Italy, Piedmont, Beni di Batasiolo

Oct 1, 2012
2012 / October 2012

Piedmont, the wine region in northwest Italy, rarely calls attention to itself. It lets its wines speak for it. Here, the Nebbiolo grape is king, reaching its finest expression in such wines as Barolo and Barbaresco, among others. The best Nebbiolo comes from a delimited area of communes within Piedmont, one of which is La Morra. And this is where, in 1978, the Dogliani family bought a winery with seven beni (vineyards with farm houses) and named it Beni di Batasiolo. Today, the third-generation Doglianis own nine beni for a total of almost 300 acres, of which nearly 60 percent is planted in Nebbiolo and another 10 percent in other red varieties of the region.

While Batasiolo is particularly known for its series of Barolos produced from single vineyards, an excellent introduction for the person just getting acquainted with Batasiolo Barolo is its basic, classical Barolo. The 2007, the current vintage on the market, shows the distinctiveness of the winery’s style. It has a firm structure with dark fruit and sweet spice in the aroma, a robust body, a distinguished wine with a long, memorable finish. It retails for approximately $50.

If Barolo is the king of Piedmont’s Nebbiolo-based wines, Barbaresco is its queen. Also made 100 percent of the grape, Batasiolo’s Barbaresco tends to be a bit more velvety than its Barolo, with slightly softer tannins; as a result, it is usually approachable at an earlier age. This wine is rich with spice in the nose, deep color, medium-full body and lingering finish. It is priced at about $30.

Batasiolo also produces an exceptional Barbera D’Alba wine from its Barbera grapes. Unlike deep-shaded wines made of Nebbiolo, Barbera has a less intense color, lighter tannins and a roundness, often with a pleasant vanilla in its scent. This is an upper-class Barbera that sells for about $15.

The winery also makes two wines from its sweet Moscato d’Asti grape. The first, a still wine named for the grape, has a golden color and a refreshing acidity that balances the wine’s peach-like sweetness ($16). The second is a sparkling wine, Moscato Spumante Rosé. With a delicate fragrance, rosy pink shade, medium body, silky smoothness and delightful fruity sweetness, it is a pleasure at less than $20.

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