100% Nebbiolo. Castello di Verduno is an historic Piemontese estate that makes classic Barolo and Barbaresco from prime vineyard sites in both appellations. The winery is located in Verduno, the northernmost commune of Barolo. This township has flown under the radar for many years but recently has been gaining more and more attention. Verduno is a small town and the histories of the wineries located there are intertwined. The Castle of Verduno, constructed in the early 1500s, was under the jurisdiction of the House of Savoy for much of its history. More recently, with the marriage of Gabriella Burlotto to Franco Bianco, whose family had vineyards and a winery in Barbaresco, Castello di Verduno gained precious parcels. Although Franco Bianco and his wife Gabriella are the titular heads of the estate, they have a very talented young winemaker, Mario Andrion, who has run the cellar since 2000. Mario was trained in Italy but has also worked harvests in Oregon. Franco and Gabriella’s daughter Marcella is increasingly involved in day-to-day operations. The winery’s philosophy is to produce wines that speak of the place in a classic way and are also sustainable and protect the land. As such, they practice organic farming and are meticulous both in the vineyard and in the cellar. Mario uses minimal SO2 and also vinifies with indigenous yeast. Their wines are firmly traditional in style though never rustic; in fact just the opposite, they retain a rare elegance and purity. The Barbaresco bottling comes from three vineyards, Rabaja, Rabaja-bas, and Faset. It is fermented in steel tanks, aged 18 months in Slavonian botti, another 3 months in tanks, and then 14 months in bottle before release. It is a beautiful introduction to the winery and to the specific vintage before getting into the specific cru bottlings.