Cascina Adelaide di Amabile Drocco
Sergio Molino comes from a family of winemakers. His late elder brother Pier Luigi was probably the first in the region to fit the modern mold of the "consultant-winemaker" who works with more than one winery. In fact, in the last years before his death, he did do some work with Cascina Adelaide, although he was limited by the management's business philosophy. Voerzio, Altare, Scavino, Grasso - all passed through the Molino household's living room and absorbed what they could on their way to becoming great names of Piemontese wine. Sergio, the enologo for Cascina Adelaide di Amabile Drocco, has a brilliant history, having made "tre bicchieri" wines for Enzo Boglietti and Andrea Oberto, as well as creating the number 1 "traditional" (non-barrique) Barolo for Cascina Ballarin, rated 5-stars by Decanter Magazine (an evaluation also granted to Cascina Adelaide's Barolo 1999 Cannubi).
Sergio's techniques, of course, are tailored to the desire of each winery owner, but his general preference is to avoid the so-called "international style" and use new oak only to the extent that it can help oxygenation and add structure but not to the extent that oak flavors end up masking the inherent characteristics of the grape. He is highly non-interventionist, a risk-taker, and an experimenter, and wants to push the envelope as far as he can towards getting as much of the unique personality of the both the fruit and the vineyard as possible into the bottle.
With the 2000 vintage of Cascina Adelaide Barolo, Sergio truly walked a tightrope. He has made wines that are thoroughly modern from the point of view of accessibility, yet thoroughly traditional from the point of view of their aging potential and flavors. He has resisted the modern trend toward excessive use of barriques and shorter macerations, techniques that do give softer tannins to the wine but reduce their expression of terroir. Instead he has found a way coax more approachability out of the wine through, among other things, the use of special 16 HL botte. With these wines the potential of Cascina Adelaide's magnificent vineyards is being realized.