Visit to azienda Carlo Revello e Figli (16 November 2016): four generations of vignerons and a new estate

The grandfather of Carlo Revello and of his brother Enzo was a sharecropper of the local parish of San Martino at La Morra. In 1967 he bought the first plot after which other plots were added to the property over the years. Conca was the last cru to be purchased (in 2000) while the crus of Gattera and of Giachini were purchased by the father of the two brothers. Carlo took over the management of the estate in 1987 and he was joined by his brother Enzo in 1990.
Starting in 2016 the two brothers decided to divide the property. Carlo has purchased a new homestead and cellar in La Morra in the Santa Maria district, his estate is called “Carlo Revello e Figli” and the logo on the labels is new. The cellar is now fully equipped and functioning normally.
This decision was mainly taken in order to favour the new generation by giving it responsibility and work. In fact the elder son of Carlo, Erik, has now finished the six years of the “Scuola Enologica” of Alba (he is an enotechnician) and he is now working full time at the estate. Niklas, the younger son of Carlo, is studying at the Liceo Scientifico (scientific high school).

THE STAFF

Carlo and Erik run the estate “hands on” with the aid of seasonal workers, they are the wine makers and the agronomists. They also play golf together.

THE VINEYARDS

The total vineyard extension is 7.5 hectares of which 5 hectares are planted with Nebbiolo for the production of Barolo, 1.5 hectares are planted with Barbera and 1 hectare is planted with Dolcetto.

The crus

The crus of Giachini and of Rocche are now owned by the Carlo Revello & Figli estate.

Rocche, together with Brunate, is the most important cru of La Morra. The part belonging to the Revello estate is tiny.  The vines were planted in 1954. The exposure is south and the altitude is 270 meters above sea level. The vine training system is guyot and the vineyard density is 4,000-4,500 vines/hectare.
Vineyard extension of the estate: 0.2 hectares
Total vineyard extension of the cru: 30 hectares

Giachini is the natural continuation of the Rocche vineyard. Its fully southern exposure is extraordinary. The altitude is 270 meters above sea level. The soil is calcareous-clayey with a small percentage of sand. The vine training system is guyot and the vineyard density is 4,000-4,500 vines/hectare.  It is an historical cru. The vines of Giachini were planted by the grandfather of Enzo and Carlo in 1954.  Distinctive features of the wines are principally their elegance and a nose with notes due to evolution such as china root. This was the first vineyard to be vinified on its own. The first harvest took place in 1994.
Vineyard extension of the estate: 1 hectare
Total vineyard extension of the cru: 3.5 hectares

The Barbera and Dolcetto vineyards occupy the spaces not planted with Nebbiolo. The vine training system is guyot and the vineyard density is 4,000-4,500 vines/hectare.

Viticulture

Viticulture is integrated/sustainable and it is carried out with a great respect for the environment. Although the estate is not certified, the practices for organic viticulture are followed. A spontaneous grass cover is left on the aisles between the rows of vines. The grass is mowed and worked into the soil. The fruit-grape moth is controlled through the “sexual confusion” system (this technique consists in placing strips emanating insect sex attractants - pheromones – in the vineyards. These pheromones mask the female insect’s own attractant so that the sexes fail to get together). The Revello brothers were the first in the area to use this technique. It was then followed by the neighbouring estates and now nearly all the wineries in the area use it. It has given good results.
All the operations in the vineyard are carried out by hand. The grapes are harvested by hand and placed in crates.

THE CELLAR

The cellar is in the district of Santa Maria La Morra, it was built in 2001 and it was purchased by Carlo in 2016. The surface is 550 square meters, the ageing sector is built underground. It is equipped with vertical vinification vats with automatic pumping over devices for the must and temperature control. All the vats are controlled by a computerized system. It is now fully functioning and 2016 is the first harvest that was vinified in this cellar.
Starting from the 2016 vintage, the wines will mature exclusively in large Slavonian oak casks of a capacity of 25 hectolitres.

THE WINES

When the original estate was divided between Carlo and Enzo, the wines were also divided, including the wines that were still maturing.
Starting with the 2016 vintage the wines have been exclusively produced from the vineyards owned by the Carlo Revello & Figli estate.

The 2013, 2014 and 2015 vintages of Barolo

Two different Baroli will be released:

a “classical” Barolo (100% Nebbiolo) made by blending the wine made from the Gattera cru and from the vineyards used for the production of the “regular” Barolo. This wine is vinified vertical steel vats with the skins for 7-10 days. The malo-lactic fermentation takes place in steel. The wine then matures in large Slavonian oak casks (15-25 hectolitre capacity) for 24 months and it is finished in the bottle for 6 months. The colour is an intense ruby red. The nose is complex, with red fruit, vanilla, officinal herbs, china root and mint notes. In the mouth it is very drinkable and very pleasant. The tannins are evident, but silky. The aromatics return in the aftertaste.
Production: 7,000 bottles/year

Barolo R.G. (100% Nebbiolo). The name is the acronym of Rocche and Giachini and also of Giacomo Revello, father of Carlo and Enzo. This wine is made by blending the wines made from the Rocche, Giachini and Conca crus. This wine is vinified in vertical steel vats with the skins for 7-10 days. The malo-lactic fermentation takes place in steel. The wine then matures in large oak casks (15-25 hectolitre capacity) for 24 months and it is finished in the bottle for 6 months. The colour is a bright garnet red. Red fruit, spices and liquorice on the nose. In the mouth it is rich, supple, with silky tannins and with a long finish.
Production: 4,000 bottles/year

Match these two wines with seasoned cheese, red meat stews, game, dishes with truffle. 

The other wines that will be released in 2017

Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2016 will be released in November 2017 (production: 8,000 bottles/year)
Dolcetto 2016 will be released in September 2017 (production: 4,000 bottles/year)
Langhe Nebbiolo 2016 will be released in September 2017 (production: 3,000bottles/year)

Starting from the 2016 vintage

Starting from the 2016 vintage three Baroli will be released

  • a “classical” Barolo (100% Nebbiolo)
  • Barolo Giachini (made from the homonymous vineyard - 100% Nebbiolo)
  • Barolo Riserva Rocche (made from the homonymous vineyard - 100% Nebbiolo)

The vinification of these wines is slightly longer: 10-15 days of fermentation and maceration with the skins in vertical vats with automatic pumping over of the must and temperature control. The wines will mature in large Slavonian oak casks of a capacity of 25 hectolitres.  The wines are not clarified. The fermentation is spontaneous (indigenous yeasts).

The total production is 26,000 bottles/year but the aim is to reach 40,000-50,000 bottles/year.

The label

The label of the wines was designed by a Swedish graphic designer, Johan Brosow. Carlo wanted to find a logo that could be reminiscent of tradition and of modern times. The designer was inspired by Art Déco and the logo is a stylised Bacchus.

THE PHILOSOPHY

“We try to create the quality of our wines in the vineyard,” Carlo Revello tells us. “where we work with the utmost rigour. We try to bring grapes with an optimal quality to the cellar. This makes the work in the cellar easier. In the cellar we work as little as possible: we rack the wine very little, we do not clarify. Our wine is a natural product.”