Piedmont is arguably the greatest wine region in Italy. Yes, I know the other 19 or so regions will feel a tad slighted by this comment, but it’s true. I say this because: Piedmont has the most DOCG and DOC wines in Italy; Piedmont has the highest percentage of wine production as DOC wines (25%); and Piedmont is the second most productive region in Italy. Those attributes combined with my personal experience with the age-worthy wines from Piedmont locks in first place. I’ll await the email to the contrary…
Over the years I have followed many producers in Piedmont and as the succession of great vintages has rolled along in Italy, so has the gradual increases in price that place many of these producers beyond my ordinary wine budget. Fortunately, some producers have remained a relative value and among them, Brovia stands apart.
Brovia is an old (originally founded in 1863), family owned winery with several stunning wines. The family owns approximately 46 acres in Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba in the heart of Barolo. Their primary vineyards are: Rocche (Castiglione Falletto), Villero (Castiglione Falletto), Garblèt Sue’ (Castiglione Falletto) and Ca’Mia (Serralunga d’Alba). The breakdown of grapes cultivated is: Nebbiolo da Barolo 55%; Dolcetto d’Alba 25%; Barbera d’Alba 10% and others (Nebbiolo da Barbaresco, Nebbiolo d’Alba, Freisa, etc.) 10%.
Like most Piedmont producers, Brovia makes a range of wines from all the varietals native to the area and produces approximately 60,000 bottles annually. The wines produced are:
- Barolo DOCG from 4 vineyards: Ca’Mia, Garblèt Sue’, Villero and Rocche and a Barolo blend
- Barbaresco DOCG Riosordo
- Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC Valmaggione
- Barbera d’Alba DOC from 2 vineyards Brea and Sori’ del Drago
- Dolcetto d’Alba DOC from 2 vineyards Solatio / Ciabot del Re and Vignavillej
- Roero Arneis DOC Sanche di Vezza
- Langhe Freisa DOC Villerina
To paraphrase from the Brovia web site:
“After four generations of devotion to wine making, today the Brovia winery is in a solid position, characterized by:
- Its great and important vineyards in Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba
- Production of top quality and prestigious “terroir wines”
- Guaranteed continuity in quality wine making thanks to the academic background and experience of the new generation.
Nevertheless, there are challenges:
- Consolidate its position in current markets and enter new markets
- Build a larger winery to increase capacity to harness Brovia’s full wine making potential (after the last acquisitions in Serralunga)
- Continual improvement always!!! Because quality is our leading goal.”
I recently picked up a six-pack of the 2009 Barbera d’Alba Sori’ del Drago – wow, what a wine! At an average retail of $28.99 per bottle it is not cheap Barbera, but the wine is heavenly and well worth the investment.
My tasting note:
Tight nose with black cherry, cedar and nutmeg hints – lovely. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity and firm tannin – well balanced. Dark fruit core with rich cocoa, tobacco, violet and allspice notes – incredibly complex. Long finish – layered and smooth. Drinking well now and should improve with another 5 to 7 years in bottle. Magnificent wine.