Wine Advocate 94 points - The 2008 Barolo Brunate is gorgeous. An open, beguiling bouquet redolent of Christmas cake, plums, menthol and licorice melds into an expressive core of dark fruit. The mystery and allure of Brunate is on full display. The 2008 was quite open just after bottling, but it has begun to shut down since then. Both times I have tasted it, the wine has been translucent, weightless and yet powerful at the same time; in other words, the embodiment of what makes Barolo such a fascinating and complex wine. Simply put, this is textbook Barolo from one of La Morra’s top vineyards. The 2008 Brunate is steeped in class, but readers will have to be patient. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028. (Apr 2012)
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Manuel Marchetti and his late wife, Lusia, have been in charge of the family winery, since 1990, with Manuel responsible for sales & promotions, and consultant oenologist Armando Cordero orchestrating the wines. Founded by Luisa’s great-great-great-grandfather, the estate was one of the very first in the area to designate single vineyards on its labels (as early as the 1950s). In fact, one of Marcarini’s superb, historical crus is the 100-year-old Boschi di Berri, whose Dolcetto vines are the oldest in Italy, the only ones to have survived phylloxera and maintained indigenous rootstock.
The Marchetti vineyards, with the sole exception of Shiraz, are exclusively native, planted with grape types born and bred in the Langhe hills. The Nebbiolo grapes for Barolo are grown within the original nucleus, high on the rolling terroir of La Morra: two celebrated, contiguous crus, Brunate and La Serra, close to the Marcarini home and winery.
The building itself, adjoining a medieval tower, goes back to the 1700s, and the cool, ancient underground cellars provide an ideal environment for the wines’ classic elevage. Classic, in fact, is a key word in the Marcarini philosophy. Ideally poised between traditional and modern, the wines are characterized by both a voluptuous, embracing style and the superb longevity and blockbuster structure of Piedmont’s best. The exceptional vineyards, all estate-owned, are the true heart of the winery. The superb locations, steepness of the slopes and nature of the terrain, exposure to the sunlight, exceptional microclimate, are not only conducive to top wines, but to non-aggressive, natural vineyard management. The total surface under vine is 42 of the estate’s 62 acres.