Brothers Alessandro andamp; Gian Natale Fantino are running, as Antonio Galloni describes it, andldquo;one of the last remaining top-flight under the radar estates in Piedmont.andrdquo; These wines took us by surprise a few years ago, but they are by no means new to the Piedmont scene. Alessandro was the winemaker and vineyard manager for Bartolo Mascarello from 1978 to 1998 before returning to his family's property. The brothers work under the same traditional principles at their own historic property in Bussia, right in the heart of Monforte d'Alba, an area well-known for producing long-lived and supremely elegant wines - quite different than the more tannic, brooding style of wines sourced from the south side of Monforte and Serralunga. These are minimal intervention wines with very little added SO2, native yeast ferments and ageing in a mix of big botti and used tonneaux and barrique. The real focus is on the sustainable farming, and their more important vineyards in Bussia were planted in 1946 and 1947. The brothers call on some seriously enviable old-vine material planted on noble terroirs for their top bottlings. Laboro Disobedient is a happy accident of a wine that the Fantino brothers first produced in 2005. They were a little late in submitting their Barolo for DOCG Riserva classification and instead of pushing the issue, they simply decided to bottle the wine with a humorous label as a humble 'Vino Rosso.' It has since become a tradition at the property. The grapes for this wine come from the brothersand#39; 70+ year old, south facing vines in Bussia. Although the Vino Rossoandnbsp;status seems to limit the price of the bottle, it clearly has not limited the quality of the wine. Here you can access a Riserva level Barolo (minimum 4 years barrel ageing) of incredible class and balance from the inviting 2011 vintage for just under $60 a bottle. This harnesses the warmer '11 vintage nicely andndash; balancing ripe fruit and classic Nebbiolo spice without sacrificing aromatic complexity and beauty. A solid effort in this vintage and always an extremely satisfying experience particularly given the modest cost.
WARNING: DRINKING DISTILLED SPIRITS, BEER, COOLERS, WINE AND OTHER ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES MAY INCREASE CANCER RISK, AND, DURING PREGNANCY, CAN CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS.