Braida Il Fiore Bianco 2020
Straw yellow color. A very drinkable wine, with freshness and elegance being its finest qualities. The aromatic and particularly floral entry gives way to a pre-announced mineral expression. Pleasantly fresh and clean on the palate, with persistence and complexity. The more patient wine lover will find it particularly satisfying after a couple of years’ bottle ageing.
Pair with lean antipasti, delicate rice and pasta dishes and typically Mediterranean fish dishes.
The winery's story begins with the nickname "Braida", a name acquired by Giuseppe Bologna who played "fistball", a traditional Piedmont sport, on town and church squares. Giuseppe "Braida" Bologna, a wheelwright by profession, owned a large Barbera vineyard in Rocchetta Tanaro and produced wine for his own and the friend’s consumption. His son Giacomo inherited the vineyard as well as the nickname, which he gave to the winery. Thanks to Giacomo Bologna’s incredible personality and his love for the land, wine and life, he finally achieved his goal of producing superb Barbera at Rocchetta Tanaro. The Barbera grape which was traditionally vinified into a simple acidic wine was thereby lifted to a wine of world-class.
In recent years, "Braida" has expanded and grown, still faithful to the philosophy of Giacomo and Anna Bologna and to their way of understanding life, land, wine and friendships. In 1990, after Giacomo’s premature death, Anna and her children Raffaella and Giuseppe (nicknamed Beppe) carried on and concluded the projects he had initiated. Since the early year 2010 the winery is run by Raffaella and Giuseppe Bologna, representing the third generation of winemakers on the "Braida" winery. Raffaella is responsible for sales and marketing, while Beppe is in charge of the wine making and managing the agricultural part. Wine is their life. They enthusiastically champion wine, its culture and the land on which it grows. This love has also conquered their partners who have become active members of the family: Cristina, Beppe's wife and mother of Greta and Giacomo, works in administration, while Raffaella’s husband, Norbert Reinisch-Bologna, an Austrian doctor, is Braida's export director. Decisions about important projects and investments are always taken jointly, endeavouring to produce high quality wine and supported by a motivated team that tackles daily tasks with energy and enthusiasm.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
Set upon a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, the enchanting and rolling hills of Piedmont are the source of some of the country’s longest-lived and most sought-after red wines. Vineyards cover a great majority of the land area—especially in Barolo—with the most prized sites at the top hilltops or on south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. Piedmont has a continental climate with hot, humid summers leading to cold winters and precipitation year-round. The reliable autumnal fog provides a cooling effect, especially beneficial for Nebbiolo, Piedmont’s most prestigious variety.
In fact, Nebbiolo is named exactly for the arrival of this pre-harvest fog (called “nebbia” in Italian), which prolongs cluster hang time and allows full phenolic balance and ripeness. Harvest of Nebbiolo is last among Piedmont's wine varieties, occurring sometime in October. This grape is responsible for the exalted Piedmont wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure; the best examples can require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. Across the Tanaro River, the Roero region, and farther north, the regions of Gattinara and Ghemme, also produce excellent quality Nebbiolo.
Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin and juicy red fruit. Dolcetto, Piedmont’s other important red grape, is usually ready within a couple of years of release.
White wines, while less ubiquitous here, should not be missed. Key Piedmont wine varieties include Arneis, Cortese, Timorasso, Erbaluce and the sweet, charming Muscat, responsible for the brilliantly recognizable, Moscato d'Asti.