According to Gianluca Grasso, it’s all about the soil. He insists that the winemaking has minimal effect; it’s that sandy, calcareous soil of Monforte that is responsible for his world-class wines. He may be a bit humble-- it takes a steady hand to tame this wild fruit. Winemaking techniques certainly run the gamut in Barolo — from fleshy, dark, modern-style wines to more aromatically-driven, earthy, tannic examples. Often, the best wines are somewhere in the middle, and no producer in the region seems to find a better marriage of elegant aromatics and lush, powerful fruit than Gianluca and his father Elio. The vineyards of Elio and Gianluca Grasso are situated in some of the best land in all of Piemonte, within the commune of Monteforte. The vineyard Gavarini Chiniera is a fabulous site for Nebbiolo, due to its perfect exposition and its chalky, limestone-rich soil. The Chiniera displays high-toned, bright fruit aromas with a touch of spice and oak. On the palate it is rich, generous and smooth, with a mineral element that is unique to Gavarini. The length and depth are remarkable; expect long life in a proper cellar.