Maurizio Anselma, only twenty five year old, is an emerging winemaker in Barolo. He is the spirit behind the new, relatively speaking, estate named Famiglia Anselma. The estate was officially established in 1993 and their first Barolo released in 1997.
Maurizio is part of a three-person team who equally share responsibilities and use their strengths in diverse areas. Renato and Giovanna, Maurizio's parents, have equally gratifying roles in their winery. Giovanna is the experienced vineyard manager who painstakingly spends almost all of her days hunched over her vines. Renato is the winemaker in charge of transforming fruit into wine. They work very closely together and Renato admits that his direction comes from the advice and analysis that Giovanna provides on the difference of each load of grapes delivered to him.
Maurizio, on the other hand, is in charge of orchestrating the development of the winery from a newcomer to a first rate, dominating force for quality. The Anselmas have a few advantages on their side. The family started buying property in this area in the late seventies and continued purchasing through the early nineties. Today they are one of the largest land owners in the area, owning more than eighty hectares of land in three of the most prized areas comprising the designated zones for Barolo production: Monforte D'Alba, Serralunga and Barolo. Whereas most producers would take advantage of their annual cache of grapes, the Anselmas are cautious and are taking a different approach. They propose to choose only the best grapes each year from the choicest vineyards to produce a wine they will call their own.
They will continue to sell off the remaining grapes as they have for the last three decades. Most producers with this opportunity would choose the most notable vineyards to keep yearly. However, the Anselmas' proposition ensures quality because they are not limited to any specific site year in and year out. In an area where a hailstorm can wipe out all of your production, as it did in 2002 in the famed Cannubi vineyards of Barolo, they can better assure they will produce wine of the highest quality. When asked what wines they plan on producing Maurizio explains, 'We will only make Barolo because this is the history of our land. We will not make any single vineyard wines because this is not our tradition, but we will make two wines. The first, our annual Barolo, is meant for the enjoyment of drinking without much complication or fuss. The second, a Barolo named Adasi, is a reserva, which represents a wine born to evolve and change and become better with time.' This, he says, is a way of life of the people of this area and their wine. My tastings of the '96 through '98 Barolo showed wines of great balance and structure with power and an underlying elegance, as Barolo should have.