Luigi Vico, Barolo Comune di Serralunga d’Alba
Luigi Vico, Barolo Comune di Serralunga d’Alba

Luigi Vico, Barolo Comune di Serralunga d’Alba

Piedmont, Italy 2018 (750mL)
Regular price$65.00
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Luigi Vico, Barolo Comune di Serralunga d’Alba

The Luigi Vico label made its debut with the breathtaking 2016 vintage, which was fortuitous timing to say the least. When we offered Vico’s 2016, we explained that this wasn’t any ordinary debut: Between Vico’s family vineyard resources and the expert advice of consultant Davide Rosso (Giovanni Rosso), this was destined to be a star-making wine—especially since the conditions in ’16 were the wine-growing equivalent of starting on third base.

The question now is, how did Vico and company manage in the more-difficult 2018 vintage? The answer sits before you today: Another Barolo home run, delicious for drinking now or 10 years down the line, for a price that bucks the trends in today’s fine wine market. As we’ve noted countless times before, great winemakers can accomplish great things in “off” vintages—and all the evidence so far is that Luigi Vico is a great one!

To look at the label, you’d think this wine came from one of the oldest wineries in Barolo. In fact, generations of Vicos grew grapes in their well-placed vineyards and sold them to others; the family name never appeared on a label until 2016. Luigi Vico, a native son of Barolo who had long ago left agriculture behind for a life in Turin, felt like the time had come to reconnect with his roots in the village of Serralunga d’Alba. Vineyards he had once helped his grandparents maintain during summers off from school were nearing the end of long-term rental contracts, meaning that he could re-take control of these family heirlooms and make a wine bearing the Vico name. With the help of Davide Rosso (talk about well-placed friends), he did just that.

Barolo lovers know very well that there isn’t much “newness” in the region. For the most part, the same families have remained in the same places since before wines came in bottles with labels. When a new label does appear on the scene, it usually has a backstory like that of Vico’s: long-established vignaioli (vine-growers) decide to keep some of their prized fruit for themselves. To “put their name on the door,” so to speak. But again, it’s not like they’re starting from zero: We’re talking about beautifully positioned Nebbiolo vines in the heart of one of the world’s most legendary winemaking villages. There are no guarantees in life, but this is about as close as it gets.

Today’s 2018 includes the village-specific labeling now allowed under Barolo DOCG law: It is labeled “Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d’Alba,” which is akin to seeing a village name like “Gevrey-Chambertin” on a bottle of red Burgundy. Overall, the Vico family holdings extend over roughly five acres of land in three vineyards: “Prapò,” “Meriame,” and “Prato Done.” Although it doesn’t carry a vineyard designation, today’s wine hails entirely from the “Meriame” vineyard, a west-facing site in Serralunga first purchased by the Vicos in 1920. Farming is Certified Organic, and, to maintain biodiversity, Vico has kept fruit trees planted at the end of each vine row—a nod to the land’s prior use as an orchard.

The 2018, now the third vintage in a row we’ve offered, was again vinified under the watchful eye of Davide Rosso. The style is resolutely traditional: De-stemmed fruit from 30+-year-old vines was macerated on skins for an extended period during fermentation, after which the wine was aged in 15-hectoliter Slavonian oak botti before bottling. It is a taut, fine-edged style, not as tannic as many Serralunga wines but well-structured for aging. 

In the glass, it sends up a perfumed blast of woodsy aromas: black and red raspberries, dried cherry, cranberry, red currant, blood orange, leather, wild herbs, and a full dose of textbook “tar and rose” savor. It is full-bodied, but overall the ’18 has rounder edges and a little less overall heft than the previous vintages that preceded it (for those who can remember that far back, think 1997 vs. 1998 as a good analog for 2017 vs. 2018). It is ready to be enjoyed with gusto now with 30-60 minutes in a decanter; otherwise, plan on laying this down more in the 5- to 7-year range (as opposed to 20). At the end of the day, this is an absurd amount of class and character for $65 a bottle. Do not pass it by!

Luigi Vico, Barolo Comune di Serralunga d’Alba


Northwestern Italy


Italy’s Piedmont region is really a wine “nation”unto itself, producing world-class renditions of every type of wine imaginable: red, white, sparkling, 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.



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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