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Thursday, December 15, 2016

@mussobarbaresco #mussobarbaresco KEEPING ITALY ON TOP: WHOM YOU KNOW CELEBRATES ITALIAN STYLE INTELLIGENCE AND EXCELLENCE in Champagne Wishes with Roero Arneis Docg Highly Recommended by Whom You Know! We are Thrilled to Kick Off Coverage of The Musso Winery

Drumroll please...we have featured many brands made in Italy before, but now we've got a column that says so!  We are pleased to inaugurate:
Applause to the Italian Trade Commission who outperform all other countries with their unparalleled commitment to quality and craftsmanship (we hate to say it-we are not even Italian but they've been working hard on us for years!).
And even more applause to Emanuele Musso and his father, Valter Musso who have earned the first review in this column with a brilliant white:
Please meet their superlative Roero Arneis Docg.  
It's no secret that we sing the praises of Italian wines as an overall category!

When we opened the bottle, immediate notes of bright green apple infiltrated our sense of smell and as the crisp, stunning white filled the glass, it announced its elevated sophistication and told Peachy Deegan that she would like this Italian white just as much as she likes many Italian reds.  If you work with her at a restaurant you know if you ask her what she likes best she says a strong Italian red, smooth and not too tannic.  

At first sip, this 
Roero Arneis Docg spoke balance and had a smooth finish.  Its pronounced clarity was evocative of its versatility.  It's lush, ripe and fresh and we liked it with cheese, pasta and fish.  The 
Roero Arneis Docg boasts impressive depth for a white.

The celebratory glisten in your glass of the 
Roero Arneis Docg should be part of your Christmas and holiday season now that you know the Mussos!

Emanuele Musso Tells Whom You Know:

To the left of the river Tanaro is the larger Roero area, 19 villages with hills similar to the Langhe, but often more rugged and steep, real earth cones that make the most difficult terrain. Here they cultivate mainly four varieties, Arneis, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Favorita.

It is in one of these villages, Santo Stefano Roero, that produces this Roero Arneis. The varietal is Arneis and vineyards spread over a steep terrain with calcareous components frequently alternated by sandy layers.

Soil: mainly calcareous soil with little amounts of clay but frequent layers of sand, which make the soil less compact.

Exposition: from South to South-west.

Altitude: between 270 and 350 meters above sea level.

Vinification: the hand harvested grapes in small baskets are gently pressed. After a brief cold maceration on the skins, the wine goes through fermentation in stainless steel tanks.

The fermentation is temperature controlled, maintained at around 18-20° C. After the tumultuous fermentation, the new wine stays in the same container for several months on the lees (yeast).

Maturation: after fermentation, the wine spends a few months in stainless steel tanks, where it clarifies and finds the optimal conditions for physical and chemical stability before bottling.

Bottling: when it has reached the best conditions of stability, the wine is bottled, usually in the spring following the harvest. Before being marketed, the Arneis Roero refines at least three months in bottles stored in the cellar.

Tasting Notes: at sight, the Roero Arneis has an intact straw yellow color; very pleasing aroma, which reveals intense floral notes (hawthorn, acacia, chamomile) and fruity (golden apple and hazelnut). The taste is dry, good structure, elegant and pleasing, with a delicate acidulous note which makes it fragrant.

Food pairing: its delicate notes of acidity pair well with appetizers, but its best is with dishes of poultry or vegetables, salumi that is not smoked, pasta with vegetable, fish and grilled white meat.

History of the vineyards and the wines of Barbaresco
In this village dedicated to wine, the Musso winery has developed its own history, whose features are often coincided with broader events that have marked the path of the entire society. 

The Musso winery was founded in 1929 and coincides with one of the most critical moments of the Italian economy and the world, the year of the "Great Depression", that brought down myths and structures that seemed invincible. In those years it was difficult just to manage everyday life and to pool resources for survival.

Yet, Sebastiano Musso, born in 1906, did not lose heart. Even with being left alone at a young age from the untimely death of his father, he found the strength to fight back and establish a small winery in Barbaresco.

He didn't have a lot of ground, only “3 giornata piemontese” (a little more than one hectare, 2.62 giornata equal 1 hectare) one in the locality of Cavanna and one on the hillside of Ronchi. It was small, but enough to start. While he continued the work of the family, cultivating the vineyards, he started producing his own wine.

The following years were very difficult: those of World War II and after the war. Yet he managed to survive making wine and selling it, overcoming the difficulties and distances. Year after year, the markets were enlarged. In the early sixties he understood that it would take more grapes and help in the vineyards and winery to cultivate and produce. The light of progress began to show its reflections in the distance.

It was in the sixties that his son Augusto, who left some time before to Turin to seek a life in the city in the mechanical sector, thought of his decision and he knew it was time to return home. He didn't miss the city lights and knew there was a family and a winery waiting for
him in Barbaresco. His future was there to look after and follow the family business.

It was the beginning of 1968, the era of big bets in agriculture, especially in viticulture and oenology: Italy had passed its wine law of origin only a few years ago and this would give more certainty to those who produced and those who consumed, enhancing the quality of the wines.
It was in 1966 that Barbaresco, the wine to which his father Sebastiano had dedicated his life, had become a DOC wine and this recognition had created great interest for the wine.
With his return to the winery, Augusto brought the enthusiasm of youth. The winery benefited and in the following years, Sebastian and Augusto expanded their vineyards with the purchase of a plot on the hill of Pora and an entire farm in Rio Sordo.

Today, the stars are still the men and their generations . They do not contradict each other, but are in total synergy, highlighting the best capabilities of each.

First is Valter Musso, a young winemaker who joined the family winery in the mid-eighties, today is a mature man and head of the winery, overseeing the responsibilities in the vineyard and the winery to produce quality wine.

But he is not alone, there is also the next generation, his son Emanuele, who supports him with marketing the wine and his grandson, Luca Accornero, who takes care of the work in the vineyards.

At the entrance of Barbaresco, Via Domitius Cavazza 5, is still the home of the Musso Winery. Here is the cellar where the grapes are vinified, aged and when ready put in the bottle for final aging. Again here, the bottle assumes the final look, the elegant label that will accompany the wine its the way to the market.

Each step is performed in a dedicated environment, using the most appropriate containers to give the best quality to each wine: the steel tanks for vinification, wooden casks of various sizes, dedicated space in the cellar the maturation of the wine and the aging in the bottle before release.

Even the vineyards, about 10 hectares in all, are mainly in the hills of Barbaresco and planted with traditional varieties (Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and Freisa) along with the universal Chardonnay. Musso 's vineyards are located in four of the most prestigious crus of Barbaresco: Pora, Rio Sordo, Ronchi and Cavanna.

There remains another varietal, Arneis, cultivated in the Roero beyond the river Tanaro, in Santo Stefano Roero. The winery cultivates the vineyard in collaboration with a winemaker in the Roero.

The main star of the winery is the Nebbiolo grape with about 50% of their total vineyard area. The remainder is divided among five other varieties.

The results of the work in the vineyard and in the cellar are about 80,000 bottles of wine per year on average. Barbaresco makes up 40%, a grand red wine with structure and long aging. Two types of Barbaresco are produced from different vineyards and two single crus: Pora and Rio Sordo.

Along with the Barbaresco there are four other reds and two whites: Langhe Nebbiolo DOC, a fragrant red wine that can be drunk younger.

Then, Barbera d' Alba DOC, Dolcetto d'Alba DOC and Langhe Freisa DOC. Finally, the two white wines, Langhe Chardonnay DOC and Roero Arneis DOCG.

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