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2019 #Piemonte | Luigi Pira winery, Serralunga d'Alba

Updated: Jan 7

Serralunga is the terrior in Barolo area, giving the most powerful fullbodied wines with the greatest possible longevity. Luigi Pira estate is located on the western side of #Serralunga hills. If you are in the zone, don't miss a chance to visit this nice friendly estate and taste excellent wines created by Gianpaolo.

Pira family cultivates the vines and craft their wines here from the mid 50s. They owns 12 hectares, of which half is divided between three crus dedicated to #Barolo production: Marenca, Margheria, Vigna Rionda, all of them can be observed from estate's terrace (awesome view, proved). The biggest part of the vineyards is located in the area of Serralunga d'Alba, opposite to Monforte d'Alba and Castiglione Falletto.

A bit of history. In the 50s Luigi Pira, Gianpaolo's father, started his business focusing on grapes and #wine, he was selling grapes and wine to the biggest wineries of the area, who were interested in the high quality product from Serralunga. Later on he started his own wine production, followed by Gainpaolo in the early 90s. Nowadays Gianpaolo runs the estate, taking care of winemaking and cellars, being supported by his brothers looking after the #vineyards and his very nice wife Tiziana taking care about hospitality and commercial part of the business. The main concept of Pira family's wine production is to express the great character of the terrior in their wines.

As it was September and Dolcetto harvest has already started, we've caught up Gianpaolo in the winery, right in the middle of carrying out the pumping over process during Dolcetto's alcoholic fermentation.

For fermentation Gianpaolo uses only stainless steel tanks of different sizes...

...and shapes.

For the ageing #cellars are equipped by small 225 or 500 l French oak barrels...

...and large 2500 l Slavonian oak casks.

The size of oak casks is being used depending on the wine Gianpaolo is going to craft.

Bottles storage part, among the latest vintages being aged before going to the market, there are some old #bottles being kept as an archive of estate's products.

There are even some very old ones, like 60s, from the first vintages of Pira family.

Talking about Luigi Pira Barolos, they are very powerful, having clear structure and great muscles. That comes from the unique #terrior of Serralunga, which results in the most strong and austere Barolos among all 11 communes of the area. The wines produced by Gianpaolo confirm the rule, they are all different, but still having a great power, elegance and longevity. Quite closed in their youth, they are created for a long ageing obviously, so think about 10-20 years ahead while you are tasting some recent #vintages. And if you have a chance to open a bottle from 90s vintages, then grab it up immediately.

Dolcetto d'Alba DOC


Grapes: Dolcetto 100%

Vintage: 2018

Alcohol: 13,5%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel for about 6-7 days

Ageing: in stainless steel for about 8-9 months

Nose: cranberry, strawberry, pepper, flowers

Palate: fresh, fruity


This young and fresh Dolcetto is very representative of the area. Rather simple wine, nice and easy drinking. Good acidity level and fruity character makes it a decent summer wine, possible to match with a lot of food types.

Barbera d'Alba DOC Superiore


Grapes: Barbera 100%

Vintage: 2017

Alcohol: 14,5%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel for about 12-14 days

Ageing: over 12 months partly in small oak barrels and partly in large oak barrels

Nose: wild strawberry, blueberry, spices, vanilla

Palate: well-balanced, rich mouthfeel, fruitforward


Juicy Barbera, full of berry aromas both black and red, with hints of spices and quite evident oak toasty flavours. Even though the wine is bone dry it has a feeling of a bit sweetness on the palate because of super fruity aromas and very strong oak presence. Good wine though, if you are a #Barbera lover, then it's a great choice.

Langhe Nebbiolo DOC


Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%

Vintage: 2017

Alcohol: 14,5%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel for about 10-15 days

Ageing: over 12 months partly in small oak barrels and partly in large oak barrels

Nose: raspberry, dried herbs, dried roses, leather, graphite

Palate: gentle tannins, round, earthy


Crystal clear #Nebbiolo, young, vivid with sweety tannins, persistent and a bit spicy on the palate. Smooth wine, full of dried berries, flowers and earthy flavours, oak touch is very gently wraps around your mouth with some hints of elegant polished wood and leather flavours. Beautiful wine, enjoyable in its youth, even tough can be easily kept for another 10-15 years.

Barolo DOCG Margheria


Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol: 14,5%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel for about 12-15 days

Ageing: 24 months in large Slavonian oak casks

Nose: violet, red cherry, pencil shavings, cloves

Palate: elegant, full body, intense


Lovely classic Barolo, made of the grapes from Margheria cru with limestone and clay soils. Mineral, elegant wine, well-shaped, with polished aromas of red berries, dried flowers and herbs. Long maturation in large #oak casks results in quite intense aromas of cigar, coffee and baking spices. I would say it's the most approachable in Gianpaolo's line up of cru Barolos. It definitely has high and strong, but pleasant tannins, sharp texture and very complex aromatics. However made for ageing, for sure. Buy a case and put it in your #cellar for a decade, unmistakable strategy.

Barolo DOCG Marenca


Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol: 15%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel for about 12-15 days

Ageing: 24 months partly in small oak barrels and partly in large oak barrels

Nose: dried cranberry, mediterranean herbs, dark chocolate, tobacco

Palate: rich, masculine, austere


This is do-not-come-close-to-me-when-I'm-young Barolo, showing you from the very beginning that you came too early to open the bottle of recent vintage now. The wine is crafted from the grapes of Marenca cru, grown on limestone and clay #soils, at 350 m above sea level. It is powerful, smart baby, austere and even severe, I would say. In such youth it's totally closed, tannins are super young and grippy. Very rich on the palate, having a rigid structure and muscled body. I can only imagine how beautiful it will grow up, will be looking to try older vintages to get to know it at its adult ages, I'm sure it'll be elegant, more calm and quiet. Awesome #Barolo, just need you to wait for it for another twenty years (my lovely topic of impatience). Liked it a lot.

Barolo DOCG Vignarionda


Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol: 15%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel for about 12-15 days

Ageing: over 24 months partly in small oak barrels and partly in large oak barrels

Nose: dried roses, liquorice, balsamic, cinnamon

Palate: high tannins, long finish


Vignarionda cru gives the most typical Barolo of Serralunga d'Alba, it is the youngest vineyard, which was planted in 1994 and the first vintage was made in 1997. The soils are calcareous-clayish, the altitude is 330 m. Nebbiolo #grapes from Vignarionda give a super powerful, robust and solid wine. It is also closed in its youth, same like Marenca, so don't open recent vintages, no way. Apparently putting a bottle in your cellar and waiting as long as you can is a right decision for this serious wine. Very well made Barolo, worth high attention.

Many thanks to nice Tiziana for very welcome receipt and managing my visit, will be glad to come back soon to taste amazing 2016.

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