As everyone knows, the World Truffle Market is held in the Maddalena courtyard during the fair.
Despite the word “World” leads one to think of something that’s electronic and futuristic (global markets in times of transnational globalization – or something along those lines), the Truffle Market is simply a pavilion inhabited by ‘trifulau’ (truffle hunters) and merchants selling the precious underground fruit from the lands of Alba.
But not everyone knows that the Truffle World Market offers, in addition to truffles, offers many other local specialties: cheeses, pastries, nuts, meats, cold cuts and wine which form part of the AlbaQualità fair.
Corrado and I went last Sunday and had a chat with the winemakers who were present at the event. Here’s what they told us.
The Mossio Brothers
Mossio is a historic wine cellar. For four generations now they’ve been working with one goal: to achieve perfection, especially with their flagship product, the Dolcetto d’Alba.
They’ve been present at the Fair “from the very beginning”, as Remo tells us and as of this year the Mossio family is presenting a novelty, the Passito di Dolcetto.
“This has been a great challenge for the company,” says Remo, because no one has ever produced it before. “We had no existing reference to guide us and no one to turn to for advice.”
After numerous experiments, Valerio finally decided to place it on the market: “If we continue trying it there won’t be any left over for bottling.”
And the result is definitely outstanding: vaguely tannic, so as attenuate its sweetness, and it’s not at all cloying, as is often the case with this type of wine.
As Remo states, the Passito di Dolcetto is ideal for a complete meal; the Dolcetto can accompany the meal from antipasto to dessert.
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The other Mossio novelty is Gamus and this too is an experiment: it’s a Dolcetto d’Alba Superiore aged for a year in wood. “In large barrels,” Remo specifies. “We have some very old barrique barrels, but for me they’re just very inconvenient containers.”
The name comes from a stone found during tillage work on the farm, which had the inscription Gamus on it. After storing it at home for a few years, the Mossio family decided to have it analyzed by the Eusebio Museum of Alba.
The inscription appears to quote the name of a Roman camp in this area, dating back to Julius Caesar’s Gallic campaign.
Apparently “Gamus” subsequently became a name and was used to define the families who lived in the ancient area of the camp, and the stone, dated around the sixteenth century, was probably a tombstone engraved with the family name of the deceased.
The Azienda Agricola Manera is, on the other hand, a very young company: although the production of grapes dates back to a few generations ago, it’s the contemporaries who have started making and bottling their own wines.
While Corrado tastes the Barbaresco, we have a chat with Carlo. “We’ve almost finished expanding the cellar,” he says, “especially the area where we want to accommodate visitors.”
Then, as Corrado moves on to a 15% vol Barbera (!!!), Carlo comments on this year’s harvest.
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It’s an unfortunate vintage , but not all is lost: there won’t be any full-bodied wines this year and wines with high alcoholic content, but this vintage can also be seen as an opportunity to place different products on the market.
Fresher, simpler, lively colors and fragrances. A good wine must be well-balanced, so the amount of the alcohol cannot be used as an absolute parameter to assess its quality.
Corrado nodded as he finished his glass of Barbera 15 ° vol.
Azienda Agricola Demarie
The Demarie company brings us back to a historical reality, found on the other side of the Tanaro river: the company, based in Vezza d’Alba with vineyards in all the key areas of the Langhe, offers a very broad line of wines, ranging from Roero to Arneis including Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo.
Paolo tells us that the stand at the Fair is an important investment, but it certainly is a great way of getting known.
Especially for those who, like him, use the Truffle Market to create an initial contact with the visitors and eventually get them to come to the wine cellar where he can count on a more peaceful and hospitable ambience and where he can get them to discover his products .
“In particular,” Paolo says, “I want them to discover the Roero DOCG.”
“Although we have wines like Barolo and Barbaresco”, he continues, “Roero is practically an unknown wine, especially to foreigners, but it need not envy other more famous DOCG wines.”
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