Vino della Settimana – 2008 Langhe Nebbiolo, by Ca’Viola

Although the Ca’Viola winery was founded as long ago as 1991, Beppe (probably known to his mother as Giuseppe) Caviola has been mostly famous for his consultancy work for other wineries. Among them the likes of Einaudi, Vietti, Bruno Rocca, Umani Ronchi, and Elvio Cogno.  But, for those lucky enough to find his own wines around somewhere, we know that he makes some pretty good wines himself too.  Or, as Beppe would say, we make wine – and include Maurizio Anselmo and agronomist Gian Piero Romana.

Originally in Montelupo Albese, the winery has since 2001 been established in Dogliani, a town famous for their many great Dolcettos (including a number of my favorites – Papa Celso by Abbona, Briccolero by Chionetti, Vigna Tecc by Einaudi, and Beppe’s own Il Vilot).  They produce around 35 000 bottles a year (destined to  move to 40 000 when newly planted vines are ready for “production”), with most of it in Montelupo (17 acres of dolcetto and barbera, and a few rows of nebbiolo and pinot noir), but also 5 acres of nebbiolo in Novello. 

In 2002, Beppe received the award “Winemaker of the Year” from Gambero Rosso.  Timely, and in its place then that he, 10 years later, gets his and this year’s first “Wine of the Week”, the 2008 Langhe Nebbiolo.

The 06 Ca’Viola Langhe Nebbiolo, at Fior di Sale, Dogliani

Brick-colored, the first sniff is almost burgunderesq.  Dark fruits, tobacco, and tad licorice. Complex. Fruity, silky tannins (but, yes, we recommend cellaring it for a couple of years to get them even more integrated), and refined.  Gets better with every sip.  Had the 2006 at Fior di Sale (an absolutely wonderful restaurant in Dogliani) this summer, and it was a stunner.  Beppe is proving that he not only can help others make great wines, and that his own wines are more than the wonderful Dolcetto Il Vilot and Barbera Bric du Luv. His wines are hard to come by, but if you can, getting a couple is highly recommended.

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