To continue on with my fantastic, “off the beaten path” wines I enjoyed throughout dinner, I diverged from the standard digestifs and selected Gianni Gagliardo Barolo Chinato [NV] to accompany macchiato and gregarious conversation. Barolo Chinato was conceived in the 19th century by pharmacist Giuseppe Cappellano and intended as a medicinal digestive drink. He infused Nebbiolo da Barolo wine with quinine bark along with other roots herbs and spices such as clove, cinnamon and wormwood, sweetened with cane sugar and barrel aged. Today it is a Piedmont delicacy, considered a wonderful after meal sip, and especially fantastic with chocolate.
The origins of the Gianni Gagliardo estate date back to 1847 when the Colla family established vineyards in the Langhe region of Piedmont. Throughout the years the family purchased vineyards in the heart of prime Barolo appellations of Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga. Today the estate is run by the 6thgeneration of sons; Stefano, Alberto and Paolo. In order to protect “what Mother Nature produces in the vineyard” they manage the vineyards based on respect of the vines and soil. They do not add selected yeasts during fermentation, nor do they filter their wines.
Aromas of lemon zest, cherry, tree bark and menthol emerged from the inky dark garnet. Black cherry, clove, lavender and sweet autumn woods comprised the full body. Dense cherry, smoky cedar wisps and hints of menthol lingered between each plush, velvety sip.
Estate bottled by Gianni Gagliardo, La Morra
$40 [average price]