The next installment of my Piedmont Portraits series is focused on a specific wine, the Luigi Baudana Baudana Barolo 2012. The story includes the 2012 Barolo vintage, two historical Barolo producers, and reflections on how I came to live here. All bottled up in one beautiful single vineyard Barolo…
Picture it: Barolo, Fall of 2012.
In the fall of 2012, I visited the Langhe for the second time. The year before I was here for three short days, falling hard for the land, the people, and of course the captivating Nebbiolo grape.
I went home telling everyone I was moving here one day. I didn’t really believe it, but what did it hurt to say it? A girl can dream.
I planned a full week in the Langhe for that 2012 visit. On day one I met a British expat that my readers first came to know as Il Ragazzo (The Boy). And, now as Il Marito (The Husband).
We met at Vinoteca Centro Storico in the itsy bitsy Barolo village of Serralunga d’Alba. I was on a wine tour and my guides invited him to join our group for lunch. The next day we visited the winery where he worked. He took us through the vineyards and let us barrel taste in the cellar. Then, he again joined us for lunch. By evening, we were smitten.
Neither of us was ready for the day to end, so we took a trip back to the vineyards of Serralunga d’Alba. With a bottle of Barolo, a corkscrew, and two wine glasses we ventured down into the Luigi Baudana vineyards of the Baudana cru. We watched the sunset and spent the rest of the week together.
As one does, I moved to Italy in June of the following year.
Making room for some new bottles.
Now, nearly three years later we are excited to finally get some bottles of that Luigi Baudana Buadana Barolo 2012. And, timing is quite poetic. We aren’t just adding bottles of wine to our collection this year, but also some smaller ones, as well.
Il Marito is about to become Il Padre (the Father)!
Nope, he’s not getting ordained. We are welcoming a baby boy later this month and we could not be more excited!
But, this post is supposed to be about the Luigi Buadana Baudana Barolo 2012, so let’s get back to that.
A tale of two producers
I mentioned this Piedmont Portrait story also captures that of two historical wine producing families: Luigi Baudana of Serralunga and the Vaira family (G.D. Vajra) of La Morra.
The Luigi Baudana winery is one of the smallest in the Barolo wine-making area. Husband and wife Luigi and Fiorina owned 2.6 hectares of vineyards in the two highly acclaimed Serralunga crus of Baudana and Cerretta.
Some years ago the couple decided it was time to devise a succession plan for their winery, not an easy task without heirs. After considerable study and research, they set their sights on the Vaira family, of G.D. Vajra in La Morra. The story goes that Luigi visited the Vajra winery incognito. He left pleased with what he saw: a family that shared he and his wife’s passion and vision for the wines of the area.
Honored and humbled with the prospect of taking the Baudana winery into the future, the Vaira family purchased it in 2009. Today Luigi and Fiorina maintain an active role in the wine production with the Vaira children, Giuseppe, Francesca, and Isidoro overseeing sales and operations.
One of their most exciting contributions to the already beautiful Baudana Barolo portfolio is the addition of the classic Serralunga Barolo. The grapes now go through a more rigorous selection process during harvest and the top grapes go into the single vineyard expressions with the remainder blended for a classic Serralunga Barolo.
A blending of Nebbiolo vineyards is the most traditional form of Barolo production. So, this not only maintains tradition but also elevates the quality of the Baudana single vineyard wines.
Luigi Baudana Baudana Barolo 2012
The 2012 Barolo vintage marks the Vaira family’s fourth at the helm. They call the 2012 expressions of the Baudana wines those of finesse, intense aromatics, and terroir transparency.
The historic Baudana vineyard sits on the Western slope of the Serralunga wine making area. These signature wines benefit from south to southwest sun exposure, showing strength and velvety tannins. The Baudana wines have been a powerhouse Serralunga Barolo since the 1930s.
The clay-calcareous soil mixed with bits of sand enhances water retention, which was of great benefit in 2012 with the dry autumn conditions. This wine was gently aged for 30 months in large Slavonian oak Botti (casks) prior to bottling.
Antoni Galloni praises the Luigi Baudana Baudana Barolo 2012 with 92 points, citing its powerful tannin and fruit depth. This wine is definitely one for the ages.
Sweet red cherry, iron, smoke, tobacco and white pepper are some of the signatures in the 2012 Barolo Baudana. This is another intense, searing Barolo that is going to need time. Today, the tannins are pretty much overpowering, but there is good depth of fruit lurking beneath. The Baudana is the more delicate of the two single-vineyard Barolos, in relative terms, given that both are very clearly Serralunga wines. If opened young, the 2012 needs quite a bit of air.
— 92 points, Antonio Galloni
Get a bottle of Luigi Baudana Baudana Barolo 2012
The 2012 Baudana Barolo offer, both the Baudana,and the Cerretta single vineyard and the Serralunga Barolo, will be available in the coming months. Given the limited production, only a small number of the single vineyard bottles are available. Orders are limited to six wines per person. We have already placed our order.
If you are in the United States, you can access them early via a special early release offer through VinConnect. They only have 25 six-packs, filled on a first come first serve basis. For the following vintage right of first priority goes to the patrons who purchased in the prior year.
A toast to 2012.
Obviously for us, the Luigi Baudana Baudana Barolo 2012 holds great significance. We’d like to believe we left a bit of love in the vineyards that helped with the outcome of the wine. We hope you will get an opportunity to try a bottle and tell us what you think.
We will certainly save one for Baby’s collection.