The Luigi Oddero estate’s exceptional Barbera d’Alba comes entirely from vineyards within close proximity to the old Parà facility in the Santa Maria sector of La Morra, primarily with a western exposition and averaging 25 years of age. Vinified in cement and aged in 70-hectoliter casks for one year, this 2017 demonstrates the same combination of traditionalism and precision as the Barolo. Proud, fresh acidity serves as a balance beam upon which savory red fruits leap and strut, and the wine displays a marked sense of liveliness. It’s a Barbera that deftly renders La Morra’s inherent elegance through its own varietal lens.
The Odderos represent one of the oldest established Barolo houses and is the most important landowner of Barolo’s greatest crus. Its viticultural beginnings date back to the 1700s, and Oddero’s first bottle was released in 1878. Brothers Giacomo (born 1926) and Luigi (born 1928) brought the winery into the modern era. Giacomo’s daughter Mariacristina came on board in 1997 and, when she began having problems working with Luigi, they decided to separate. She kept the historic cellars in La Morra and much of the historic vineyards, and he formed his own winery in 2006, called Luigi Oddero e Figli. Luigi died in 2010, leaving his wife Lena and their two children, Maria and Giovanni. In 2012, Lena hired a man named Dante Scaglioni—a local who had worked for 25 years as the winemaker for the legendary Bruno Giacosa—and it is through Dante’s guidance that the estate’s wines have reached new heights of expressiveness and complexity. His Barbera, from vines averaging 25 years of age, shows savory red fruits, a marked sense of liveliness, and great fresh acidity.