Cantine Oddero: Langhe Nebbiolo, Barolo, Barolo Villero, Barbaresco Gallina and Moscato d’Asti.
In the small hamlet of Santa Maria di La Morra in the western hills of the Barolo zone sits the farmhouse winery where the Oddero family has lived since the 18th century. Land deeds and parish records dated from the early 1700s indicate that members of the Oddero family had, at that point, already begun to purchase vineyards and orchards in the area and the land upon which they built the house where the family still lives. While a more modern addition to the home houses the winemaking facilities, the old family cellars still serve to age the wines in wooden casks ranging in size, some standing floor to ceiling on their own, others stacked one atop the other.
The year 1878 marks perhaps the most important date in the history of Cantine Oddero. In that year the family began to bottle their wines themselves (as was typical, the wine had been sold in cask and glass demijohn up to that point). This was a major change in terms of winemaking in the Piedmont. For the first time, wines were sold under the Oddero label as far away as Switzerland and England.
Following the Second World War, brothers Giacomo and Luigi (known as “Fratelli Oddero”) remained in Santa Maria di La Morra at the helm of the family winery Bricco Chiesa Odder while a huge number of other farmers left the countryside for Torino and the promise of life in the city and a job at Fiat. The brothers reinvested all of the income from the sale of their wines into the acquisition of new vineyards, selecting some of the finest sites in the region: Rocche di Castiglione, Bricco Fiasco and Villero in Castiglione Falletto, Brunate in La Mora, Vignarionda in Serralunga d’Alba, Bussia vigna Mondoca in Monforte d’Alba. This investment in the vineyards – in some of the finest Barolo cru – is, today, still central to Oddero and their philosophy of respecting the land and allowing the terroir of great vineyards to show through.
Their current holdings consist of 35 hectares of vineyards throughout the Langhe, which allow Oddero to bottle wines produced only from grapes grown on their own land. Oddero is, if ever there was one, a Barolo specialist, with their Barolo Classico accounting for nearly half of the annual production. The individual Barolo cru each account for approximately 2,500 bottles per vintage. Cantine Oddero produces just one Barbaresco from a holding in the Gallina vineyard in Neive, as well as Dolcetoo, Barbera – both d’Asti and d’Alba – and even a single-vineyard Moscato d’Asti as well.
Today, after five generations of Oddero men at the helm of the estate, Oddero is run by Giacomo’s daughters, Mariavittoria and Mariacristina, who, along with enologist Luca Veglio, is the winemaker. Together they are creating beautiful, traditional wines that reflect their origins and vintage without interference from “intrusive” winemaking techniques. A tradition that will be passed down to the next generation to take the lead at Cantine Oddero.
A great introduction to the wines of Oddero, the Langhe Nebbiolo is made from vines grown throughout the region. Made in virtually identical fashion to the Baroli and Barbaresco Oddero produces, the main difference being that this Langhe is aged a shorter time in wood and the tannins are less imposing, allowing it to be enjoyed without any need for cellaring.
Barolo is not only where the Oddero winery is, on some level Barolo is what the Oddero winery is. A Barolo specialist, Oddero crafts this traditional Barolo “Classico” from vines grown in two vineyards, Bricco della Chiesa, a beautiful hillside vineyard below the church that sits just uphill from the winery in La Morra, and Bricco Fiasco in Castiglione. This Barolo comes from the acclaimed 2007 vintage and shows that year’s characteristic softer tannins.
This Barolo from the village of Castiglione Falletto is grown on a southeast facing hillside where the vines average more than 50 years of age in a parcel of approximately eight tenths of one hectare. It is aged for 30 months in enormous, traditional oak barrels before bottling. Around 300 cases are produced each year. The 2006 vintage of this wine is characterized by its power and concentration – the tannins and structure along with this concentration will allow the 2006 Villero to age for a very long time
The Gallina cru in Nieve, one of the villages which comprise the Barbaresco zone, is the source for this sole Barbaresco in Oddero’s range, of which only approximately 500 cases are made each year. From the 2008 vintage, this is one of our favorites. A bright, elegant wine which shows the trademark elegance of Barbaresco, it displays red fruits and spice, a beautiful perfume (a real hallmark of the 2008 vintage) and a decidedly “mineral” character on the palate. Delicious now, but with plenty of aging potential.
One of the most delicious Moscato that you’re likely to find, Oddero’s single-vineyard Moscato d’Asti is a house favorite. Too many Moscato don’t possess enough acidity to balance out their soft fruit and floral sweetness, but Oddero’s version is grown at an altitude that’s high enough to preserve the bright, lively character that the acidity imparts. Pure, uncomplicated (though not simple), and delightful.