Back Up the Truck - Piedmont Edition:
2016 Castello di Verduno Pelaverga Basadone

Posted by Joe Salamone

Castello di Verduno's Pelaverga is a bottle that the staff consumes in quantity.

It's one of those delicious, food friendly and habit-forming wines that we always want on hand.

The Pelaverga grape is a specialty of Verduno in the Barolo zone. While Verduno's Monvigliero vineyard has enjoyed sudden fame among Barolo collectors, Pelaverga has become a go-to glass pour at thoughtful Italian restaurants.

The explanation is easy: it delivers an incredible amount of interest and sheer drinkability for an affordable price. This is a somewhat crude comparison, but Pelaverga is Piedmont's answer to Cru Beaujolais.

Given how enjoyable Pelaverga is and its current fame, the fact that in the 60s there were only a few vines interplanted with other varietals throughout Verduno seems extraordinary. To a large extent, Castello di Verduno is responsible for Pelaverga's comeback.

In the early 1970s, Castello di Verduno planted the Basadone section of the Massara vineyard. Today, along with Burlotto, Castello di Verduno stands as the top example of the grape.

2016 is a lovely example of the Castello di Verduno's Pelaverga. It has a vibrancy, a floral spice and a lovely undercurrent of savory notes. We liked it so much when we tasted it we bought every bottle that we could get our hands on.

We strongly encourage you to check out Levi Dalton's I'll Drink To That! interview with Castello di Verduno's enologist, Mario Andrion. It contains a wealth of information about Pelaverga along with fascinating insights from Mario Andrion. Unusually, for a Piedmontese vintner, Mario Andrion worked for a year in Oregon, handling Pinot Noir. Mario Andrion's increased role at Castello di Verduno has resulted in wines that seem to grow more graceful each year.

I'll close with a warning: We bought as much as we could, but we expect it to disappear quickly. Word is out on how delightful Castello di Verduno's Pelaverga is and people will buy deep.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits