Our Producers - Cascina Sòt
Driving into Monforte d’Alba these days you get the distinct feeling of another tiny town in the Barolo zone that is tired of the tourism that made them rich. A desensitised attendant in the recently renovated hotel cafe makes you an espresso without acknowledging you, while at the great little pizza place the owner has a group of French tourists paying their bill individually at her bar, speaking over her in their native tongue. The atmosphere in this tiny mountain town has taken any excitement out of the often fine wines that it produces.
Yet, there is a bright, energetic light in young Maurizio Sanso, the man behind Cascina Sòt and the newest ‘Barolo Boy’ (recently inducted by Fabio from Conterno Fantino). The land has been passed down from his grandparents, who were sharecroppers on the property until they managed to purchase it in the 1970’s. Maurizio’s parents continued to farm the land, selling fruit to the great Barolo producing estates of Monforte d’Alba. With great precision and enthusiasm Maurizio has taken charge of the operation and is the first in his family to make wine here - and what a job he is doing. Vineyards are farmed in delicately, with great respect to the land. This in turn yields the precious grapes that a no fuss Maurizio guides into the bottle. The wines show not a hint of heavy handedness or intervention, in fact the fruit is some of the brightest and most exciting we have seen out of this area in a while. He is a newcomer to a very competitive, commercial Barolo market and highly worth getting to know if you value purity, expression and a brightness in wine that seems to perfectly match the driving force behind it.
Maurizio Sanso is the young man behind Cascina Sòt and the newest ‘Barolo Boy’ (recently inducted by Fabio from Conterno Fantino). His grandparents worked the family’s current land as farmer-tenants for decades until they managed to acquire the property in 1975. The family continued to grow grapes, selling the fruit to Barolo producers. Energetically Maurizio has taken this family business to the next level and produces wines of great fruit purity from the renowned cru of ‘Bricco San Pietro’. When asked whom he admires most in Barolo he names Bruno Giacosa - we can see where this feldging domaine is headed. Maurizio’s textural version of Nascetta is in made in tiny quantities and involves 5-6 days skin contact and a degree of battonage. His Rosato is from first pressings and fresh to bursting. The Langhe Nebbiolo is juicy and serious - barrel fermentation is followed by 40% of the fruit spending 6 months in oak. Fruit for both Baroli are from 85 year old vines grown in Bricco San Pietro. Manual punch downs continue for 20 days until the wine is racked and aged in large Slavonian oak for 32 months, followed by 6 months in bottle. ‘Bricco San Pietro’ is the cream of the cru: it sees 28 months in French oak (60% new tonneaux, 40% second passage) followed by a year in bottle - don’t be fooled by the oak regime, the wine thrives on it, showing serious fruit depth and purity.