Vietti, a 35 hectare family-run boutique winery in Piedmont, Italy, may be small, (a mere 250,000 bottles are produced totally), but it has made its name in the wine world for its range of superior wines – Barolo, Barbera D’Alba, Barbaresco, Arneis – and its delightfully whimsical artist-designed labels. With a family history in wine spanning five generations, Vietti wines have been consistently topping 90 points across vintages. Francesco Cordero is both a member of the family and the man tasked with making these special wines at Vietti. Cordero, who was on his first ever tour of India, likes to describe the Vietti wines as ‘elegant.’
And indeed they were. At a small, intimate four-course dinner at Caperberry, Chef Abhijit Saha’s award-winning restaurant , Cordero took the opportunity to explain a bit of the family history and philosophy to a small group of Bangalore wine lovers as they sipped these very elegant wines.
“If you hoped to see a pretty Italian girl introducing the wines, sorry,” he grinned. No one looked sorry, especially as he went on to recount the history of the boutique winery with a passionate intensity laced with interesting anecdotes. As the first wine was poured – Vietti Roero Arneis 2010, he explained how the patriarch of the family, Alfredo Currado, is credited with the re-discovery of the Arneis grape in 1967. Delightfully light, with notes of dry apricots and green apples, this one went down very smoothly and easily with the New Age salad Caprese and steamed crab sponge cake. (The image of Bacchus on the labels was apt!)
Next came my personal favourite of the evening – the Vietti Barbera d’Alba Tre Vigne 2009. A bright, deep wine with a super complexity and finish, it had a few rough-hewn edges which disappeared as the wine opened up in the glass. With the sous vide lamb shank with saffron risotto & red wine sauce, it was a treat. With this course was also served the very restrained Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2008, a vintage which Cordero described as an ‘elegant’ one, the antithesis of the common misconception about Barolos being big and jammy. This one was all tea, tobacco and cherry, the tannins well-balanced so as not to overwhelm, and living up to its description by Robert Parker of being an ‘overachieving’ Vietti wine.
Introducing the wine, Cordero said he didn’t care at all about ratings. “It just means that we are making good products, as we should be; it’s just a recognition of our efforts.” Vietti believes in “making wines in the fields. In the cellars, we don’t interfere with what we do in the vineyards.”
Vietti wines are available in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.
More on Vietti wines at www.vietti.com