There’s a grapevine cane in Langhe which is mine and mine only! Yes, I pruned a Nebbiolo vine under the expert guidance of Gabriele Rigozzi AKA @mr_wine__ This is just one of Mario’s gifts during the first edition of DVinoVertigo at Cascina Fontana.
It is hard to find the right words to describe a day that is way more than perfect, in a place that is a world heritage site, at school with Mario Fontana, at a historic Winery where Barolo has been made for six generations now, according to centuries-old tradition, and with a group of true enthusiasts and connoisseurs!
There is only one word that comes to mind: Immense! “Marked by greatness especially in size or degree; transcending ordinary means of measurement practically insuperable “. This is the definition in the Webster Dictionary. Yes, definitely the word I was looking for!
Mario takes us to the vineyards first, then to the cellar and finally to the tasting room. He explains everything, shows us everything about these wonderful vineyards all around us, as far as the eye can see! Everything of these outstanding wines regardless of the degree of evolution. Enthusiasm, love, passion, deep knowledge, desire to share and convey the vibrations of his heart, of his soul. I could feel them loud and clear, and I am sure each and everyone of us has: we all stared at our Master with eyes wide open and that gaze of rapture and amazement you can only see in children’s eyes.
He follows his dream Mario: Barolo according to him. He doesn’t even think about chasing the tastes or fads of the moment; but then again is there really such a thing? He goes on following tradition, and according to tradition Barolo is made by assembling the vineyards in a different way every year, so as to always create something unique, something outstanding. An authentic Barolo, sincere, with a strong identity ad rooted to its territory; a wine that carries the story of an ancient land and the men who live and work it, accepting the challenge of nature every year.
And he is a Master in tasting Mario; 12 passionate Sommeliers for dinner, and he gives us a lesson on this too! Yes, because this is when the final act of DVinoVertigo takes place. The vintages in the tasting sequence are served in pairs: 2013 with 2011, 2006 with 2005 and this is how every story, every explanation is imprinted in the heart and memory forever! Here the circle is closed, everything makes more sense now, the effort of each year produces different wines, but all very faithful to the concept of Barolo that Mario wants to convey.
It is not over yet, because there is one last surprise, one bottle that Mario has been wanting to open for a while now and chose to share with us on a hot October day in Montecatini. It is a Barolo 1967! Silence, the emotion is tangible, if this is a dream please do not wake me up!
I won’t give you a list of the scents and fragrances, it was all there believe me! I won’t tell you about the silky tannin, the sharp freshness, or things like that, everything would be an understatement! Because what we really found in this bottle was all of Mario’s heart. Because this bottle is a piece of the story of his life and family: thin is his Grandfather’s Barolo! He had been wanting to open it for a while, he was just waiting for the right people to share it with, because together it all makes more sense. I am honored that he chose @nasodvino and me, something great must have happened that day at Slow Wine; it was there with him that we all came up with the idea of DVinoVertigo. We didn’t know about this bottle yet, we just knew that we had to bring all of you here, because such a gift has to be shared with those who will keep it forever in the bottom of their hearts.
Wine is a prayer Mario taught us, and this prayer in particular will forever be part of me.