WINES of Piemonte,Italy
A Taste Worth Discovering!
If you’re trying to get a deeper understanding of Italian wine, Piedmont is one of the most useful wine regions to get to know. For one, Piedmont introduces us to a completely new set of wine grapes to taste and understand – from Nebbiolo to Cortese. Secondly, Piedmont (Piemonte) is one of the most famous regions in Italy (the other is Tuscany). And finally, Piedmont is located in the Po River Valley, which is home to ⅓ of the population of Italy (The Po River valley contains the major cities of Milan and Turin). There are two major features affecting the weather in Piedmont: the ice-cold Alps and the warm Mediterranean. The tug-of-war (a.k.a. Diurnal) temperature variation makes the whole area fill up with morning fog that slowly burns off during the day. This means the land higher up on the hills gets more sun. More sun = happy grapes = good wine. There are good wines to be found north of the Apennines in the foothills of the Alps. But since this area (around Gattinara) is much cooler, expect much lighter tasting, higher acid wines. When wine geeks think of Piedmont, they immediately think of Barolo and Barbaresco, which are famous for their age-worthy Nebbiolo wines. In truth, however, Barolo and Barbaresco only account for 3% of Piedmont’s production, so there’s quite a bit more to uncover! You must taste it to understand it….
La Meridiana, Le Quattro Terre Piemonte Rosato 2017
$6 / $22
At Tenuta La Meridiana, everything follows the natural course of time and the total respect of tradition and mother nature. We strongly believe that grape growing and wine making is not a recipe, on the contrary it is a careful interpretation of each season and each harvest. Observing and acting accordingly is the real secret of true craft wines. “Green harvest” (called “diradamento” in Italian) is done every July to reduce down the yield per acre from 20% to 50% depending on the vineyard and on the season. The perfectly mature and healthy grapes are then selected again during harvest, when we hand-pick only the best clusters for our Barbera d’Asti DOCG. The wines of TENUTA LA MERIDIANA are the result of the constant effort to combine the unique character of the terroir with winemaking process that are always swinging between old traditional methods and modern technological techniques.
Rivetti Massimo, Langhe Arneis 2016
$6 / $22
The Rivetti family makes high quality wine by starting in the vineyard with meticulous attention paid to every step in the process with respect for the environment, from mechanical mowing rather than using herbicides, organic fertilizers, to being the first winery in the area to control pests with the use of hormones from other female insects “sexual confusion” and finally the careful selection of high quality fruit by hand harvesting every bunch of grapes. All this will certify our wines ORGANIC in 2016. Low yields per hectare, favored by significant thinning “green harvest” and advanced cultivation techniques allow us to obtain high quality grapes. Harvest is done by hand in small harvest tubs of 20 kg to preserve the integrity of the grapes. The white wines made from the Arneis grape tend to be dry and full body with notes of pears and apricots.
Azienda Agricola Fontanassa, Gavi Ca’ Adua 2017
$6.5 / $24
L’Azienda Agricola Fontanassa is located in Rovereto di Gavi, in the historic area of Gavi D.O.C.G., a wine made from the Cortese grape. Built in 17th century originally as a monastery, the estate has been in the Gemme family since 1921. Under the management of Marco and Roberto Gemme in collaboration with enologist Gaspare Buscemi the first 10,000 bottles were produced in 1988. The estate has an area of 48 contiguous hectares, of which 23 are vineyards, that surround La Cascina Fontanassa. The soil is poor, rocky, with clay and sand rich in iron. The training system of the vine is guyot with a density per hectare of 4500 vines. The production is around 70-90 q/Ha. No synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used in the vineyards. All the grapes are hand-picked in small baskets. The grapes are crushed without de-stemming, and then soft-pressed to separate the must. The alcoholic and malolactic fermentations take place in stainless steel vats, under controlled temperatures on racked must. After fermentation the wine is kept on the lees under low temperature for several months, until bottling, to allow a natural chemical stabilization.
Rivetti Massimo, Barbera d’Alba Froi 2013
$6.5 / 24
This wine takes the name of the farmhouse because it is made from the grapes harvested from the surrounding vineyards. It is made in the traditional style, which requires aging in cement and stainless-steel casks. A good wine that is fresh, fragrant and easy to drink. It has an intense ruby red color, on the nose it opens with a vinous and fast mute note, turning to fruity, red and ripe fruit, cherries and blackberries. In the mouth it is fresh and consistent, has a good body and the right persistence. The Rivetti family makes high quality wine by starting in the vineyard with meticulous attention paid to every step in the process with respect for the environment, from mechanical mowing rather than using herbicides, organic fertilizers, to being the first winery in the area to control pests with the use of hormones from other female insects “sexual confusion” and finally the careful selection of high quality fruit by hand harvesting every bunch of grapes. All this will certify our wines ORGANIC in 2016. Low yields per hectare, favored by significant thinning “green harvest” and advanced cultivation techniques allow us to obtain high quality grapes. Harvest is done by hand in small harvest tubs of 20 kg to preserve the integrity of the grapes.
Alessandro Rivetto, Dolcetto d’Alba 2016
$7 / $26
Alessandro, who was born in 1969, has always been involved in the world of wine as a family heritage so acquiring deep experience in the wine branch. In fact, his knowledge of wine derives from the long tradition of his family, who started producing their own wine at the beginning of last century when his great-grandfather Giovanni and later on his grandfather Ercole transformed their farm producing and selling grapes into a wine estate becoming wine-makers. Produced with Dolcetto grapes from the best position in the zone of Treiso. The vine, trained with guyot method, are approximately 20-30 years old and yield an average of 3.8 tons per acre. The grapes are generally harvested toward the end of September. The grapes are collected in small baskets and immediately taken to the winery where they are pressed and de-stemmed. They are then placed in special, temperature-controlled vats where they ferment for 6-8 days with frequent repassing to extract colouring elements. After the alcoholic fermentation, the wine is stored in temperature-controlled steel vats to promote malolactic fermentation. At this point the wine ages for about 6-month in steel vats and then it is bottled. Goes well with pasta dishes with meat sauces, rabbit and poultry in general. Served at 65F°.
Alessandro Rivetto, Barbaresco 2013 $12 / $44
Produced with Nebbiolo grapes exclusively from the best positions in the zone of Barbaresco. The vines, trained with the “guyot” method, are an average of 30-35 years old and yield approximately 70 quintals per hectare. The grapes are generally harvested in October by hand. The grapes are collected in small baskets and immediately taken to the cellar to be pressed and de-stemmed. They are then put into special temperature-controlled vats where they ferment for 10 days in the skins, with frequent repassing to extract coloring elements. After alcoholic fermentation the wine is stored in temperature controlled still vats to help malolactic fermentation. In spring, the wine is transferred to oak barrels to age for an average of 18 months. After aging, the perfectly mature and clear wine is bottled and stored in temperature-controlled rooms until delivery. The wine doesn’t leave the cellar before a minimum period of 6 month after the bottling process. Serve at 64° F. Perfect with roasted meats, game, and hard cheeses.