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The Chiarlo style has always been that of producing highly elegant and complex wines, besides their propensity to an excellent longevity, in which are evident the vine’s recognisability and terroir of provenance. To achieve these results we have always firstly considered the layout of vineyards in hilly zones, often impervious and in excellent terroir for every single variety.
By thinning out the grape clusters, thus often sacrificing a conspicuous part of the production, the yield is programmed in light of the oenological objectives of each individual wine. In the cellar a technical staff co-ordinated by oenologists Stefano Chiarlo and Gianni Meleni pursue the aim of being faithful to the Chiarlo style: for the red wines, the moderate and very careful use of wood so that only the varietal and terroir characteristics be evident.
As for Gavi, besides a particularly suitable terrain, it is fundamental that the grape yield of the generous Cortese vine be lowered, while in the cellar one of our prerogatives is a partial cryomaceration of the grapes. One of our extraordinarily successful white wines is Moscato d’Asti Nivole; a dessert wine unique for its provenance from the highly suitable hills in the Canelli area with a calcareous-marl soil rich in trace elements and with a west to south-east exposition. It is a fairly pulpy and delicate wine that makes it very enticing and pleasant. Among the red wines, we attach particular importance to the Barbera d’Asti, a wine that we have revolutionised, starting from the 1970s, by being the first to introduce malolactic fermentation.
Since the end of the 1980s we then managed to raise its quality thanks to the reduction in the yields in the vineyard, bringing forth an excellently structured and harmonious wine with very evident notes of red fruit, accompanied by an attractive silkiness and freshness. This long and arduous work has enabled us to be the producers that first introduced quality Barbera d’Asti into fifty-odd new markets.
Still in the 1980s, Michele Chiarlo worked tenaciously together with other prestigious producers to raise the level of the noble Barolo, making it less austere and with smoother tannins, but always maintaining intact its original characteristics and extraordinary longevity. For our Barolo the determining factor in the vineyard was the drastic reduction in the grape bunches, while in the cellar the fundamental thing was controlling the temperature of fermentation and reducing the musts contact with the skins to 15-17 days.
The Tortoniano’s refinement in wood occurs exclusively in large barrels, whereas for the crus 700-litre barrels are used, of which 50% new; this style of production was introduced by us in 1988 and has never changed.