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Since the late 1980s, La Morra has been the Barolo commune most strongly associated with the Langhe’s Modernist movement. Even today, Accomasso and Marcarini are among the few famous traditionalists you will spot while scouring the La Morra landscape.
Though many of La Morra’s modern-leaning producers have since drifted back towards classicism, there are still few hard-core traditionalists to be found. But in the past decade a new estate, Trediberri, has created considerable excitement as the Next great Old School azienda.
Trediberri was founded in 2007 as a partnership of three men: Nicola Oberto; Nicola’s father Federico, and the Torinese banker, Vladimiro Rambaldi. Federico contributed prime family holdings in Torriglione and the renowned Rocche dell’Annunziata, and the three jointly purchased 5ha in La Morra’s historic Berri MGA. Nicola runs the estate today, and the project is named after the three partners and their common purchase: Tre-di-Berri, or Three of Berri.
Federico worked at the Ratti winery for decades, and is descended from several generations of farmers with great holdings. His experience, combined with the ancestral knowledge, made him a very shrewd judge of terroir. The Oberto family holdings in Rocche dell’Annunziata and Torriglione need no introduction, but the Berri purchase illustrates how—from the beginning—the partners focused their energy on extracting unique wines from distinctive vineyards.
“Nicola Oberto is one of the most dynamic, emerging producers in Piedmont today … my impression is that the best is yet to come for (this) small estate in La Morra.”
- Antonio Galloni
Berri, is the westernmost MGA in the entire Barolo appellation, and the soils are younger than those in La Morra’s better-known eastern crus. Here, the limestone bedrock is punctuated by outcroppings of sandstone, and the resulting soils have lots of pebbles mixed into the heavy clay. The trio replanted their 5ha parcel in 2007 and began vinifying its grapes with the 2010 vintage.
Berri’s south-to-southwest exposure, elevation, and river-cooled climate distinguished it for centuries, as evidenced by the remnants of ancient vigneti found there today. But these slopes were largely abandoned in the years following World War II, as Berri’s growers took more lucrative jobs elsewhere. Today, Federico’s insight has proven prescient, especially with a series of warmer, drier growing seasons.
The Berri vines yield the majority of Trediberri’s Barolo, complemented by the perfume and elegance of Torriglione. Of course, Nicola crafts a monumental single-vineyard Barolo from his crown jewel, Rocche dell’Annunziata, and the winemaking for both wines is classically Old School. Three or more weeks fermentation and maceration in concrete tanks are followed by ~2 years aging in Slavonian oak botti by Garbellotto.
“One of the most knowledgeable and passionate young producers to have appeared on the Langhe scene in years.”
- Ian D’Agata
But Barolo is only the beginning of the Trediberri story, as Nicola puts the same effort and skill into making his Dolcetto, Barbera and Langhe Nebbiolo.
The Dolcetto, which is labeled Dogliani DOCG, comes from a high-altitude site named Bricco Mollea in Alta Langa’s remote southwestern corner. Made from ancient Dolcetto vines at over 600m in elevation, its structure and perfume make it a singular example of this variety.
The Barbera d’Alba is sourced from estate vines in Torriglione, along with grapes from a close friend who farms organically in Monticello d’Alba (Roero). And the Langhe Nebbiolo is assembled from an ingenious combination of high-altitude vines in Levice and Vicoforte (Alta Langa), plus younger vines in the estate’s La Morra holdings. All of three of these wines are fermented and aged in concrete and stainless steel, and each offers a personality that is totally unique within its category.
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