The vines of the Cavallotto Winery are found on a hill, the Bricco Boschis, where sedimentary deposits of the Langhian and Tortonian ages meet. The secret of Cavallotto Barolo is truly here: the older calcareous marl and the younger sand veins (through which water flows and hydrates the plants) give us wines of great equilibrium and aromatic complexity. This is a unique characteristic in the Barolo zone, and herein lies the real identity of the wines of Cavallotto.
The Langhe is formed of “tongues” of land, unique on this planet.
The Tenuta Vitivinicola Cavallotto (the winery’s legal name) is located in Bricco Boschis, a hill that is found in the heart of the Nebbiolo grape-growing area and at the center of the Barolo winemaking zone.
The substrates of the hills of the Barolo area are marine sedimentary deposits that formed in the Miocene epoch (23-5 million years ago (mya)). These marine deposits are composed primarily of white to blue colored compacted marl and calcareous clay. These deposits are more or less resistant to water penetration depending on the ratio and amount of clay and sand present in the deposits.
More precisely, there are two pedologic subzones roughly dividing the Barolo Zone in half. To the east, the landforms of the villages of Serralunga d’Alba, Monforte d’Alba and most of Castiglione Falletto are comprised of deposits from the Langhian Age (until the 1960s also known as Helvetian; 16-13 mya). To the west the geology of the communes of Barolo and La Morra is Tortonian (11-7 mya).
From vines grown the eastern part of the zone, which is characterized by soils of calcareous clay marls with little sand content, one obtains robust, full-bodied wines of great longevity. The western zone is characterized by more sand in the soils and vines planted here yield more perfumed wines of medium body which show faster evolution in the bottle.
The Cavallotto estate is situated in the commune of Castiglione Falletto, and most of the property falls within the pedologic zone of the Langhian period.
The geologic subzones of the Bricco Boschis consist of varied substrates of sea-floor, shallow sea, and sandy beach deposits. From these the vines produce grapes with significant potential alcoholic gradation, with good structure and very suitable for long ageing.
However, the specific location of the center of the Bricco Boschis cru falls along the border of the Langhian and Tortonian substrates, and the cru shows an extraordinary mix of white, yellow and grey marls, punctuated by layers of sand. The mix of soils gives the wine from this cru characteristics from both subzones.
The roots of the vines cultivated in the Bricco Boschis make contact with soil layers of differing chemical and physical properties as they penetrate deeply into the ground. This vineyard parcel, cultivated as a monpole cru by the Cavallotto family since 1928, yields wines of great body suitable for long cellaring, but with a sweet and ripe tannic structure and aromas of great complexity and fullness.
Barolo Bricco Boschis is produced from Nebbiolo grapes grown in the three sub zones that comprise the Bricco Boschis: Vigna Punta Marcello (the highest part of the hill with southeast-south-soutwest exposures), Vigna Colle SudOvest (the lower part with excellent south-southeast exposure), and finally about 30% from the Vigna San Giuseppe (the central part of the Bricco Boschis facing southwest).
Since 1970, the best fruit from the single-vineyard parcel of Vigna San Giuseppe has been selected, vinified and bottled separately as a Barolo Riserva.
The Cavallotto family has recognized that this particular vineyard of very old vines, last replanted between 1932 and 1956 in 9 separate lots, has consistently demonstrated very high quality thanks to the particular microclimate and favored terroir
On the southern flank of the long hill along whose ridge-line runs the “Strada Del Grosso” road that connects Castiglione with the hamlet of Garbelletto is the Vignolo cru.
The Cavallotto family acquired about 60% of this south-west facing cru in 1989 and since then have vinified this plot separately. It has become one of the most important and appreciated cru bottlings of Castiglione Falletto.
The soil of this southwest facing hill is of Langhian age and is particularly rich in calcareous clay marl interlaid with a small part of evenly distributed beach sand deposits. The Barolo produced here is of great body but possessing a particularly delicate structure which yields a soft and elegant Barolo.
The excellent terroir of the Cavallotto vineyards also benefits another wine: the Langhe Nebbiolo. In large part this wine is made from young vines in the Bricco Boschis and the Vignolo vineyards, combined with other important Castiglione Falletto cru. This wine is made of fruit of the highest quality – the Cavallottos do not produce Barolo from plants that are less than 12-15 years old. Depending on the vintage, the family will declassify a significant portion of their production of Barolo to make the Langhe Nebbiolo.