FOUR INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT OUR BAROLO BRUNATE
Do you know the Barolo wines of Marcarini? Have you ever tasted them? If not, please read this post. You will discover “a story to enjoy”. Even if you have already tasted our wines, please read on. We are sure you will learn something new!
Every wine is a small collective masterpiece. Nature, people, tradition. Experience, history, technology. It is the balance between all of these that makes a wine unique and profound. Capable, that is, of continung to tell its story from whatever viewpoint it is analysed: geology and soil (to learn more about this aspect, please read our post about the terrains of LA MORRA), viticulture, climatology, oenology and folklore (yes, a wine is also the sum of a community’s customs and traditions).
This post is the first of a series aiming to provide details of peculiarities, secrets and tales linked to our wines. It is always good to learn more: every wine comes alive when it is shared, when we tell its story as we pour it into our glasses.
BAROLO BRUNATE, EPITOME OF A MYTH
Brunate is really one of the most interesting of the Barolos. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious, historic and highest quality amongst the crus.
WHAT A HISTORY!
The first signs that vines were grown here go back to at least 1300, as we can see in the land register of the municipality of Carmagnola. Since then, Brunate has been one of the most sought after crus (or Additional Geographic Definitions) of La Morra. Lorenzo Fantini speaks about it, in his famous Monografia (Monograph) of 1879 on the viticulture of the Cuneo region, defining the “Brunata” (or “Brinata” as “one of the most famous regions”. Renato Ratti, in his Map of Barolo of 1976, places Brunate amongst the “top category” crus. And Alessandro Masnaghetti, in his work on the MGA (Menzione Geografica Aggiunta - Additional Geographic Definitions), defines the wine produced here as the ‘epitome’ of the King of wines.
FIRST APPEARANCE ON A LABEL
For as long as Marcarini can remember, the Brunate vineyards have always formed part of the company’s possessions. In 1958 Marcarini was the first company to put the name, Brunate, on the wine label. Since then, every winemaker in this area is proud to indicate the provenance of Barolo for this cru ...
Brunate is a long strip of land, in the shape of an amphitheatre, that descends steeply from 405 to 230 metres. The climate is characterised by extreme temperature changes. During the daytime, the exposure to the sun is perfect, as the land faces south, with searing heat. At night, however, the temperature plummets. Someone tried to trace through this characteristic the etymology of the name, either through the chilly climate or because, at one time, the grape harvest was so late that sometimes the grapes were covered with a layer of frost, hence the name “Brinate” (covered in frost), which was later changed to “Brunate”. Others, however, trace the etymology back to the appearance of the grapes. Nebbiolo vines produce abundant bloom, a whitish substance, produced naturally by the plant to protect the grapes. This reminds people of the winter frosts, hence the name. However that may be, the microclimate of Brunate has an effect on the vines, releasing spicy, balsamic notes. In fact, the extreme temperature changes between day and night subject the tannin to stress, making it softer and ‘typical’ of this area.
THE LONG CHAIN
For our Brunate, we use a traditional winemaking technique, called the submerged cap method of maceration. In practice, for more than 40 days, the skins of the grapes are in contact with the wine. They form a cap which rises (because it is lighter) but is mechanically kept submerged in the liquid. We do this for two reasons: on one hand, the colour is stabilised in a completely natural way, released by the grape skins and slowly absorbed by the must, which will not be clarified. On the other hand, the slow maceration facilitates the polymerisation of the tannin molecules into long chains which, in the mouth, are transformed into soft, velvet sensations, even when the Barolo is young. By the way, how long can our Barolo last? For a long time, we can assure you. Its average life is thirty years, a period during which it continues to evolve and reaches perfection.