The SOMM Journal

August / September 2018

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Page 32 of 124

32 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 { piedmont } BAROLO'S DISTINCTION AS the "king of wines and the wine of kings" has a solid grounding in historical fact. Barolo is home to the royal house of Savoy, who became the rulers of a newly unified Italy in the mid-19th century. Among the properties in Barolo, Fontanafredda in Serralunga d'Alba best embodies the region's royal patronage. In 1858, the Savoyard King Vittorio Emmanuele II pur - chased the Fontanafredda estate, a former hunting lodge, as a gift for his mistress, Rosina Vercellana. Six years later, he bought the adjacent vineyards to produce wine for his own personal use. The couple's innovative children then later improved the Fontanafredda wine estate, making it one of the greatest names in Barolo. As the estate celebrates its 160th anniversary this year, the 250-acre Fontanafredda Barolo cru property in Serralunga d'Alba is the largest contiguous wine estate in the Langhe. (Additional properties in the communes of Barolo and Diano d'Alba bring the total acreage of estate-owned land to 305.) A Barolo "Monopole" Aside from its size and royal history, an additional special distinction now marks the historic Fontanafredda estate. After Barbaresco (Barolo's great rival in Piedmont) com - pleted the classification of all of its crus in 2007, wines from those crus were allowed an MGA—Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva (Additional Geographic Mention)—to identify the cru of origin. Yet when the MGA system was introduced for Barolo in 2010, the transition proved a bit trickier than it was in Barbaresco. After some characteristically Italian head-butting among producers due to differences in communes, styles, and opinions about geographic delineation, the Barolo MGAs eventually fell into place. There are now 181 Barolo MGAs, 170 of which are single vineyards and 11 of which are com - munes. There is only one cru, however, that is both an estate and a vineyard: MGA Fontanafredda. A Jewel in the Crown of the "King of Wines" The new Fontanafredda Barolo DOCG Proprietà in Fontanafredda at Kingsley in New York City. BAROLO'S MOST REGAL PRODUCER RELEASES A WINE TO CELEBRATE THE FONTANAFREDDA MGA by David Gadd / photos by Margaret Pattillo

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