Fratelli Alessandria Verduno Pelaverga “Speziale” 2014
I have driven by this winery many times. It is located in the heart of the town Verduno, but I have never stopped by. This year it will be on my “to do” list. After having done a little bit of research on this winery it seems as thought they have been making wine since the 19th century and have been making it well, so well that they have received two medals one from King Carlo Alberto and the other from Count Camillo Benso from Cavour. This says a lot because one: the King Carlo Alberto loved his Nebbiolo and Barolo but most of what he drank as the story goes, was wine from the town Barolo given to him from the Marchesa (a female Nobile Giulia Falletti di Barolo who was very passionate about her Nebbiolo so much so that she gave the name Barolo to this wine). So the fact that Carlo Alberto was also enjoying Barolo from Verduno is also pretty good. Another thing is that the King every once in a while enjoyed a glass of Pelaverga.
Pelaverga has two different varietals one which is believed to be the original varietal grown in the north around Torino (Saluzzo) is called Pelaverga Grosso. As you can imagine the berries of this varietal are larger with respect to the better-known Pelaverga Piccolo (small). And story has it that the Pelaverga Piccolo was brought to Verduno in the 18th century by Sebastiano Valfre’. A genetic study has shown that actually these two varietals are not related in any way. I’m thinking because both varietals have similar characteristics in the glass and act the same in the vineyards that they were thought to be related.
The Fratelli Alessandria has given to their Pelavera the name Speziale. This in Italian is a play on words it has double meaning bother spices and special or “especially spicy”. This wine took a while to really open up to its full potential but I blame that a bit of the vintage, 2014 was not the easiest year to produce wine. Once it did open up, this wine then showed all the signature characteristics of a Verduno Pelavera. Strawberry fruits, fragrant flowers, and that hint of peppery spice. I am very excited to taste their 2015 once it has been released and get a chance to visit their winery and meet the family.