The northwest of Italy is home to Nebbiolo, that amazing grape that is chameleon like: light yet sturdy, tannic yet graceful. This Saturday we’ll be sampling some incarnations of the grape along with some other varietals of the region.
2011 Conti Sertoli Salis, Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio IGT, Alpium $14
Chiavennasca is the local name for a clone of Nebbiolo grown almost exclusively in Lombardia. This opulent white is made by vinifying the grapes without skin contact during maceration (the skins are the part of the berries that impart color to the wine). The resulting wine retains the nobility of the Nebbiolo grape but is fresh and clean on the palate.
Pelissero, Le Natura Rosso, Barlet $13
80% Barbera, 10% Nebbiolo, 10% Dolcetto
The name “Barlet” indicates into the Langa dialect a small barrel with tap which the peasants used to bring with them as refreshment during the tiring hours spent in the country, the so-called “meals wine”. It is suitable for daily consumption and nice to enjoy at the “merende sinoire”, the Piedmont expression to indicate an evening snack. The fruit for the Le Nature all comes from the Lange region, home to some great structured Nebbiolos but the wine has no such aspirations. It aims to be merely delightful.
2011 Il Vino Dei Padre, Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato $18
Evasio Sattanino established his wine estate “Il Vino dei Padri” at Monale, in Asti, with the aim of continuing the family tradition of wine-making, growing grapes in sunny old hillside vineyards, the name of the estate, literally translated, “The Wine of Fathers”. Their Ruche is a rare Piedmontese wine, with a striking personality. It has an intense bouquet, with floral and spicy notes, a dry flavor, and a harmonious and velvety finish.
2005 Dessilani, Fara Novarese, Carmino $28
80% Nebbiolo, 20% Vespolina
Fara is a small wine growing region in the northeast of Piedmont far removed from Barolo and Barbaresco. The whole region has only 54 acres of vineyards but produces some very distinct wines. Like a Barolo, Dessilani’s Carmino is aged for two years in barrel and 1 in bottle before release. The wine has good fruit, along with tobacco and tea notes and supple but sturdy structure.
2012 Cantina Casteggio, Moscatto $10
From Oltrepo Pavese in Lombardy, Cantina Casteggio makes this half sweet, half effervescent, but totally refreshing wine. It is very aromatic with fruit white peach and apricot aromas and flavors and a nice medium sweet finish.