There are great wines, and there are great wines with an amazing story. But few wineries can match the layers of history and innovation that is at the heart of E. Pira & Figli, born on the hillsides of one of Italy’s most legendary wine producing regions, the northern area of Piedmont.
Join us on Thursday February 28 at 6:30 as we celebrate the wines from E.Pira with a six-course dinner. We’ll taste five of the finest wines that Piedmont offers, all served with food designed to show them to their best effect. Mark Fratto of MS Walker will provide professional guidance during the tasting.
The cost for this evening is $65 per person, including all food and beverage served. Reservations are required.
We strongly suggest that interested parties call the restaurant directly at 617-924-9475 to make their reservations. This will insure prompt confirmation.
THE STORY OF E. PIRA
Pira is an old family of viticolturists, originally from Sardinia,, that -between the end of 1800 and the beginning of 1900- became wine-producers. This prosperous patrirachal family unit declined as all its male components started to die young one after another, until the tragic end of Luigi Pira, a noble man who believed in the importance of traditions: the last one to tread the grapes and to make wine without mechanical devices. About a year after his death, his sisters, who couldn’t manage the family business but were willing to carry on the tradition, sold the farm to their old friends family Boschis.
Now Chiara Boschis, after a degree in Economics, manages the farm following her passion for wine and believing in this “great small farm”. The output is still very small (about 12.000 bottles each year) and the wine is exclusively made from grapes grown in our vineyard ( about two and a half hectares located in Connubi, one of the best vineyards in Barolo
Chiara Boschis has an incredible story. In a region where women winemakers are far from the norm she has built a collection of wines that is the envy of many. Crackling with energy and determination Chiara has proceeded to turn out one fantastic wine after another from her small parcels totaling 6 ha (including a small portion of the famed Cannubi vineyard). Small in stature, but exuding confidence and passion, Chiara produces some of the most refined and elegant wines in the region. These wines absolutely sparkle with life!
ABOUT THE WINEMAKER: MEET CHIARA BOSCHIS.
Chiara Boschis is widely recognized as one of the first women producers in Barolo, though she comes from eight generations of winemakers. In 1981, the Boschis family acquired the E. Pira & Figli estate, occupying some of the most prestigious land in Barolo. In 1990, Chiara took over the operation on her own, bringing dedication, charm, patience and determination to every aspect of production in order to raise the quality and image of the winery to that which it enjoys today. In 2010, Chiara’s younger brother Giorgio decided to join her, contributing a wealth of experience both in the vineyards as well as in the cellar.
Chiara’s struggle for independence continued throughout her early years. She recalls secretly going out into her vineyards in summer nights, with friends such as Giorgio Rivetti, in order to do the green harvest without her traditionalist neighbours and father finding out. The results of this of course were to concentrate the flavours of the remaining grapes and lead to a more fruit driven, charming style.
Chiara is an artisan grower, whose philosophy is to craft wines that combine the extraordinary power of Barolo with approachability, balance, intense aromatics, and elegance. This equilibrium is achieved through strict vineyard management (all work is carried out manually), careful selection, organic farming practices and meticulous vinification techniques that favor a gentle touch, allowing the grapes to express their true character. She is a farmer first. Chiara then unites the best of traditional and modern winemaking techniques in a continuous endeavor to consistently produce high quality wines representative of their heritage.
Chiara has a very limited production of about 1,200 cases of Barolo each year. Her wines are made exclusively from the 6.5 hectares (16 acres) of proprietary vineyards in Barolo (Cannubi, Liste and Terlo), Monforte d’Alba (Mosconi, Ravera and Le Coste) and Serralunga d’Alba (Gabutti). Currently two single-vineyard Barolo wines are produced, Cannubi and Via Nuova, though a third (Mosconi) will be added to the line up in 2013. Chiara also produces three traditional Piedmont reds: Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba and Nebbiolo d’Alba.
Rigorous winter pruning leaves only 9 buds per vine, followed by green harvest in the summer (no longer at night!). Chiara normally picks before most producers, in mid-September. The bunches are then de-stemmed before the grapes spend a week macerating in tank. New oak 225L barriques have been cut back from 100% new oak to 30%. From the 2010 vintage Chiara has begun using French oak botte to age 50% of her Barolo production, aiming for less oak tannin and toasted / vanillin flavours. After no fining or filtration an astonishingly small 12,000 bottles of Barolo are made annually, alongside 24,000 of Dolcetto and Barbera.
Sourced from 3 vineyard sites: Mosconi (55 yr old vines), Gabutti[Serralunga](15 yr old vines) and Ravera di Monforte (15 yr old vines).
Grown in calcarous-clayey soils with an eastern exposure, the grapes are macerated on the skins for approximately one week. The wine is then transferred to used barriques where it matures for 12 months, after which it rests for 1 month in the bottle before release. This is elegant and taut with classic Barbera acidity and bite. A ‘bishop’s robe purple’ with loads of black cherry and plum fruit, chocolate and spice. 290 cases produced
91 points- Robert Parker
91 points- Wine Spectator
From Ravera in Monforte, this is made from the youngest vines (that will eventually be made as Barolo) and is made the same way as her three Baroli and then aged in barriques for twelve months. As a baby Barolo, this has some serious pedigree with rich, plush fruit of red berries withcrushed flowers.
90 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate:
“The entry-level 2013 Langhe Nebbiolo offers tonic, bright fruit in a simple context. The wine offers linear tones of cherry, wild berry and pressed blackberry with light accents of spice and tobacco at the back. It ages in neutral oak and the fruit integrity is very intact as a result. In the mouth, this easy Nebbiolo shows tight lines and refreshing acidity. The 2013 vintage is a promising one for this varietal.” — Monica Larner (Jun 2015)
From Monforte (Ravera and Le Coste), this is fermented and aged in stainless steel to produce a racy wine with bright blue fruits, spice and floral notes, the tannins ripe and round.
The Dolcetto d’Alba is intense ruby red with purple reflections. It has a persistent perfume of flowers and fruit with scents of violet and smalll red fruit. The structure is balanced and elegant.
90 POINTS- Robert Parker
The Via Nuova is sourced from 6 vineyard sites in the towns of Barolo, Monforte, and Serralunga for a total of 2.5 hectares. Soils here are clay marl with Sant’Agata limestone. Vineyards throughout the 6 sites face south and southeast at an average of 340 meters in elevation. Fermented and macerated on the skins for 2 weeks, the wine was then aged in lightly toasted French oak (1/3 new, 1/3 second use, 1/3 three+ uses) for 24 months before aging an additional year in bottle
93 Points- Robert Parker “The 2013 Barolo Via Nuova is a more accessible wine with ripe and round fruit flavors that lift gracefully from the glass. The bouquet is immediately open and articulate. Fruit is sourced from six vineyards spread across three townships: Barolo (Terlo and Liste), Monforte d’Alba (Ravera and Mosconi) and Serralunga d’Alba (Gabutti and Baudana). Each one, averaging only half a hectare in size, adds a little piece of the puzzle. The wine is ample and generous in terms of its aromatic intensity with bold fruit, spice and balsam herb. The finish is dry and marked by distant mineral flavors.”
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. “The 2014 Barolo Cannubi from Chiara Boschis is soft, supple and surprisingly giving at this early stage. Exotic spice and citrus overtones add to wine’s considerable allure. Succulent red cherry, cinnamon, orange peel and rose petal notes all lift from the glass in this gracious, sublime Barolo.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The Cannubi vineyard spans approximately 2.5 hectares and is situated at 300 meters in the village of Barolo. From a 0.7 hectare plot within the Cannubi vineyard, with south-southwest facing vines, the soils here are well-draining sandy clay marl with Sant’Agata limestone. Fermentation of this 100% Nebbiolo took place in stainless steel tanks with frequent pumping over. The wine was then aged in lightly toasted French oak (1/3 new, 1/3 second use, 1/3 three+ uses) for 24 months before aging an additional year in bottle. 800 cases produced.
“(95 points) A great example of site, the 2012 Barolo Cannubi is deep, sensual and beautifully perfumed. The aromatics and pure, creamy texture of Cannubi comes through loud and clear. The Cannubi is a wine of pure texture and voluptuousness, qualities that it shows as layers of fruit blossom in all directions. A host of dark red cherry, plum, mint and spice accompany the generous, caressing finish. (AG) (3/2016) Vinous”