La Vite Turchese is a wine bar that rates five stars for their food and wine products, and knowledge of the region. Owners Stephano Moiso and Elizabetta Bordi opened their doors in June 2013. They strive to provide an environment to relax and enjoy wine, and want to appeal to locals as well as the numerous tourists that visit Barolo.
Stephano was previously employed at a large wine shop in La Morra called Gallo Wine. Elizabetta worked for a company that made food products. The two decided to open a wine bar because they felt Barolo needed a center with a good shop and place to savor wine. Why Barolo? Stephano and Elizabetta think the best place in Piedmonte for wine is in the Langhe. Barolo is “the heart of the land. It is a name connected with the land”. They didn’t want to take on investors so they sold their house to raise the money for La Vite Turchese. They state “We are wine lovers for wine lovers. We want people to have the joy of drinking good wine”.
Featured wines of the day are listed on a chalkboard sign. With such a dizzying array of wines to select from it is hard to choose. After asking Stephano numerous questions about various producers and wine styles, I realize I have an extremely knowledgeable host at my disposal. My two comrades and I settle in on the comfortable couch and chairs in the main room and decide to let Stephano choose the wine from the selection of wines he offers.
Our only request for Stephano was that he select a wine he thought was a great representation of the region, and had good value for the price point offered. We also insist that Stephano do a blind tasting of the wines. Stephano is happy to accommodate our request stating “This is the joy of this job….seeing the customers face when we show them something new”.
The first wine was from BadaLucco de la Iglesia in Sicily. The Dos Tierras project began in 2003 with the idea to produce a wine representing Spain and Sicily. This producer decided to conduct an experiment and blend Tempranillo and Nero d’Avola. A fun fruit forward wine with balanced use of oak.
Next a little Barbera d’Asti. This is a wine Stephano highly recommended. He felt it was one of the best new boutique Barolo producers. The vineyards are located in Castiglione d’Asti, which is located between Langhe and Monferrato .Grapes for this wine came from Briccono . The producer doesn’t use fertilizers or chemicals in the vineyard. They use only natural yeasts. Fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks before the wine is aged in neutral oak barrels for 12 months. This Barbera was fresh with aromas of violet,cherry, and strawberry. It was well balanced with good acidity.
Stephano then selected a wine which is one of Elizabetta’s favorites. Roberto Voerzio is located in La Morra. They produce traditional styled Barolo. This wine spent 24 months in neutral barriques. It was extremely floral with scents of rose petals, spice, strawberry, raspberry and cherry. It’s loaded with fruit and has a velvet texture. It’s a complex balanced wine with a long finish.
The 2001 Barolo by Roberto Voerzio was a real gem! It had a very complex nose with black cherry, prune, fig, cedar. It smelled so sweet! The palate was a textural blessing as the wine was so integrated with fine, silky tannins, and a very lengthy finish. This is classic Nebbiolo from a great vintage!
Stephano presented another bottle from the same producer. This was no doubt due to my gushing enthusiasm over the last 2 wines. The 2008 Roccho Dell’Annunziata, Torriglione, DOCG was an exceptional wine! The grapes were sourced from the Cru vineyard which was planted in 1952. The wine ages in a combination of new and used oak barrels for 2 years, then sees an additional 3 years of aging in bottle before it is released. A blockbuster wine with aromas of violets, spice, pepper, red fruits, chocolate and tobacco. Seamlessly integrated with silky, fine grained tannins, and a long lasting finish. One of the best Barolo I’ve ever experienced.
Azienda Agricola Roberto Voerizo has been producing wines since 1986. They practice sustainable viticulture. They do not add yeasts. Fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks and then the wine is transferred to oak casks for aging. The wines are not filtered. Thanks to Stephano, I learned so much more about the wines of this producer which was new to me. Elizabeth served up pancetta, antipasti, salamis, and cheese. Everything Elizabetta served was sourced locally and of the highest quality.
Time to check out the shelves of wine again. The focus in this wine shop is on small producers. As Stephano states “They need us. Anyone can sell a bottle of Gaja. Even a monkey could sell that”. I’d love to sample the Conterno but that is a little out of my price range. We urge Stephano to find us another bottle to blind taste.
Stephano carefully checks each wine before he serves it to us to ensure it is showing as it should. He knows the producers and quality of every wine he sells in his shop. His attention to detail and knowledge base rival the best in the business. Stephano gives an in depth account of vintage conditions, soil, viticulture and vinification techniques specific to the producer for all the wines we taste. Wow! This is the most fun wine education I’ve had in a long time.
2004 was such a good year for Brunello. Stephano says” it was so good…even my mother could make a good wine”. The San Filipo Le Lucere Riserva 2004 had a very perfumed nose of strawberry, cherry, red currant, cinnamon, cloves and earth. A full bodied wine with dense tannins, and lengthy finish. Outstanding!
The furniture in the VIP room at the back is fun and creative. Stephano made the tables using the top of an oak barrel. Elizabeth serves her homemade lasagna as we continue with our wine education.
The 2008 Sperss from Gaja was the only wine we were reasonably close on in our blind tasting. Imagine power and silk. It comes from Serralunga d’Alba. The nose was intense with aromas of sweet black cherry, licorice, vanilla, spices, chocolate, meat, and savory characteristics. The tannins are still grippy but with time will integrate nicely. It’s big and bold but polished.
Next up was the 2010 V. Lazzairasco. This was a great wine to end the evening on. Fresh, with aromas of rose petal, and cherry with medium body.
La Vite Turchese carries a wide selection of Grappas.
La Vite Turchese provided a highly educational experience and opportunity to try some fantastic wines and local food specialties. Good times, good wines, and good food is their motto. They definitely surpassed my expectations! I’m loaded up with food items to take back to the USA, and armed with a greater understanding of the region and its wines thanks to Stephano and Elizabetta. La Vite Marchese is the best wine shop in Barolo and an experience you don’t want to miss.