Elio Altare

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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: La Morra, Barolo
People: Elio Altare, Owner | Silvia Altare, Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Elio Altare 2017 Langhe Rosso, Larigi, DOC Login AG 94 WA 93 In Stock
Elio Altare 2015 'Unoperuno' Barolo DOCG Login AG 94 AG 94 WS 95 In Stock
Elio Altare 2017 Barolo DOCG Login AG 93 WA 94 In Stock
Elio Altare 2016 Langhe Rosso, Giarborina, DOC Login WA 92 AG 97 <1 Case
Elio Altare 2017 Langhe Rosso, Giarborina, DOC Login WA 94+ AG 95 In Stock
Elio Altare 2016 'L'Insieme' Vino Rosso Login In Stock
Elio Altare 2016 'La Villa' Langhe Rosso DOC Login WA 92 AG 95 WS 92 In Stock
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 2016 Langhe Rosso, Giarborina, DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92 (6/28/2019)

    Seeing a short maceration time and only a brief aging period in barrique, the 2016 Langhe Giàrborina offers a rich, plummy and soft approach. The wine is ready to drink right out of the gate with a veal lasagna and bechamel sauce. The 15% alcohol will help to wash through the cheese and fat, as will the freshness and natural structure of the Nebbiolo grape.
  • Elio Altare 2016 'La Villa' Langhe Rosso DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92 (6/28/2019)

    The 2016 Langhe La Villa is a blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera. This plump, rich and ripe vintage is another good choice for a cheesy pasta dish with its 15% alcohol and solid acidity. The Barbera is what gives the wine its fleshy succulence and freshness, and the Nebbiolo adds the structure and the elegance. The finished product is opulent and dense.
  • Elio Altare 2016 Langhe Rosso, Giarborina, DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 97 (2/15/2019)

    The 2016 Langhe Giarborina is another breathtaking wine from Altare. Soaring aromatics and finely knit fruit are the signatures of an exceptional vintage in which the Altare family captured all the potential of the year. A regal, aristocratic wine, the 2016 has it all. Polished tannins add to the wine's considerable appeal. Above all else, the 2016 Giarborina is a wine of exceptional balance. There is so much to like.
  • Elio Altare 2016 'La Villa' Langhe Rosso DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 95 (2/15/2019)

    The 2016 La Villa is a blend of 60% Nebbiolo and 40% Barbera, both from Arborina. In this vintage, the weight and texture of Barbera dominate, at least in the early going. Creamy and expansive on the palate, the 2015 La Villa has a lot to offer once it fully comes together. Silky and beautifully perfumed, the 2016 is already quite expressive. It will be interesting to see if time brings a bit more harmony, although the 2016 certainly seems to have a good bit of potential.
  • Elio Altare 2015 'Unoperuno' Barolo DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: 94 (2/15/2019)

    The 2015 Barolo Unoperuno represents a departure from prior years in that the wine is now a blend from various sites as opposed to being sourced solely from Arborina, as it was in its first vintages. Silky and yet also generous on the palate, with super-polished tannins, the 2015 simply has it all. Blood orange, star anise and cinnamon add attractive aromatic top notes to this ethereal, exotic Barolo. The 2015 is a blend from Cannubi, Cerretta, Sarmassa Arborina and Pernanno.
  • Elio Altare 2015 'Unoperuno' Barolo DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: 94 (6/28/2019)

    This wine is the result of a meticulous destemming process in which the grapes are removed one by one, or "uno per uno," from the stems. In the past, this wine saw fruit sourced from only the Arborina vineyard in La Morra, but starting with this release, the 2015 Barolo Unoperuno represents a blend of fruit, although the specific vineyard parcels are not defined. Elio Altare calls it a "Barolo with a cru base." This is a beautiful wine, and the tannins are well integrated. It shows the pureness of the variety, a very silky and bright expression that is fresh and streamlined. It would be well accompanied by a delicate porcini risotto.
  • Elio Altare 2015 'Unoperuno' Barolo DOCG
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 95 (1/31/2020)

    This has plenty of punch and a velvety texture. Cherry, plum, licorice and tar flavors are beautifully integrated with the round tannins and bright acidity. A hint of mint graces the lingering aftertaste. Best from 2023 through 2045.
  • Elio Altare 2016 'La Villa' Langhe Rosso DOC
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 92 (5/31/2020)

    Opulent and oaky, broad and concentrated, offering vanilla, spice and chocolate notes. Balanced and vibrant, with a long, fruit-, spice- and tar-filled aftertaste. Drink now through 2028.
  • Elio Altare 2017 Barolo DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (2/9/2021)

    The 2017 Barolo is absolutely impeccable and shows why Altare remains at the top of the pack. Silky, aromatic and alluring, the 2017 is exquisitely beautiful. It is a bit lighter in body than usual, but that is very much in keeping with the style of the year. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries and rose petal grace the silky finish. The straight Barolo isa blend of sites in La Morra, Castiglione Falletto and Novello.
  • Elio Altare 2017 Langhe Rosso, Larigi, DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 94 (2/13/2020)

    The 2017 Larigi is silky, perfumed and gracious. Bright floral notes and red berry fruit are front and center in this super-appealing, mid-weight Larigi. The 2017 is wonderfully finessed and nuanced. As always, Larigi needs time in bottle to be at its most expressive; today, the 2017 is primary and fruity. Cellaring is essential.
  • Elio Altare 2017 Langhe Rosso, Larigi, DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93 (7/23/2020)

    Larigi is a historic family vineyard in La Morra planted to the Barbera grape. The Elio Altare 2017 Langhe Larigi pours from the bottle with a darkly saturated appearance and bold aromatic intensity. The hot vintage underlines aromas of blackberry preserves, candied cherry, cola and scorched earth. The wine rests in new oak for 18 months, so you get plenty of integrated smoke, tar and spice as well. The alcohol content is 16%, one of the highest measures I have seen in this report. You hardly feel it whatsoever because the wine offers terrific overall balance despite all that natural richness and opulence.
  • 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 2017 Barolo DOCG
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 94 (7/17/2021)

    Representing a blend of fruit from Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, La Morra and Novello, the Elio Altare 2017 Barolo sets off the vintage on the right foot. Of course, 2017 delivered all kinds of extreme weather, from frost to dry heat, but this battle-ready Barolo emerges unscathed. Save for the high 15% alcohol content, this wine avoids the classic trappings of a hot vintage. The fruit is not dried out, nor is it jammy. Indeed, this wine shows better balance than most, with a lovely freshness to all that dark and luscious fruit.