I don't know about you—but when I turn 100, I'm going to take a couple days off.
Not Azelia! For this storied Barolo producer founded in 1920 by Lorenzo Scavino, turning 100 ushers in a new chapter of vitality and growth.
Indeed, to mark Azelia's centennial this year, Luigi and Lorenzo (the 5th) Scavino debuted their new Barolo Cru, Cerretta, a true labor of love that's been 30 years in the making.
And Cerretta's already a huge success, landing 97 points from both Parker and Vinous.
If Azelia was known as "one of Barolo's hidden gems" (as Galloni once put it), the world is catching on.
Last year, their Barolo Margheria '15 ranked #25 among Italy's top 50 wines in a blind tasting of 450 wines by a panel of international experts. And 5th generation Lorenzo Scavino—who truly works side by side with his father in the vineyards—is a social media darling whose easy charm makes Azelia stand out in a crowd.
Keep in mind -- as Lorenzo the 5th says, he's been lucky that the family has always been meticulous. They have always farmed organically. Always native yeasts. Neutral oak with few exceptions. Never fining or filtering. Minimal sulfer. So they've been ahead of the curve in appealing to consumers looking for Vegan, organic, and near-natural wines.
So, let's summarize.
The question becomes not whether Azelia—but which.
Bricco Fiasco is the family's historical single vineyard last planted in 1940 by the elder Lorenzo Scavino. It was first released as a single Cru in 1978, and was one of the first in Barolo to do so.
San Rocco is the family's oldest site in Serralunga d'Alba, with vines now 65 years old. It's my personal favorite.
Margheria is enjoying celebrity status for its ranking as one of Italy's top 50 wines.
Bricco Voghera, a treacherously steep vineyard with pre-phyloxera vines that yield minuscule amounts of concentrated fruit, is dedicated to the riserva.
Cerretta, planted with selection massale from the family's flagship Bricco Fiasco.
And of course Barolo "normale" which, year after year, has been a top BTG wine at some of the best restaurants throughout California.
Icing on the cake? Azelia's '16 Barolos sport special-edition labels dedicated to their centenary!
Which works best for your program?