2014 Cantine Garrone ‘Munaloss’ Vino Rosso
Region: Piedmont < Italy
Grapes: 50% Nebbiolo, 30% Croatina, 20% Barbera
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: no pesticides used in farming, hand harvested, steep hillside vineyards at 300 – 500m elevation, loose gravel with a small amount of clay. fermentation in stainless steel for eight days, malolactic and aging for 12 months in stainless steel
Winemaker: Mario and Roberto Garrone
Behind this wine is a story of people coming together, a concept I think we can all get behind, especially right after the holiday season. In pretty much the most remote and farthest northern area of Piedmont (and Italy even!), lies a sheltered valley, surrounded by Switzerland, called the Val d’Ossola. The total vineyard area is under 45 hectares, which amounts to less than one hectare per grower on average, and most of these exist on steep slopes with terraced vines, many of which are un-grafted. With the goal of preserving the historic old vines, the brothers Mario and Roberto Garrone united this group of growers under the Cantina Garrone label and provide guidance on winemaking and commercial side. Sort of an elevated co-op concept. They make about 2000 cases, but the Garrone brothers give most back to the growers to drink with friends, likely over some salumi around 3:00pm. A quaffable, easy-drinking winter red with great acid from the Barbera and Nebbiolo, and a dark-fruited, almost chocolatey note from the Croatina, finishing with soft, slightly drying tannins. It begs to be enjoyed with a slight chill and a gaggle of friends. Salumi happy hour anyone?