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Mauro Veglio 2018 Releases

Mauro Veglio 2018 Releases - Prince Wine Store

Mauro Veglio 2018 Releases

The 2018 Barolos I tasted for this year’s preview left me elated, energised and excited. With the colour of crushed rubies, the wines are extremely elegant, perfumed and charged with super-fine tannins. Their transparency accentuates in a clear-cut way the distinction between crus and villages and makes these wines almost ephemeral – Barolo like you have never seen before. WALTER SPELLER, www.jancisrobinson

The 2018s were whole berry fermented and saw 20-25 days on the skins. Malolactic fermentation was done in steel. The wines were aged in barrique (30% new for the vineyard designates), except the Paiagallo, which was aged in cask. There is a ton of potential here. ANTONIO GALLONI

Now in its second generation, this La Morra estate is poised to make a big move under the direction of Alessandro Veglio. GALLONI’S ESTATE’S TO WATCH

Dominating the tasting room at Mauro Veglio is a massive arched window, kind of like the one on Romper Room, but instead of a stuffed bear on the other side, there’s sweeping views across La Morra’s celebrated Arborina vineyard. This is where the Veglios live, in the vineyard. In so many ways it defines the work of Mauro and Daniela over decades, their connection to the land and the enormous talent Mauro has brought and, still brings, to farming his 22 hectares of premium Barolo sites has been pivotal to the rise and rise of this estate. In 2018, that mastery and deep understanding of his vines shines through in the finished wines, so much so that they are amongst the most highly rated of the 2018 vintage.

On top of this, the arrival of nephew Alessandro (a few years back) has provided an injection of fresh thinking in the cellar that has been a gamechanger. Incremental shifts in fermentation (in particular) have provided more focus, freshness and energy to the wines. Vertical fermenters and longer maceration on skins have subtly changed the shape and clarity as well and, while the wines are still modern leaning, this is not a defining feature, it’s the vineyard you see even more clearly in each glass. I should say, that has always been the case with Mauro’s wines – strong vineyard identity – but these days there’s less artifice in the way.

Alessandro has also added his own small stable of vineyards to the estate, most notable being a small section of Gattera and the Paiagallo vineyard in Barolo. The former has a much cooler situation in this sun-trap vineyard to Mauro’s piece, so it has been chosen to form the heart of the cru bottling. This change has had big consequences; more energised and transparent aromas and flavours to a point where it’s now vying to be one of the best in the range. Mauro’s piece now mainly goes into the DOCG Barolo, making that wine even more profound (it already has fruit from Arborina and Castelletto).

In the case of Paiagallo, this leased plot under the Barolo castle provides a snapshot into Alessandro’s thinking on style direction. 25 days on skins (the others see an average of 20 days) and elevage only in large cask make for more primary, transparent wine. Wood tannin is replaced by ‘wet’ fruit tannins that sit within the wine more easily. I suspect this wine will provide the template for more small changes in the other wines. Not to say they will throw away the house style, small oak will always have a home here and, as all the Veglios are quick to point out, the fermentation and the quality of the fruit are far more important than oak. It’s hard to argue, as I’ve already said, the combination of quality fruit and the changes thus far have delivered sensational wines.

Alessandro’s inclusion in the estate has also given the trio the confidence to expand a little. Alongside neighbour Carlo Corino they have rented a vineyard in Serralunga. The plot is just behind Serra and Falletto and while many had approached the owner to rent the site, Mauro was chosen because the guy knew and admired his farming prowess.

On tasting the first vintage (2019) from tank, Mauro gives Daniela a sideways glance and jokingly telling her she better not like it more than his La Morra wines! She grins and gives a ‘no comment’. The wine is excellent by the way, screams Serralunga as you would hope – earth, ferrous, strawberry and fine austere tannin profile. Can’t wait for that one next year.

That’s a lot of writing to say one thing, these are amongst the wines of the vintage. They are more demure and elegant animals and they fill that defining framework with good density of fruit and good structure. Moreover, the 2018s show the enormous benefit of Mauro’s command of his vineyards and experience to produce pristine fruit. Then, they dial in the rise of Alessandro’s winemaking changes which have been evolving in the background. As he said to me, they are delighted with the wines in 2018 and the acknowledgement they received from the critics.

Antonio Galloni has named the estate as one to watch. As he says, this La Morra estate is poised to make a big move under the direction of Alessandro Veglio. This statement is true but it also makes me a little uncomfortable. Mauro has always made brilliant wines, the genius is that he and Daniela have been smart enough to want to preserve their legacy and humble enough to allow new thinking into the cellar. The style changes are subtle and incremental, they preserve the past by embracing the future. BRAVO.

Finally, they are still crazy good value so get it while the going is good. I don’t expect that will last for much longer. What’s more, for the first time ever, the winery has allocated their stock to importers. It shows their rise as a power but also means our unfettered access is no more.

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