Posted by: tomciocco | July 21, 2011

VERDUNO PELAVERGA: CAMPANILISMO AT ITS BEST

If I had an editor, this person would hate this title, by the way – “WAAY too much Italian in there” – Ah, so be it. So let’s unpack it.

Verduno is a very small, obscure town situated in the Barolo zone, that being so located is of course permitted to produce Piedmont’s most famous wine, and perhaps its least: Verduno Pelaverga. This grape (Pelaverga) quite literally grows only in the town of Verduno (the wine can be called Verduno Pelaverga or simply Verduno) and in fact the entire perimeter of the production zone could be walked in 20 minutes.

And the very existence of this grape brings us to the meaning of campanilismo. This Italian term is usually used somewhat pejoratively to describe the attitude of only trusting or promoting things or people that are within earshot of the bells of the campanile (bell tower) of ones home parish church – a sort of provincialism writ large, or small as it were…With this in mind,contemplate for a moment the multi-generational co-operation necessary to conserve and propagate this unique gem of a vine over Lord knows how many centuries. As I said in the title, Campanilismo at its best.

I served this wonderfully unusual wine with a very simple first course of basic cheese ravioli with a fresh tomato and basil sauce (Jersey tomatoes, and basil from my own pot), and then a take on a classic – Vitello Tonnato – thinly sliced veal (though I did this one with roast beef) smothered in a smooth,thick tuna, egg, caper, and vegetable  sauce, served cold, with bread and a green salad.

G. B. Burlotto Verduno Pelaverga 2010  

Slightly violet-tinged clear ruby color. Exotic nose of cherry, spicy salami, herbs, eucalyptus, damp earth and diesel fuel. The medium-light body has a polished, elastic mouthfeel and  bold, warm, and zesty flavors of maraschino cherries, strawberries, prune plums, and cloves hung in a big, wiry, spiky tannic frame. The wine finishes with juicy bitter chocolate and truffle-scented flavors.  Truly unique.

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Responses

  1. Tom,

    Thanks for the education about Pelaverga and Verduno, the description of the wine, and the luscious food to accompany it. I too, have found a delightful version of this — 2008 fratelli alessandria. It is one of the most feminine of all the wines I ever tasted, and I can imagine its pleasing partnership with the dishes you made. Almost makes me desert my vegan ways again…at least for a night.

  2. Thanks for the comment. Great to hear that you can get hold of this sort of wine. As you well know, the more that folks drink wines like Pelaverga, the better the whole selection of wines becomes worldwide – Actually being able to sell these sorts of wines emboldens other producers to advance their smaller varieties.

    TC

  3. […] for Pelaverga. So, as to not to be overly redundant, I refer you to my earlier posts here and here to provide the background on this lithe, nimble and pretty light red wine. It’s worth […]


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