Fratelli Alessandria ‘Speziale’ * Pelaverga * Verduno, Piedmont, Italy 2018


Cranberries, strawberries, raspberries – a bowl of fresh berries gently tossed on a barbecue and then seasoned with rosemary and white pepper. Don’t know the distinction between white pepper and black pepper? They are surprisingly distinct. Grind up some ‘corns and give yourself an olfactory lesson. Then, of course, sprinkle some of that fresh pepper atop some Tagliatelle ai Funghi for a memorably perfect pairing with this wine.

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PELAVERGA [pel-ah-VER-gah]
It’s important to note that this wine has been a long time favorite of mine. I think you’ll agree that there’s really nothing quite like it and I do hope you fall in love the way that I have (year after year.) Pelaverga Piccolo is as clandestine a grape variety as it comes. Remarkable anything this good can still be hiding in Piedmont of all places. There is only about 30 acres of it planted today and we in the states import maybe four or five different examples, total. There exists another biotype of the grape, Pelaverga Grosso, but that is designated for adding acidity to blends or at most delivering a thirst quenching rosato. The locals also say that Pelaverga wine is an aphrodisiac… I’ll just leave that out there for you to do with what you please. 

The Alessandria family has been in Verduno at the heart of modern day Barolo from the very beginning. Their focus, of course, is Nebbiolo and they have their winemaking approach has more recently shifted to achieve a more finesse than strength. Not that they are eschewing the traditions they long had in the cellar, but more refining the approach to create wines that cut a balance between rustic and modern. Brothers Gian Battista and Alessandro have turned an already important historic winery into what can easily be said to now be a hidden gem of Barolo. And if that’s the case, their Pelaverga is like a Pink Star Diamond in the rough.