The Beginning of a Love Affair: Chiara Boschis

I love discovering a new Italian winemaker, especially a woman.  This is the story of Chiara Boschis: creator of some of the most beautiful wines in Piemonte, and guardian of Italian wine history.  These are the wines of Chiara Boschis, the woman who saved one of the great Barolo houses from disappearing entirely.

Years ago, when the famous Barolo producer, E. Pira’s lineage ended tragically with the death of Luigi Pira, the vineyards were sold to the Boschis family, of Giacomo Borgogno & Figli.  Soon after, Chiara Boschis took over the estate.  She had a clear vision of what she believed her vines could create- a marriage of Barolo’s typical power with the Burgundian finesse of elegant, intense aromatics. She vinifies exclusively from proprietary vineyards, located in some of the very best crus of Barolo: Cannubi, San Lorenzo and Via Nuova, for a grand total of only 6 acres.

The E. Pira- Chiara Boschis, Cannubi 2007 is lush, intensely wild and full of black cherries on the nose.  There is a softness to the tannic structure I didn’t expect, and also a  warm, full-bodied texture, shot through with a brilliant acidity.  I can only imagine what these wines will do with 20, 30 years of age.  The possibilities are endless- the way this powerful, understated wine might slowly crawl inside itself to reveal something entirely different  and entirely more beautiful.  This kind of wine truly is sdeuction in a bottle.

Surprisingly, I was also completely beguiled by the E. Pira- Chiara Boschis Barbera d’Alba, 2009.  This was an intense version of Barbera- full of plums and fat, ripe blueberries.  I like this flashy style of Barbera- this voluptuous, Marilyn Monroe of a wine.  She’s stunning, to be sure.

Thanks to Chiara Boschis a legendary piece of Langhe history was not lost, and E. Pira’s name survives today.  Farming only 6 acres of land, and with a miniscule production of about 2,000 cases, these are truly special wines.

If you can find the wines of Chiara Boschis, I dare you not to become entirely seduced by them.