In Piedmont, the Dogliani family stands for Barolo, and their winery Beni di Batasiolo has produced this variety for three generations in the Lange district. Over the generations, they have acquired over 320 acres of vineyards, including five “Cru” Vineyards within nine estates. Their name signifies the Nebbiolo da Barolo grape.
Recently at a luncheon for LA Wine Writers at Angelini in West Hollywood, we explored five single vineyard Barolos from the 2013 vintage as well as a reserve from 2012 and one from the 1996 vintage.
It started in 1978 when the family purchased the historic Kiola winery in Batasiolo Hills, which included two Beni estates. This purchase added to the seven existing estates the Dogliani owned.
Today the winery is run by second-generation Fiorenzo Dogliani, who is a farmer, winemaker, and entrepreneur. He and his four brothers and three sisters created Fratelli Dogliani. Because the name Dogliani was also the name of a town and confusion arose over the name, the family renamed the winery Beni di Batasiolo. The name refers to the hills behind the winery.
Fiorenzo had the foresight to expand the reach and exposure of the winery to an international level. His efforts raised the visibility of Barolo and helped establish Batasiolo’s reputation as a high-quality wine producer.
In Barolo, two distinct soils exist Tortonian and Serravalliano/Helvetian. Two areas, Barolo and La Morra, contain Tortonian soils. These soils are more fertile, with heavy clay deposits of magnesium, manganese, chalk, and limestone. This soil results in a Barolo with a velvety, less tannic, richer, and softer character, yet lighter in style.
Serralunga, Monforte d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto feature the Serravalliano/Helvetian soil. The soil consists of chalk, limestone, and sand with iron and phosphorus. The Barolo in this area exhibits a bolder style resulting from the intense, powerful, yet elegant qualities that prevail.
Batasiolo consists of nine vineyards; Batasiolo, Boscareto, Briccolina, Bricco Di Vergne, Bricco S.PietroTantesi, Brunate – Cerequio, Bussia Bofani, Morino, and Zonchetta.
Boscareto sits on 42 acres at a higher elevation with south-facing slopes and a soil composition of high clay marl content. These wines are intense but lighter in their demeanor.
Briccolina has almost 4 acres of south-westerly exposure and consists of rich clay soil packed with Grey marl. The wines produced from this vineyard come across as very powerful, bold, and full-bodied.
Brunate – Cerequio consists of compact blue marly soils with layers of sand. The Brunate portion of the vineyards lies on 4.42 acres, while the Cerequio plot consists of just over 7 acres. The exposure is southerly and south-easterly and produces wine with intense fragrance and body.
Bussia Bofani vines are planted on 13.83 acres with a south-westerly exposure in soils consisting of clay, calcareous marl, and traces of sand. The wine reflects a deep, more concentrated yet soft character.
Our luncheon showcased one white and seven Barolos.
Gavi del Commune di Gavi Granée DOCG 2021: This Gavi consists of 100 percent Cortese grapes from vineyards composed of limestone, clay, and marl soils. On the nose, I found briny aromas. Piedmont is close to the sea, hence the saline qualities. The wine exhibited bright citrus and fresh tropical flavors on the palate.
2013 Single Vineyard Barolo
We sampled five single-vineyard Barolos, each with a different personality and character. All featured 100 percent Nebbiolo. The majority of these wines age for two years in Slovanian oak, followed by 12 months in stainless steel.
Barolo DOCG Bussia Vigneto Bofani: Of the five single vineyard wines, this was my least favorite because of the tannin. It was the most tannic of the wine and needed longer aging time.
Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Brunate: Coming from the La Morra area, this Barolo showcased more fruit and balance against a full-bodied wine.
Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Cerequio: Another Barolo from the La Morra province, this wine came across with a lighter style and an elegance I preferred. I found flavors of tart cherry.
Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Boscareto: The vineyard lies in the Serralunga d’Alva commune. This wine displayed elegance and represents the most traditional of the Batasiolo Barolos in terms of structure and ageability.
Barolo DOCG Briccolina: Also located in the Serralunga d’Alba commune. This wine is Batasiolo’s smallest production of Barolo and comes from the estate’s smallest land plot. Instead of aging in Slavonian casks, the wine ages for 24 months in French oak barrels, followed by a year in stainless steel. The Briccolina area produces wines with higher acidity. On the nose, ripe fruit and spices prevail.
Batasiolo Barolo DOCG Riserva 2012: This wine represents a blend of various vineyards and ages approximately 18 months in Slavonian casks, followed by a year in stainless steel. The wine displays aromas with floral components along with dried fruits. I found a balanced wine with good tannins and flavors that complimented the bouquet.
One of the pleasures of a wine writer comes when the wine host brings out an older vintage. In this case, it was a 1996 Batasiolo Vigneto Corda della Briccolina. Not only was it the perfect ending to a fabulous lunch, but it gives me an appreciation for the development of wine over time.
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer attended a hosted wine-tasting luncheon with Batasiolo. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.