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Mauro Veglio Barolo “Vigneto Gattera” 2005

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Mauro Veglio Vigneto Gattera 2005, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

Like many winemakers of his generation, Mauro Veglio was the first in a long line of winegrowers to produce and bottle his own wines, starting in 1992.  Prior to this period, Veglio says that big wineries dominated the landscape with little care for the quality of fruit, which was an optimal environment for him to launch his career as a winemaker.  Working alongside the patriarch of modern Barolo, Elio Altare, with whom he maintains a close personal and professional relationship, Mauro worked to transform his family’s 12ha of vines, 5ha of which had been family farmed since the turn of the century. To great acclaim, Mauro owns and organically farms 14ha in the communes of La Morra and Monforte d’Alba, within the Crus of  Arborina, Rocche dell’Annuziata, Gattera and Castelletto.

Located in La Morra, Gattera offers Nebbiolo sandy soils of clay and limestone, yielding “a warmer wine” that’s good for “earlier drinking with lots of structure and potential,” said Mauro. Southwest facing, it is Veglio’s oldest vineyard, with 70-year-old vines, which Mauro first bottled in 1995.  And while these Cru sites were traditionally blended together into one wine, it was the movement of the modernists to lower yields which led to this bottling of single Cru site wines.

Macerated on skins for four days, the fermentation is completed in stainless steel tanks before the wine is aged for 24 months in French oak barrels (50% of which are new), and aged in bottle for one year before release.  Earning great accolades from Stephen Tanzer, Robert Parker and Wine Spectator, Mauro Veglio Barolo Vigneto Gattera 2005 was given over 90 points from all three.

With floral, dried cherry, and cedar-box aromas, Mauro Veglio Barolo Vigneto Gattera 2005 is round on the palate, and reminiscent of a library with leather tomes and antique chairs.  Its mid-palate spice is carried past the finish with silky acidity and integrated tannins.

Of the wine, Parker wrote:

“Warm, generous dark fruit, spices and flowers come through in the 2005 Barolo Gattera. This beautifully balanced wine reveals an outstanding sense of proportion and an elegant, refined finish. This is the hottest of the microclimates in the Veglio stable, and has the vines with the most age, both of which were clearly a help in 2005. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2017.

Mauro Veglio’s 2005 Barolos offer lovely purity of fruit in the small-scaled style of the vintage. The wines will drink well early and look to be relatively early maturing. In recent years fermentations have been gradually lengthened and the percentage of new oak has been brought down. While these are undoubtedly positive developments, it is the vintage that speaks most eloquently with this set of new releases.”

From Tanzer:

Good deep red. More subdued and medicinal on the nose than the Arborina; lower-pitched too. Then big, rich and fairly full in the mouth but less forthcoming today and not showing the clarity of flavor of the Arborina. The medicinal quality carries through on the aftertaste, which shows more serious tannins and very good breadth. 90(+?) points

And Wine Spectator:

Very ripe fruit on the nose, with floral and dried berry character. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and impressive concentration that turns to cedar, berry and blackberry. Best after 2011. 500 cases made. 91 points –JS

After a few years in the cellar, the Gattera 2005 is drinking beautifully. Drink now or cellar for future celebrations.

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