The Alto Piedmonte wine region was once considered the equal of Alba and Asti, with their most famous Nebbiolo based wines (Gattinara, Boca, Ghemme) just as prized as Barolo and Barbaresco. The phylloxera blight of the late 1800s put a sizeable dent in the region's production, and after World War II much of the population left rural life for the hopes of finding work in Milan, reducing the region to less than 5% of its original vineyard acreage. Recent decades have seen a gradual return for both agriculture and vineyards here, especially around the improvement and exposure of their more 'everyday' wines using the Vespolina grape. Parallel in many ways to the Barbera grape further south, Vespolina is brighter in fruit, softer in tannin, and generally more approachable for wines than Nebbiolo (also called Spanna here). The cooler climate really kicks up the brightness of the fruit and makes it easier to producer wines at lower alcohol levels while still achieving great complexity. This is a bottling we have carried in many vintages, and this is likely their best to date. Unoaked but full of natural cedar-y aromas, along with peppery red berry and dried fruits, very savory at first and gaining some warmth and spice as it opens. The palate is bright, almost quenching with tart cranberry fruit and herbs, light and dusty on the finish, immensely easygoing and full of food pairing possibilities.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!