“…wines from Scavino’s estate, Azelia, can hold their own with the very best of the region. The wines combine power and elegance with a level of virtuosity matched by few in the region…” – Wine Advocate
“Azelia remains one of the undiscovered jewels in Barolo.” – Vinous
Azelia was established in 1920 by Lorenzo Scavino and is located in the commune of Castiglione Felletto. Today, Luigi and Lorenzo the younger, the fourth and fifth generation, run the estate. The father and son team apply the accumulated, passed-down knowledge of their vineyards while judiciously incorporating modern techniques. Luigi Scavino is the cousin of Enrico Scavino, owner of the better known Paolo Scavino Barolo winery, and the two share ownership of the famed Fiasco hill in Castiglione Falletto. Azelia is a smaller winery and is a bit under the radar, though they are not a secret to Barolo enthusiasts.
Azelia comprises sixteen hectares. Most of the work is done by the family, including Luigi’s wife Lorella, along with a few part-time workers. Family management is a key factor as it allows control and precision over all stages of production. The wine is made from very old vines (50 – 85 yrs.) which produce high quality grapes but are also low yield. Yields are reduced even further through repeated green harvestings (the practice of removing grapes early in the season that are lagging in ripening so that vine energy can flow to the remaining grapes). They do not use herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Cover crops are grown between the vines to prevent erosion and to promote a natural ecosystem in the vineyard. The wines are not fined or filtered, are fermented with natural yeasts and minimal sulfites are used.
As with the best producers, the Scavino’s believe that wine is essentially made in the vineyard. The name Fiasco, btw, comes from the shape of the hill (hill is bricco, in Piedmontese) where the vineyard is located. It has a rounded shape like a flask, the bottle used in the region in bygone years for red wine (for those who remember, think Mateus). And, while we’re explaining names, Azelia is the name of a wild flower in the region. The ‘basic’ Barolo is drinking well now and the Bricco Fiasco should hit its stride in 2–3 years and will age for the next 20 years.
Azelia Bricco Fiasco Barolo 2016
Sale Price: $94.97
Wine Advocate, 96pts. – “Of the four single-vineyard wines presented by Azelia this is the only one that draws its fruit from Castiglione Falletto. The other three see fruit from Serralunga d'Alba. It makes sense then that the 2016 Barolo Bricco Fiasco marches to the beat of its own drum when compared to its siblings in this portfolio. This wine is set apart by the precision of its aromas and not by the overt power that you get in Serralunga d'Alba. Instead you get linear and direct aromas of wild cherry dried blueberry smoke licorice and crushed limestone. This Bricco Fiasco is beautifully assembled elegant and laser-focused. Luigi Scavino's grandfather planted this vineyard in the 1940s and the average age of the plants is 85 years old today. The site has more sand in its soils compared to Serralunga d'Alba and this explains the bright fruity and sometimes floral characteristics of the wine. This is a 5800-bottle release. Luigi Scavino's Azelia is celebrating a big milestone this year with its centennial anniversary.”
Vinous, 96pts. – “The 2016 Barolo Bricco Fiasco is a glorious wine. Sweet red cherry mint iron rose petal and blood orange are some of the many aromas and flavors that grace this exquisite beautifully layered Barolo. A wine of subtlety nuance and grace the 2016 has so much to offer. I don't remember ever tasting a Bricco Fiasco with this level of finesse and nuance. Two thousand sixteen is the first vintage in which the Bricco Fiasco is aged part in cask and part in barrique. All I can say is: Wow!”
Azelia Barolo 2016
Sale Price: $37.97
James Suckling, 94pts. – “This is an ultra fine Barolo with cherries, spice, cedar and hints of dried flowers on the nose and palate. It’s full-bodied, yet reserved, very caressing and fine-grained. A thoroughly beautiful young 2016. Drink or hold.” (9/2020)
Wine Advocate, 93pts. – “Azelia's classic 2016 Barolo shows a spicy or savory personality with accents of laurel leaf, eucalyptus and clove. Those are some of the high notes that hover over a core of dark fruit and dried blackberry. On the Nebbiolo scale, this wine takes us to a sultry side of the variety, with slightly more fruit weight, texture and pronounced black fruit. If you are choosing your Barolo according to a possible pasta or meat pairing, this would be the meat wine. Azelia's classico Barolo is a blend of fruit from seven single vineyards, with 30% of the total from Castiglione Falletto and 70% from Serralunga d'Alba. A big portion comes from the Cerretta and Broglio sites, with 50-year-old vines.” (7/2020)
Past Cellar Selections:
Clos i Terrasses “Laurel” 2018 - Homage to Garnacha
Canon la Gaffeliere St. Emilion '15 & '16
Keenan Cabernet Reserve 2016 - Cult Wine for the Masses (Ha!)
Casanova di Neri 2016 – Historic Vintage & 99pts.
Ducru-Beaucaillou 2015 – Super Second
Falletto Giacosa – Grand Cru Barolo
Gianfranco Alessandria Barolo 2016
Huët Clos du Bourg 2019 – Grand Cru from the Loire Valley
Heitz, Dunn, Continuum . . . What is a Cult Cali Red?
Chandon de Briailles - Wines Without Artifice
Magnum Bottles from CVNE Imperial
Beaux Freres Pinot Noir 2018
Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva – What were you doing in 1987?
Domaine Simon Bize 2018 – Value Burgundy
La Rioja Alta “890” Gran Reserva Rioja 2004
Alion and Pintia – The Other Vega Sicilias