'Alba Superiore, Scarzello Giorgio et Figli

50/50 Sarmassa/Paiagallo,
Barbera from Cru Barolo vineyards... this has dark and inviting aromas of rich black cherry fruit that is combined with a gorgeous soil tone and an attractive spicy lift. Rich and forthright but with lovely fruit in the mouth and importantly lovely acidity. Texturally this shares a focus with the Langhe Nebbiolo, it's fruit sweet but attractive and complex and finishes with good thrust and focus. Lovely richness all through the finish. This is a pet wine of Federico and it's quality shows.

Scarzello Giorgio e Figli is a small gem of an estate housed right in the middle of Barolo. It was pure serendipity that led me to their door this year and I feel very lucky.

This diminutive, traditional, Barolo domaine owns a mere five and a half hectares, nearly half of which are in Sarmassa, one of the region’s top crus. Aromatically enticing, bursting with juicy sweet red fruits and irresistible silky textures.

Today the winery has five and a half hectares planted to Nebbiolo, including 2.5 hectares devoted to the production of Barolo, 2 hectares in the famed Sarmassa cru of Barolo, and another half hectare in Terlo and Paiagallo, both highly coveted sites.

Federico uses traditional long maceration and large cask aging — the hallmarks of traditional-style Barolo — to make these elegant and long-lived wines. The estate’s top label, the Barolo Sarmassa Vigna Merenda, can spend up to 30 months in 25-30 hectoliter Slavonian cask.

The wines are full to the brim of site specific character, charm, and power in equal measure. Federico’s work hails the re-birth of a great, traditional Barolo estate. If you are a fan of traditionally made Baroli then keep your eyes open for the wines of Scarzello. They are very special indeed.