The castle of Verduno is owned by Gabriella Burlotto, daughter of GB Burlotto, and Franco Bianco, and has a storied history from the time of the kings of Savoy and Italian unification. Now it is the wine that impresses, although the smart hotel and restaurant on site do have their charms. This bottling is from the grand cru of cool and northerly Verduno, Monvigliero, a striking, south-facing amphitheatrical vineyard with a typical subsoil of Sant'Agata marl, providing both structure and acidity. This wine is made with a month-long maceration on the skins before fermentation in old Stockinger casks (and no new oak for maturation), resulting in notes of tobacco, cassia and dried strawberry and cranberry with gravelly tannins and lithe acidity. At its best 10-20 years on from the vintage, this will benefit from a few hours in a decanter if drunk now, and will be a very fine match for roast duck or goose. This single vineyard wine from Massara is already drinking beautifully, offering up a sleek profile of griotte cherry, sweet almond, leather and grated nutmeg, and the tannins are ripe and mature. Aged for three years in large Slavonian oak, this is a great value example of the traditional style of Barolo.