Crissante Alessandria, Barolo “Capalot”
Crissante Alessandria, Barolo “Capalot”

Crissante Alessandria, Barolo “Capalot”

Piedmont, Italy 2015 (750mL)
Regular price$68.00
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Crissante Alessandria, Barolo “Capalot”

Did you think I was done raving about the 2015 Barolo vintage? Oh no. I’m just getting warmed up! Although 2020 was horrible in just about every way, it was a glorious year for Barolo drinking, thanks to the steady supply of ’15s in the market. We’ve already seen many equally impressive ’16s roll in, but those can wait: The abundance of riches that is 2015 Barolo is far from exhausted, and best of all, you don’t have to be rich to enjoy them. 


Today’s elegantly perfumed example from Crissante Alessandria raises the bar once again—you might run across a red Burgundy or two that performs at this level at this price point, but not many. Grown in the village of La Morra, which is known for wines with finer-grained, less-aggressive tannins, and blessed with warm conditions in ’15, this is a Barolo you don’t need to wait 20 years to drink. Twenty minutes in a decanter and you’ll be good to go (although I’d probably advise longer and wouldn’t hesitate to age this wine for 10-15 years). If you enjoy wines that show off a more finessed, brightly fruited side of Barolo’s Nebbiolo grape, this wine is one of the more elegant, “Burgundian” examples around. As with the previous vintage we offered, there isn’t a lot to share, so we must limit purchases to six bottles until our supply runs out. If our subscribers are as savvy as I think they are, that stash should disappear quickly!


Based in the La Morra hamlet of Santa Maria, atop the cru vineyard called “Roggeri” (where they farm three hectares), the estate was founded in 1958 when Crissante Alessandria decided to begin bottling some of his own wines from vineyards that had been in his family for generations. Centered on the Capalot and Roggeri vineyards, the family-run property remained small and focused, and today totals about six hectares—all within the La Morra subzone of Barolo. Eighth-generation vignaiolo Alberto Alessandria joined the family business in 2007, and since then the family has made significant investments in both the winery and vineyards (including converting to organic viticulture) to increase their profile.


The Alessandria family is the best-known producer of Barolo from the Capalot vineyard, which itself is best known for supplying part of Roberto Voerzio’s “Riserva Vecchie Viti dei Capalot e delle Brunate” bottling (which is no longer made). The vineyard’s exposures range from east to south-southeast in Alessandria’s portion, which sits in an amphitheater of clay and limestone with veins of sand. In general, La Morra’s east-leaning exposures and higher percentage of clay in its soils lead to Barolos with bright fruit and less-ferocious tannins than their counterparts in villages such as Serralunga and Monforte d’Alba. This one is true to form in that regard, and to anyone who remembers the generously oaked, densely concentrated produce of Roberto Voerzio, be advised: This is not that. This is a lifted, perfumed style Barolo that combines power and finesse in much the same way my favorite Burgundies do. It sneaks up on you and stays with you. 


In the glass, the 2015 “Capalot” is a deep garnet red with pink and orange highlights, with gorgeous aromas of wild strawberry, cranberry, black cherry, orange rind, sandalwood, wet rose petals, and a subtle hint of tobacco. Aged 24 months in large, used Slavonian oak botti, its oak component is well-integrated, even at this young age. The tannins, as noted above, are relatively fine-grained—silky even—and in general the wine is perfectly proportioned: There’s fruit, there’s flowers, there’s earth, and even a juiciness to the fruit, a signature of the 2015 vintage. I don’t see it as a ultra-long-haul ager but more of a 10-15 year wine, which is just fine with me—mine will be long gone well before then. With about 60 minutes in a decanter, you’ll be quite happy with the Capalot right now—serve it at 60-65 degrees in Burgundy stems and let it harmonize with an earthy, seasonal pasta preparation as in the attached. Add a roaring fire and suddenly staying at home doesn’t seem so bad. Enjoy!

Crissante Alessandria, Barolo “Capalot”
Country
Region
Sub-Region
Soil
Farming
Blend
Alcohol
OAK
TEMP.
Glassware
Drinking
Decanting

Italy

Northwestern Italy

Piedmont

Italy’s Piedmont region is really a wine “nation”unto itself, producing world-class renditions of every type of wine imaginable: red, white, sparkling, sweet...you name it! However, many wine lovers fixate on the region’s most famous appellations—Barolo and Barbaresco—and the inimitable native red that powers these wines:Nebbiolo.

Tuscany

Chianti

The area known as “Chianti” covers a major chunk of Central Tuscany, from Pisa to Florence to Siena to Arezzo—and beyond. Any wine with “Chianti” in its name is going to contain somewhere between 70% to 100% Sangiovese, and there are eight geographically specific sub-regions under the broader Chianti umbrella.

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