The Nebbiolo label of Il Chiosso... definitely an intriguing piece of art (producer website)

Old Barrels & Great Fruit: Two Stunning Bottles from Alto-Piemonte's Il Chiosso (Plus Restock/Reduced Price on Colombera & Garella's Exceptional 2016 Bramaterra)

Share

When a producer uses old school techniques to age Nebbiolo, the exhilarating character of the grape is displayed at its best. Tannic, but balanced with high mineral tones and bright acidity, expressing the solid combination of fruit and earth that this royal Italian varietal is synonymous with.

Large oak barrels at Il Chiosso (producer site)

I asked Matteo Colla, export manager of Il Chiosso, if there was anything he’d like American consumers to know about the estate or its wines today and he had the perfect, humble answer: “We are a very classic winery and our wines age for a long time ONLY in big barrels of French and Slovenian oak (almost all used for a lot of vintages).” That this is what Colla wants potential drinkers in the United States to know, impresses me. Colla explained that, though there are some sales obstacles that develop when holding back a product for several years before release, Il Chiosso is determined to only release wine when it is ready to be consumed. This is not the way all producers work, as most of us know. The 2011 Nebbiolo on this offer was aged for 30 months in large oak barrels, then another year in bottle, before it was released. The 2016 Fara was produced in the same way, though aged in barrel for 24 months. By avoiding elevage in small barrels of new wood, and by allowing the wine to slowly mature at the winery, Il Chiosso aligns itself with tradition and the results are fantastic.

The 2011 Nebbiolo from Il Chiosso impeccably shows the value of this estate’s cellaring technique. On the nose, very distinct smells of warm cloves, tobacco, and birch hover above a base of red and black wild cherries. The second day, this clove aroma grows to an unbelievably enticing level. The palate shows a complex array of blueberries, cherries, and beach plums. Structure is led by plenty of tannic strength on the gums, tongue and cheeks, along with a beam of high acidity - establishing a platform for a beautifully long finish of wispy dark cocoa and healthy earth. A wine of definition and density, showing good maturity but with years to go. 

Il Chiosso’s 2016 Fara is bold in fruit and dark mineral tones. On the nose, there is a mix of citrus skins and cherry, with fragrant violets and rosemary. After an hour, it develops a woodsy aroma, like stripped bark and wafts of warm wood shavings. The palate is generous, with sun-dried tomato and dark cherry, along with a more lofty flavor of baking spice. Great tannic structure which, when combined with the wines lovely mineralty, creates a refined mouthfeel that is long, engaging, and bright.

Il Chiosso was started in 2007 by Marco Arlunno and Carlo Gambieri. They farm using organic and biodynamic techniques, though they are not certified. The winery is located in Gattinara, but Arlunno and Gambieri produce wines from other regions in the Alto-Piemonte, like Fara and Ghemme. Their mission is to express all these particular places with the most honest representation, both their similarities and differences.

As this young producer grows, I hope that they continue to represent the best in farming and cellar work. As consumers, it is important for us to maintain a market for these classic expressions. Connecting to traditions is just as much of a frontier as expanding into new techniques, especially as we get further from the past. The vitality and taste of these long aged, old barrel Nebbiolos is undeniable, and we’re proud to share them with you. David Hatzopoulos

Below, you will also see the Colombera & Garella 2016 Bramaterra available for sale. We've restocked and reduced the price on this heady and flavorful wine from a long established favorite of ours in the Alto-Piemonte. Enjoy!

No Longer Available

Il Chiosso 2011 Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo

The 2011 Nebbiolo from Il Chiosso impeccably shows the value of this estate’s cellaring technique. Grapes for this wine come from organically and biodynamically tended vineyards that see no herbicides or pesticides. Fermentation is done in steel before the wine is moved to large oak barrels for 30 months of aging. The wine ages for one more year in bottle before being released. On the nose, very distinct smells of warm cloves, tobacco, and birch hover above a base of red and black wild cherries. The second day, this clove aroma grows to an unbelievably enticing level. The palate shows a complex array of blueberries, cherries, and beach plums. Structure is led by plenty of tannic strength on the gums, tongue and cheeks, along with a beam of high acidity - establishing a platform for a beautifully long finish of wispy dark cocoa and healthy earth. A wine of definition and density, showing good maturity but with years to go. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Il Chiosso 2016 Fara

Il Chiosso’s 2016 Farra is bold in fruit and dark mineral tones. The producer farms under organic and biodynamic practices, and uses no herbicides or pesticides on their fields. The Farra is a blend of 90% Nebbiolo, with 5% each of Vespolina and Uva Rara. Grapes are picked at the end of September. Fermentation occurs in steel. Wine is moved to large oak barrels for 24 months of aging before 12 more months of aging in the bottle prior to release. On the nose, there is a mix of citrus skins and cherry, with fragrant violets and rosemary. After an hour, it develops a woodsy aroma, like stripped bark and  warm wood shavings. The palate is generous, with sun-dried tomato and dark cherry, along with a more lofty flavor of baking spice. Great tannic structure which, when combined with the wines lovely mineralty, creates a refined mouthfeel that is long, engaging, and bright. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Colombera & Garella 2016 Bramaterra Cascina Cottignano

"Bramaterra 2016 is 80 % Nebbiolo, 10 % Vespolina, 10 % Croatina, the vineyard is located in Masserano on a volcanic brown soil. Fermentation was in concrete with 38 days of maceration for the Nebbiolo grapes. After we blend the 3 varieties and we wait the spring for the natural malolactic. The wine aged for 2 years in a botte 6000 L."- Information sent directly from Giacomo Colombera.

The 2016 'Cascina Cottignano' Bramaterra has a color of dark cherry. The nose has expressive, plump red fruits, like cherry and raspberry, along with a hint of flowery perfume. These aromas float above a distinctly savory character, which I found to be reminiscent of fresh, dark-green sea grass - salty and rich, not bitter or vegetal. On the palate, the wine shows a medley of black and red berries, before a long, herbaceous finish. It has a ripe mouthfeel with lovely, tempered acidity, flashy stoniness, and a broad blanket of medium-level tannin. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $44.99

  • Organic