Monforte d’Alba, Piemonte
Ferdinando Principiano joined the business that his father had started after graduating from the Enological School in Alba.
Stints with Giacomo Conterno and Roberto Voerzio have helped focus a style that is rooted in the qualities of the soil and use of native grapes.
There are strong elements of biodynamic farming and his standards exceed those demanded by organic certification however, he has no wish to formalise his philosophy as things can go very wrong and there are some excellent remedies that fall outside of these certifications.
The sacrifice of such valuable marketing terms has not affected his business, this is a classic insider estate, the vineyards are epic and the winemaking immaculate.
I find Ferdinando’s wines pared back in style and a pure and precise reflection of the land and the vine.
I should qualify expectations, Barolo has a reputation for brawn and Nebbiolo d’Alba can be equally menacing, Ferdinando’s wines are far more fly-half than prop forward.