Pugnane (Castiglione Falletto)

We had been losing sleep. Agonising over the small gap in our range of Barolo. We were missing one of the key townships, Castiglione Falletto, where power and structure harmonise with perfume and elegance. We had to plug the gap, pronto.
How did we come across Pugnane? There is a Cantina Communale in Castiglione Falletto run by Alan Tardi, a New Yorker who settled here ages ago. It’s a great place to do some research and, following our trawl of Alan’s shelves, Pugnane was top of our shopping list.
Pugnane is a family winery, owned by the two Sordo brothers, although Enrico does almost everything as his brother Franco works in a Salami factory nearby. Enrico’s cousin Matteo is also onboard and his parents are still in attendance. His mother works daily in the vines and, when we returned to pick-up our order, his father Giovanni appeared with the presence of a mature movie star, complete with fantastically low voice, to present us with a basket of Nebbiolo grapes from their Barolo Villero vineyard.
Enrico’s grandfather started the Azienda in 1950 with 2 hectares of vines. They now have just under 12 hectares. 2 for Dolcetto, 8 for Nebbiolo, the rest Barbera and a tiny parcel of Chardonnay. Enrico joined as soon as he left school. Winemaking is totally traditional, wild yeasts, three years in the classic, big Botti – 3,000 and 5,000 litre casks made from Slovenian oak. Wines also rest in concrete vats. Not a single barrique in sight. Jewel in the crown is their Barolo, which all comes from the Villero vineyard. We love their wines, which are unmessed-with, authentic and balance elegance and power.