E. Pira – Chiara Boschis

Country: Piedmont - Italy

Region: Piedmont


Chiara Boschis: rock star, rebel, feminist, pioneer, entrepreneur, iconoclast—these are just a few terms that come to mind when considering this prestigious Barolo producer. Chiara was born into wine; her ancestors founded the Giacomo Borgogno estate in Barolo in 1761 and her family stewarded that winery until its sale in 2008. She and her brothers Giorgio and Cesare grew up working in the family business, but the expectations at the time were that the boys would one day run the family winery, while the daughter would be married off—but Chiara had other plans for herself! She left home to study business and economics in Turin, and after graduation went to work for a consulting firm. But she knew her destiny was back home in Barolo.

In 1980, the legendary Gigi Pira, owner of the E. Pira winery in Barolo passed away with no heirs. Gigi’s two sisters were close friends of the Boschis-Borgogno family, and asked them to give a hand in making the wines. In 1981, Chiara, though still studying in Turin, convinced her mother and father to take out a mortgage to purchase the E Pira cantina and vineyards.  While Chiara finished her studies and her professional experience in Turin, her family looked after the production at Pira. By 1990, however, after spending a few years tasting and discovering wines with Giorgio Rivetti and the Barolo Boys, Chiara’s determination had crystallized. She took over the reins at the E. Pira winery, and in contrast to her family’s centuries of traditional winemaking, she took a daring and provocative path, employing green harvesting, shorter fermentations, and the use of small French oak casks, known as barriques.

Her very first wine, 1990 Barolo Riserva Cannubi, was a smash hit. She earned the coveted Tre Bicchieri award from the Gambero Rosso in Italy, and international attention soon followed.

Chiara now has eleven hectares of vines under cultivation in the communes of Barolo, Serralunga and Monforte d’Alba. She retains the honor of the first female winemaker in the Langhe, and though she came from a family of Barolisti, she braved incredible obstacles in the 1990s to earn that title. She is, by necessity, of unquestionable confidence, determination, patience and charm. She ran the estate essentially by herself for twenty years, but after the sale of Borgogno in 2008, her brother Giorgio became a free agent. In 2010, he, his wife Daniella and their three daughters joined Chiara at E. Pira, which provided not only a welcome division of labor, but also a next generation of female successors: Beatrice, Elena and Vittoria Boschis, Giorgio and Daniella’s daughters, are already enjoying their experiences at the “new” family winery!

With the pending arrival of Giorgio Boschis at Pira, Chiara was able to purchase a beautiful old vines vineyard in Monforte in the Mosconi cru, and they also added several other small parcels between Monforte and Serralunga: Ravera di Monforte, Le Coste di Monforte as well as Gabutti and Baudana in Serralunga. Chiara’s Barolo Via Nuova, which up until 2008 had been a single vineyard expression of the Terlo cru, became a classic Barolo blend of all of her holdings (with the exception of Cannubi). 2009 also saw the first release of Chiara’s single vineyard Mosconi Barolo, from an old vines parcel of this cru just south of the Ginestra cru in Monforte. Current total production at the estate has grown, but even now they top out at a minuscule three thousand cases!

Giorgio’s arrival also brought along other developments at Pira: Since the early aughts Chiara had been decreasing the amount of new oak on her wines, first to 80%, then to 70% and then only 50%, but Giorgio’s classical influence pushed this even further. By 2008, the oak regiment for the Barolo had become 1/3 new, 1/3 one year old, and 1/3 two years old, and then in 2010 the first large casks arrived. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tank with indigenous yeasts, and generally lasts up to two weeks. Malolactic also happens in steel, following which the wine is racked into oak for 24 months. The Barolo are not fined or filtered prior to bottling to keep the wine as whole as possible.

In her vineyards, Chiara has always worked without chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, preferring the sustainable path of integrated pest management. But in 2010 she decided to make it official and began conversion to be certified organic. The 2014 vintage was her first as certified; but she did not stop there. She started a project called Cannubi Bio, and as of 2015, had convinced 80% of the 26 growers in Cannubi to work organically!

E. Pira – Chiara Boschis Collection


Barolo Cannubi Bio Price € 98.00

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Chiara Boschis has become one of the most respected producers in Barolo receiving critical acclaim year after year.  She is known for producing Barolo wines with power but also elegance and approachability. Cannubi is arguably one the best “crus” in Barolo and Chiara’s Cannubi Barolo is always an exceptional wine. 

Sensory featuresThe regal Barolo Cannubi has a nose with a myriad of sweet scents of spice and ripe fruit, that is accompanied by the classical notes of Cannubi (mint and eucalyptus). With a lively taste that is powerful and chewy, but pleasingly elegant. It has impressive structure and decisive tannins with a long and fantastic finish. A highly awarded wine recognized worldwide.

Technical notes

Grape Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo (clones of Michet and Lampia)
Vineyard: Cannubi, Barolo (from the famous vineyard located in the village of Barolo)  
Vine Age: 30 years
Altitude: 300 meters above sea level
Soil: Calcareous soils and Miocene (Sant’ Agata Marl fossils with a high percentage of sand)
Harvest: mid October
Yield per acre: 1,000-1,600 kg/ha
Fermentation: Vinification takes place in steel tanks under temperature control with frequent pumping over and punch down
Aging: Aged in lightly toasted 30% new French oak for 24 months and one year further in the bottle prior to release.

Best served: Game, braised meat. Matured cheeses and truffle dishes. Excellent meditation wine.

Bottle size: 750ml & 1.5ltr

Alcohol content: 14%

 

 

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Barolo Mosconi Bio Price € 80.00

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Sensory featuresThe Mosconi site is characterized by heavy clay soils that act like a sponge and keep the moisture locked deep within even during the warmest months. The wine opens to coffee and dark fruit with morecherry, spice, tobacco and black truffle at the back. The mouthfeel is generous and wide in appeal, showing tannic firmness that coats the palate. The wine's layering is rich and lasting in intensity.

Technical Notes

Grape Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo (clones of Michet and Lampia)
Vineyard: Mosconi, Monforte d’Alba (from a single vineyard of a newly acquired property in Monforte d’Alba)  
Vine Age: 30 years
Altitude: 400 meters above sea level
Soil: Calcareous soils from the Tertiary Period – Miocene.
Harvest: mid October
Yield per acre: 450 kg/ha
Fermentation: Vinification takes place in steel tanks under temperature control with frequent pumping over and punch down
Aging: Aged in lightly toasted 30% new French oak for 24 months and one year further in the bottle prior to release.

Best served: Game, braised or otherwise very tasty red meat dishes. Seasoned cheeses.

Bottle size: 750ml 

Alcohol content: 14%

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Barolo Via Nuova Bio Price € 69.00

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Via Nuova was the name of a small vineyard located near the town of Barolo. Its name came from its proximity to the road (new, in the last century) that connected Barolo to Novello. All that remains of that road today is a path in the middle of the vineyards, which can be covered on foot. For years it was vinified in purity until the Municipality of Barolo, reorganizing the Additional Geographical Mentions (which came into force in 2010) decided to incorporate it into a larger sub-area, marked by the name Terlo. With the suppression of this very small Cru, in homage to the tradition of the assemblage, we started to vinify the Barolo Via Nuova with the grapes of Terlo and Liste, from the Municipality of Barolo; Gabutti and Baudana from the Municipality of Serralunga d'Alba; Ravera from Monforte and Mosconi from the Municipality of Monforte d'Alba.

Sensory featuresThe Barolo Via Nuova is a blend of six sites - Liste, Terlo, Ravera di Monforte, Mosconi, Gabutti and Baudana - all of which are bottled as vineyard designates by other growers. The Via Nuova  is a wine which possesses wonderful purity and precision, as begins to releases alluring aromas of ripe strawberries, raspberries and cherries all coming together with floral, sweet spices, and minerals all taking shape. On the palate this continues to impress as it demonstrates remarkable focus with outstanding overall balance and finesse, before delivering a burst of bright red fruits heading into the silky finish.

Technical Notes

Grape Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo (clones of Michet and Lampia)
Vineyard: Mosconi, Monforte d’Alba (from a single vineyard of a newly acquired property in Monforte d’Alba)  
Vine Age: 50 years
Altitude: 340 meters above sea level
Soil: Calcareous soils from the Tertiary Period – Miocene.
Harvest: mid October
Yield per acre: 450 kg/ha
Fermentation: Vinification takes place in steel tanks under temperature control with frequent pumping over and punch down
Aging: Aged in lightly toasted 30% new French oak for 24 months and one year further in the bottle prior to release 

Best served: game, braised meat, medium-long matured cheeses and other hearty meat dishes

Alcohol content: 14%

Bottle size: 750ml

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