Elio Altare

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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: La Morra, Barolo
People: Silvia Altare, Owner & Winemaker | Tes Cyo, Assistant Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Elio Altare 2022 Barbera d'Alba DOC Login <1 Case
Elio Altare 2022 Dolcetto d'Alba DOC Login AG 89 In Stock
Elio Altare 2018 'Unoperuno' Barolo DOCG Login WA 95 AG 95 WS 94 <1 Case
Elio Altare 2020 Barolo DOCG Login 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.

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 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 2018 'Unoperuno' Barolo DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: 95 (11/21/2021)

    The 2018 Barolo Unoperuno is terrific. Bright and beautifully perfumed, the Unoperuno impresses with finesse. Crushed flowers, sweet red berry fruit, kirsch, cinnamon, mint and dried flowers all soar out of the glass. Readers will find a Barolo of uncommon finesse and elegance. As has been the case for a few vintages now, the Unoperuno is made from a blend of vineyard sites, with all the fruit destemmed by hand. The purity of the flavors is unreal.
  • Elio Altare 2018 'Unoperuno' Barolo DOCG
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 94 (2/28/2023)

    Ripe, boasting plum, black cherry and coffee aromas and flavors framed by vanilla, caramel and leather accents. Lush and broad on the palate, yet with ample acidity to drive the lingering finish and keep this balanced. A more flamboyant 2018. Best from 2025 through 2045.
  • Elio Altare 2022 Dolcetto d'Alba DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 89 (1/4/2024)

    The 2022 Dolcetto d'Alba is bright, floral and full of fruit, with notes of succulent red cherry/plum, spice, new leather and licorice. Medium in body and refined, the 2022 is surprisingly classic given the warm, dry conditions of the year. It's a fine effort from Altare.