The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2014

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30 / the tasting panel / march 2014 INTRO-VINOUS I t was the middle of winter and Claudio Viberti's first visit to California. We were dining at Mozza Osteria in Hollywood, presided over by Sommelier Erick Lumley. "I'm impressed with the weather," says Viberti, the Barolo-born and -raised winemaker. "It's snowing in northern Italy right now." The family winery, Viberti Giovanni, was founded in the early 20th century by Antonio Viberti, who also purchased an estate and farmhouse in Barolo. The estate produced a wine called Buon Padre, at that time a private label made exclusively for the family's local trattoria of the same name, which Claudio's family continues to run today. In fact, Claudio managed the restaurant for many years, where he developed his palate for wine—and ultimately for food pairing. In 1967, Claudio's father, Giovanni, saw the potential for world distribution of the wines, and in 2004, Claudio, after studying at the Scuola Enologica in Alba, came back to Barolo to become the family's third-generation winemaker. The grapes grown for Viberti's Barolo riservas come from local historical areas such as Bricco delle Viole, San Pietro, La Volta and Bricco Airoli. The other varieties cultivated include Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera and a small vineyard of Chardonnay. "Our Buon Padre continues to be our sig- nature wine," Claudio notes, "it is a cuvée of five top crus of Nebbiolo from five top sites in Barolo. Our vineyard philosophy targets lowering the yield per acre and ripening only the best grapes." —Meridith May Viberti 2007 Barolo ($55) offers up a floral, spiced tonality. The chili pepper, cardamom and balsamic notes integrate with a silky cherry-tannin mouthfeel. Feminine in style, the use of truncated, cone-shaped casks for aging (up to 40 months) allows the development of aromatics, fresh mineral acidity and a distinct identity in the perfumed Viberti style. Giovanni Viberti is imported by Opici Wines and distributed in California by Titan Wine & Spirits. Evolution of a Good Barolo CLAUDIO VIBERTI COMES TO THE STATES TO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF HIS GRAPES Claudio Viberti, third-genera- tion winemaker, at his Barolo estate winery.

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