Burlotto is to Piedmont what López de Heredia is to Rioja.  This is an old family firm doing things, more or less, the way they always have done.  And the key to success (and true longevity) at López de Heredia is the key to success at Burlotto:  they have remained a family business.  This may seem like a footnote when it comes to wine making but it is a key ingredient as it were.  One that is, in fact, usually overlooked completely.  But I have often heard Maria Jose López de Heredia put forth family as the first point to their success, and family pops up at Burlotto as prominently.  At López de Heredia it was Don Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta who set forth the blueprint for not only wines, but the future of the bodega which was founded in 1877.  A similar ground work was formed at Burlotto which was founded by Giovan Battista Burlotto a.k.a. “il Commendatore” in 1850, and is today run by Marina Burlotto, his great niece, her husband, and their son Fabio Allessandria who has a degree in oenology and viticulture.  It is noted that Fabio has introduced some modern techniques to compliment the family traditions, but the wines have remained traditional in character so far as I can tell; let’s hope they remain that way.

Burlotto 2009 Langhe Nebbiolo ~$20-$25.00

Garnet lavender in color.  Silky Acidity?  Lavender, pomegranate, stones, hints of liquorish and spice.  It leaps from the glass and grabs you.  There is no reticent nose here.  Decent tannins and acidity; it is fresh and alive and the finish is an equal match for the nose; it lingers and changes.  This is great stuff.  Don’t compare this to Barolo, this is vibrant and meant to be enjoyed right now or over the near term.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – EXCELLENT VALUE

Looking at this booth from the firm of G.B. Burlotto, I cannot help but be reminded of the striking similarities to some photos from the history of López de Heredia.

López de Heredia boutique from the Brussels World Expo in 1910. This now resides in the tasting room at the bodega in Haro.

Giovan Battista Burlotto. He reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt!

Don Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta.