Margherita Otto

Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Monforte d’Alba, Barolo
People: Alan Manley, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic


Margherita Otto 2018 Barolo DOCG Login In Stock

Until the late 1950s, the accepted doctrine was that great Barolo could only be made by blending crus and villages. Yet, even in that period, there was more than one way to blend. Big producers vinified the fruit from specific vineyards or villages separately and then later blended them in varying proportions to produce a balanced Barolo. Small growers tended to believe that the best way to integrate the fruit from different places was to bring it together before fermentation. This was called assemblaggio and was based on the belief that only co-fermentation could achieve a complete marriage of the different characters.

Today, this highly artisanal approach has almost completely disappeared. Cantina Bartolo Mascarello is the great standard-bearer. But a new grower has emerged, embracing the assemblaggio tradition and is making the world take notice. The new estate is Alan Manley’s Margherita Otto, and its utterly traditional and singularly harmonious character makes it a must for anyone who loves old school, traditional Barolo.

Alan’s name will be familiar to many who have had the pleasure of meeting him at Cantina Bartolo Mascarello, where for many years he has hosted and enthralled visitors in aid of the perpetually busy Maria Teresa Mascarello. All the while Alan carefully searched for fine Nebbiolo parcels from which to make his own wine. His debut 2015 Barolo was made from three beautifully exposed, tiny plots with vines up to 75 years of age. The largest is an east-facing half hectare bordering the heavy clay soil, high-altitude Ginestra cru in Monforte d’Alba. Alan’s other estate holding is a very steep, southeast-exposed 0.25-hectare parcel of sandy soil in Castiglione Falletto’s fine Pernanno vineyard. He augments these with fruit purchased from a grower friend with a half-acre plot bordering the bottom of the celebrated Vigna Rionda in Serralunga d’Alba. And, with 2019 and 2020, he added additional parcels in Barolo’s Vignane and Coste di Rose crus, which should bring further nuance to this already compelling Barolo, plus a small amount of Langhe Nebbiolo.

Named in honor of Alan’s grandmother and grandfather, the Margherita Otto Barolo seamlessly integrates the perfumed rose petal richness of Castiglione; the power and complexity of Monforte, and the structured elegance of Serralunga. The addition of two holdings in the village of Barolo will add further complexity in coming years, and it will give Alan enough fruit to produce a Langhe Nebbiolo.

Read more about Alan Manley's vineyards and viticulture practices.