Prunotto Estate hosts a six-vintage vertical of icon wine Vigna Colonnello

On Wednesday 19th October, Emanuele Baldi, Estate Manager of Piedmont’s Prunotto hosted a vertical tasting of Vigna Colonnello, the estate’s icon wine, made from one single hectare of vines in Barolo’s Bussia.

The tasting walked through six different vintages, from the prized, inaugural vintage of 2008 to a preview of 2016, which will release in the U.K early next year – cited by Baldi as “the stellar vintage in Piedmont, in the last decade.” The wines command the deserved attention of their prestige status and are made in very limited quantities – some 5,000 bottles a year.

Vigna Colonnello is named after a Colonel from Napoleon’s army who is said to have retired to this area of the Langhe and, so inspired by the surroundings, he started making wine from this tiny, single vineyard.

Grown on Tortonian soil – rich in minerals and based mostly on sand, clay and limestone, the Nebbiolo grapes that go into making this special cuvée also benefit from being grown at an altitude of 300 meters, and a south-west / west exposure. Alongside this, the positioning of this vineyard attracts great diversity in temperature from day to night, ensuring a natural elegance and aromas are well preserved within the bottle once the wines are ready to release.

Elegance indeed is Prunotto’s main calling card. Lighter and more silky than many of its counterparts, it is by no means less of a reckoner when it comes to the estate’s acclaimed profile, but adds its own acquiescence of finesse from a region so well covered in (perhaps slightly more bolshy) prestige.

Emanuele begins by discussing the Vigna Colonnello parcel of land as one that sits under the MGA definition – one of only a few single-vineyards identified as producing some of the region’s finest wines. The letters stand for Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva – on par, he says, with what the French recognise as ‘Cru’.

Each of the Vigna Colonnello wines is made using partial whole-cluster-fermentation – between 25-30% depending on the year, a practice that adds tannic backbone to the wine which, in turn, enhances ageing potential.

With a view back to the inaugural vintage of this wine (2008), we also discuss the vintage just finished. From a point of view of all wines Baldi suggests 2022 was excellent in particular for Barbera and will be an “easy-drinking vintage” – perhaps once not a sought-after conclusion but in todays’ view something to be quite content with. “In some vineyards quantities were unusually low.”

In 2019 – whilst Tuscany saw an exceptional vintage overall, in the Langhe the theme was of tension and acidity, with 2020 being the most powerful of vintages in recent years.



To the wines:

Prunotto Vigna Colonnello Barolo Bussia Riserva 2016

Bright acidity, pretty, aromatic Nebbiolo, strawberry nose, fresh fruit. Purchasing Director Alex Hunt MW described this wine as having “a haunting power”.

Prunotto Vigna Colonnello Barolo Bussia Riserva 2014

Ripe fruit, full of flavour, soft, silky tannins with great structure and plenty of mouthfeel. For a more challenging vintage, this has plenty to be phenonically happy about.

Prunotto Vigna Colonnello Barolo Bussia Riserva 2013

Fantastic nose, aromas of rose petals, pot pourri and some more gentle, tertiary aromas including tea leaves. There is a subtle aromatic sweetness to this wine that when later described as ‘mango-like’ by Baldi, you cannot get to leave your mind. Silky, very pretty on the palate, with more grip and muscle than the 2014, bright acidity and very elegant in composition.

Prunotto Vigna Colonnello Barolo Bussia Riserva 2012

More mineral on the nose, still with bright (tropical) fruit, backed up with tar and rose petals, bergamot, fresh strawberries and red fruit. Lifted perfume and aromas with bright acidity, firmer tannins but supple on the mouth. Long length.

Prunotto Vigna Colonnello Barolo Bussia Riserva 2010

A classic Nebbiolo nose, more developed with an iodine note. A wine “in transition”, says Baldi, which he follows with, “one of the great vintages”. Bright acidity, crunchy red fruit. Mineral, long length.

Prunotto Vigna Colonnello Barolo Bussia Riserva 2008

A bright acidic backbone makes this wine “edgy” in Baldi’s eyes, which he says is thanks to using stems during fermentation. Mineral and lightly iodine on the nose, this wine has a tension and purity to it that is perhaps “a bit more grumpy than the others.”



The tasting at The Ritz was followed by lunch, in the William Kent room – a collection of apartments with history as colourful as its fuchsia décor and ornate wood-panelled ceiling, first designed for the Hon Henry Pelham who became Prime Minister in 1743.

Prunotto Barbaresco Secondine 2018 was paired with a starter of smoked eel, red wine and balsamic. A wine of absolute elegance, subtle power and finesse.

Prunotto Barolo Cerretta 2017 was paired with Anjou Pigeon, served on Prunotto Cerretta Risotto with liquorice. A more robust match for a dish that still showed elegance despite the nature of its gaminess.

Prunotto Vigna Colonnello, Barolo Bussia Riserva 2015 (current release) was served with Venison, alongside heritage beetroot and Grand Veneur. I triumph of sweetness with the richness of sauce and perfectly tenderised flesh. The bright fruit of the wine, alongside its graceful complexity complemented this pairing perfectly.

Prunotto Moscato 2021 – a balletic display of fine, delicately perfumed bubbles, matched to Varcherin Chantilly with forest fruits on a meringue base. A triumph of balance on brightness over sweetness.


You must be at least 18+ years of age in the United Kingdom to enter the Berkmann Wine Cellars website.