2015 Paolo Scavino Barolo DOCG
The most remarkable thing about Enrico Scavino is that even today, this man ever longs to make better Barolo. Decades at the helm of his family estate, founded in 1921, have already proven him a leader in the qualitative advances that have occurred in the Barolo area. Yet he has never stopped the experimentation that has kept him on the avant-garde of the Langhe region. He continues to vinify his wines parcel by parcel, taking advantage of these small fermentations to make better wines. In fact, in 2007 Enrico designed and fabricated his own fermentation vessel, used exclusively on his Barolo, to improve the finesse of extraction from his Nebbiolo grapes. Today, with his daughters Elisa and Enrica working with him full-time, it would seem possible for this statesman (a contemporary of Domenico Clerico and Elio Altare) to take a step back. Instead, Enrico’s passion is further bolstered by the presence of the next generation! And speaking of family, we’d be remiss not to mention that Enrico’s first cousin and neighbor is Luigi Scavino of Azelia fame. Alfonso, father of Luigi, and his brother Paolo, father to Enrico, divided ownership of the 11 hectare Scavino farm in the 1950s, giving each an equal share of the famed Fiasco hill.
Castiglione Falletto lies in the very heart of the Barolo area — its soils are of both tortonian and helvetian origins, stratified amongst each other. In other words, crus in Castiglione like Bric del Fiasc (or even Bricco Boschis for that matter) combine the elegance of Barolo and La Morra with the power of Serralunga and Monforte. The first vintage of Bric del Fiasc was 1978—as a Barolo Riserva—hence the release this year of the 30 year anniversary Bric del Fiasc Riserva 2008. But Enrico never closed his eyes to the beauty of the neighboring communes: in 1985 he signed a long-term lease on a small parcel in Cannubi in Barolo. Next, in 1990, he acquired a piece of the famed Rocche Annunziata cru in La Morra. In 2002, with the help of Domenico Clerico, he purchased a piece of Bricco Ambrogio, the most renown vineyard in the commune of Roddi. And most recently in 2007 he added a piece of Monviglero, considered the grand cru of Verduno. View a map of Scavino’s vineyards and varied terroirs.
Enrico on his decision to bottle Bric del Fiasc as a single cru for the first time:
“It was 1978, I was harvesting the Bric del Fiasc with my father, and we were enjoying the great quality that we always had in that vineyard when an idea jumped into my mind: why not vinify those grapes separately? So, I asked my father if I could vinify them separately, because I was curious to better understand the identity, the purity, and the potential that the vineyard could show. So my father let me try. I vinified the grapes separately in a tank and after the fermentation I could recognize from the color, the perfume, and the intensity that I made the right decision.”
Winemaking at the estate has evolved over time, but the one constant, even from the days of Enrica and Elisa’s grandfather, is hygiene: the cleanliness of the winery and health of the grapes remains paramount. Technology has had its influence; Enrico recalls working the vineyards with oxen and horses, and said of the purchase of his first tractor: “I couldn’t have been happier if my father had gifted me a Ferrari!” In 1993, rotofermentors arrived at the estate, and between 1996-1999, Slavonian casks were replaced with French oak. But barriques were always and only used for the first 10 months of aging before the wines were transferred to larger oak botti. The percentage of new oak has been much reduced from a high of 30% in the 1990s to only 20% new from 2004 – 2008, and 17% new in 2011 and 2012. For the 2015 harvest, they have further reduced the percentage new to just 14%. In addition, quality control at the estate is absolutely crucial. Scavino could make more wine, but they choose to sell 10-30% of their production in bulk to maintain their high standards. This small family farm, which essentially started with 5.5 hectares, now manages 29 hectares of vineyards, and regularly finds itself classified among the other top estates of the Barolo region.