"To make good wine, you first need good grapes."
So says Renato Fennocchio.
And he is absolutely right.
The Langhe Nebbiolo from this diligently-run 13 hectare estate in the heart of Barbaresco, is nothing short of gorgeous. Sleek and fine with aromas of rose petals, silky texture and mouth watering juiciness, no doubt the result of aging in oak barriques, the Langhe reflects Renato and his wife Milva's passion for what they do and the respect they both have for nature and its perfection.
The Fenocchio family have been involved in working the land in some way or the other since the 19th century, when they moved from Montforte d'Alba to Barbaresco where Renato's great grandparents worked on a dairy farm, while at the same time tending vines.
Renato has spent a lifetime working the land and early in life learned the importance of what nature yielded. Helping nature what it did best soon became his calling in life, so that when he decided just over 20 years ago to make his own wine, he was already more than half way there. Together with Milva, he took over the family vineyards and added another small one in Neive, a few miles outside of Alba, stretching the domaine across the hills of Barbaresco. Their unique exposure and varying soil types make the Fenocchio grapes from each parcel of land very different, ensuring that each wine they create sings of its terroir.
Their production is small, between 25-27,000 bottles a year and their method of farming is wholly organic and sustainable.
Interestingly, the Fenocchios recently teamed up with a local restaurateur and bought several olive groves, creating an olive oil that like their wine, is excellent.
The Langhe Nebbiolo is well-paired with the porchetta sliders at Eli's new Essential Wine Bar on 91st and Madison.
At Eli's List:
Renato Fenocchio Langhe Nebbiolo, 2012