Borgogno was established in 1761 by Bartolomeo Borgogno and has long been one of the most recognized names in Piedmont. Evidence of the estate's fame comes from the selection of Borgogno Barolo as the wine served at the celebration dinner for the Italian Unification in 1861. From this point on it was one of the House of Savoy's official suppliers and was regularly served to visiting dignitaries. Over the years the estate has acquired some beautiful holdings including vineyards in the Crus of Cannubi and Liste in the commune of Barolo, and Fossati in the commune of La Morra.
Borgogno is a traditional estate that embraces its history - there are no commercial yeasts, roto-fermenters, or barriques here. Instead the wines start with indigenous ambient yeasts, undergo long macerations and are aged in traditional Slovenian oak casks for 3 years before spending an additional 2 years in bottle prior to release. This style of winemaking coupled with the innate characteristics of the Nebbiolo grape result in wines that are capable of tremendously long aging.
With aging in mind Borgogno long ago made the unusual, and for the collector particularly notable, decision to reserve nearly half of the production of each vintage to sell slowly over time. Consequently the Borgogno cellars contain great reserves of older vintages. Recent tastings of the legendary 1961 - still rich, full of life and silky textured - profoundly demonstrated the special character of Barolo and the transcendent power of well-aged wine. Given their pedigree and potential for very great age, the wines offer excellent value.
The significance of Oscar Farinetti's acquisition of Borgogno is impossible to overestimate: although much loved by connoisseurs of the classic understated style of Barolo, in truth the great old house had been in decline for many years. Under Farinetti, the revival has been astonishing - almost a too- good-to-be-true story, coupled with the Farinetti's equally astonishing rejuvenation of Fontanafredda, the former royal estate declared to be a 'Republica Ecologica'.