Elio Altare

VISIT THIS PRODUCER'S WEBSITE
A CREAM IMPORT SELECTION
Country of Origin: Italy
Location: La Morra, Barolo
People: Elio Altare, Owner | Silvia Altare, Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Elio Altare 2021 Barbera d'Alba DOC Login On Order
Elio Altare 2021 Dolcetto d'Alba DOC Login On Order
Elio Altare 2018 'Unoperuno' Barolo DOCG Login WA 95 On Order
Elio Altare 2016 Barolo Riserva, Cerretta Vigna Bricco, DOCG Login WA 97+ On Order
Elio Altare 2018 Barolo, Arborina, DOCG Login WA 95 On Order
Elio Altare 2017 Langhe Rosso, Giarborina, DOC Login WA 94+ AG 95 <1 Case
Elio Altare 2017 'La Villa' Langhe Rosso DOC Login WA 94 AG 95 In Stock

Below the hilltop town of La Morra and above Annunziata, lay the 5 hectares that make up the Altare Vineyard, which has been planted and maintained by the family since 1948. But the story is not all bucolic: the owner/winemaker, Elio Altare, now renowned for being a major innovator in the region, almost lost all claim to the winery for his rebellious winemaking views.

Elio was at the forefront of the period in Barolo when traditional, regional winemaking collided head-first with a new generation’s desire for modernity. After a trip to Burgundy in the 1970s, Elio returned with new visions of modernizing the family winery--which meant replacing the large aging barrels with smaller French barriques. His father did not share his vision, and the tension culminated when Elio took a chainsaw to his father’s old barrels. He was banned from the winery until his father’s death in 1985. Since he has regained control, he has implemented organic agriculture, the use rotary fermenters and short macerations and he has employed small barriques for aging.

Elio’s focus is on simple and natural wines without chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. He bought two cows to create manure, which is all he uses for fertilization. He uses only indigenous yeasts and spontaneous malolactic fermentation, and the wines are not filtered or fined. He adds nothing that might change the color or texture, and he uses stainless steel tanks and clean barriques. Basically, these are unmitigated wines that express the nature of the grapes and place they came from.

Elio Altare is a family affair with Elio’s daughters, Silvia and Elena, representing the next generation. Elena studied enology, and Silvia studied Economics.

Vinous 2/2021
"Altare's 2017 Barolos are gorgeous, must-have wines for the year. The 2017s stand out for their exceptional balance, especially in the tannins, and that places them at the very top of the pack. Farming is meticulous, as it always is."


Vinous 2/2018
"Silvia Altare has done a terrific job with her 2014 Barolos. The Cannubi and Ceretta are especially notable, but then again, 2014 is a year in which the very best sites have an upper hand."


Vinous 3/2016
"These new releases find Elio Altare at the top of his game...Over the last thirty years, so much has been made about Altare's innovative approach to winemaking that his decidedly artisan approach to farming has completely been overlooked..."


International Wine Cellar 12/2013
"A long-time lover of Burgundy, Elio Altare is one of many Barolo modernists who treats his Nebbiolo gently, almost as if it were Pinot Noir. He uses no commercial yeasts or enzymes, racks his wines a maximum of three times in all, and bottles without fining or filtration during the third summer after the harvest. Altare wasn't yet swallowing the hype about 2010, maintaining that "the wines could lack flesh and sweetness. What's a grand vin?" he asked rhetorically. "Is it a black color? Is it 15% alcohol? For me, the most important thing is to make wine without faults every year."


Vinous 10/2013
"Elio Altare's entry-level offerings are among the best handmade, artisan wines readers will find anywhere in the world."


Wine Advocate 6/2013
"Elio Altare is never a man to mince words. He tells the rags-to-riches story of Barolo with conviction, passion and firsthand knowledge. La Morra went from having a handful of farmers (five or six) back in the early 1970s to dozens of estates today. Back then, grape growers were considered so low in social rank, many could not find local women to marry. They imported wives from poorer regions of southern Italy, like Calabria and Basilicata, to live in the Langhe. “C’era la fame qui,” he says. (“We were starving.”) From his panoramic porch overlooking the Frazione Annunziata section of La Morra, he sighs, “Just look at us now.” He tells the story of his first trip to France: “It blew my mind that producers in Burgundy were buying Porsches and yachts with just a few hectares of vine while we were dirt poor.” Highly influenced by that trip (his use of French barrique for aging Nebbiolo is a prime example), Altare returned to Italy and vowed to shake things up. He most certainly did."


The Wine Advocate 10/2012
"In my opinion, one of the benchmarks of a truly great estate is exceptionally high, uncompromising quality across the board. Altare is without question one of those properties where every wine is well worth the effort of seeking out."


Media Links
Vinousmedia.com: Portraits in Nebbiolo - 1984-2004
Winegeeks: Winery of the Month Elio Altare
Guildsomm: The Wines of Barolo and Barbaresco (features Silvia Altare)

Reviews

  • Elio Altare 2017 Langhe Rosso, Giarborina, DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 94+ (7/23/2020)

    This wine is almost a Barolo for all practical purposes, save for the fact is it released one year early. The Elio Altare 2017 Langhe Giàrborina draws its fruit from the Arborina vineyard in La Morra, and if you look closely, you will see that its fantasy name reflects the vineyard name. This is a beautiful wine, offered at an appropriate price point that reflects the care and precision of the final results. Dark fruit (blackberry and plum) is folded within smoke, tar and black licorice. Thanks to 18 months in new oak, you'll find that the darkness and richness of the fruit is supplemented by sweet oak tannins and texture.
  • Elio Altare 2017 'La Villa' Langhe Rosso DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 94 (7/23/2020)

    The Elio Altare 2017 Langhe La Villa is a blend of 60% Barbera (from the Larigi vineyard) and 40% Nebbiolo from the family's historic Arborina cru. The wine is soft, supple and rich, driven in part by 18 months of aging in new oak. The dark fruit component sits squarely across barbecue spice, smoke and tar. The wine achieves good balance thanks to the acidic freshness of Barbera and the natural structure of Nebbiolo.
  • Elio Altare 2017 'La Villa' Langhe Rosso DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 95 (2/21/2020)

    The 2017 La Villa, Altare's Barbera/Nebbiolo blend, is another fabulous wine in this range. The 60% Barbera gives La Villa wonderful depth, darkness and volume to play off the Nebbiolo aromatics and structure. Black cherry, plum, mint, spice, licorice and new leather build into the sumptuous finish.
  • Elio Altare 2017 Langhe Rosso, Giarborina, DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 95 (2/21/2020)

    The 2017 Langhe Giarborina is gorgeous. A wine of dramatic sweetness and intensity, the 2017 is utterly captivating today. Ample and creamy, with striking depth, the 2017 is an outrageously beautiful wine that will drink well with minimal cellaring and also age well for many years to come. Sweet floral and spice notes resonate on the finish. This is such a gorgeous and inviting wine.
  • Elio Altare 2018 Barolo, Arborina, DOCG
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 95 (8/11/2022)

    The 2018 Barolo Arborina is born close to home, in the sunrise-facing vineyard that starts just below the family house and winery. This pretty wine reveals a delicate embroidery of wild rose, rusted nail, spice and clove-dotted orange. Barrel aging is with 20% new oak for 24 months. The finish is long and linear, ending with a powerful 15% alcohol.
  • Elio Altare 2018 'Unoperuno' Barolo DOCG
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 95 (8/11/2022)

    As the wine name suggests, this Barolo is assembled a single berry at a time, "one by one." With a high price point that reflects a labor-intensive winemaking process, the Elio Altare 2018 Barolo Unoperuno shows some softness and sweetness of a hot vintage. This wine is made of a blend of fruit selected from Arborina (in La Morra), Cannubi (in Barolo), Pernanno (in Castiglione Falletto), Sarmassa (in Barolo) and Ceretta (in Serralunga d'Alba). The bouquet reveals soft cherry confit and dried raspberry with spice, leather and dark licorice. Made entirely by hand, this is a limited production of 1,300 bottles.
  • Elio Altare 2016 Barolo Riserva, Cerretta Vigna Bricco, DOCG
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 97+ (8/11/2022)

    Here's a wine that, when tasted in context (within this group of releases of mostly 2018s), shows the undisputed star power of the classic 2016 vintage. The Elio Altare 2016 Barolo Riserva Cerretta Vigna Bricco sources its fruit from Serralunga d'Alba, and you can expect power, precision and elegance delivered in a threefold punch. This is a wine of depth and complexity with dark fruit, ferrous earth, black truffle and a lifted note of cranberry or candied cherry. On the palate, the wine is driven by the firmness of the tannins, the 15% alcohol and an ample sense of structure. This wine should improve with cellar aging. Some 4,400 bottles will be released in the fall of 2022.