The view from Montaldo di Cerrina - just beautiful! (producer website)

Grignolino of Depth and Charm: Iuli 2019 Natalin (plus two more outstanding wines)

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Whoever wrote Wine-Searcher.com’s info page on Grignolino has obviously never tasted the Natalin from Fabrizio Iuli. According to the site, the grape “lacks depth and charm” - which in some cases might be true, but that also goes for every other grape on Earth. There are examples of Pinot Noir with tons of character and there are examples with zero. I get it, Grignolino is typically used to make fresh, chillable reds, a popular style of wine that is often (and unfortunately) scoffed at by a certain echelon of drinkers, but why generalize the grape as less-than-mediocre? There are truly delicious and dynamic bottles on the market in Italy and abroad. So, where’s the love? Right here.

(Just to be clear, I’m a huge fan of Wine-Searcher. It’s a priceless resource for industry members and consumers alike. Just stirring the pot a little - all in good fun!)

The plots where Fabrizio gets his grapes, including his Grignolino! (producer website)

As mentioned on David Bowler’s website, Fabrizio Iuli is the only winemaker in Montaldo di Cerrina, a small village in the Monferrato hills of the Piedmonte. Fabrizio’s Grignolino is named Natalin after his grandfather (Gioacchino Natale Iuli), who first planted vines for the family in the 1930s. Today, the estate has 16 hectares of vines, spread throughout three close villages. Besides Grignolino, the estate farms Nebbiolo, Pinot Nero, Barbera, and a couple of very rare varieties, Baratuciat and Slarina. The Iuli’s have never used chemicals in their vineyards, and today they are certified organic.

The Iuli 2019 Natalin is a clear shade of black cherry in the glass. On the nose, this Grignolino has beautifully unique fruit, with the scent of pungent ruby red grapefruit and small forest plums, with accents of smoke and fresh violets. On the palate, there is blood orange, with juicy red currant, and a minerally earthiness. Structurally, the wine is set by fantastic tannic form, with a zing of medium acidity.

What we’ve got here is a very real wine, with tons of character and depth in both flavor and history - grazie Fabrizio! In addition to today's highlighted bottle, we’re happy to carry the Cantina del Lupo Grignole. At $15, this Grignolino is a true bargain. Lastly, we can't forget the Grignolino Pet-Nat from Poderi Cellario. Zesty and fresh, snappy and flavorful - it's undeniably charming. David Hatzopoulos

Iuli 2019 Vino Rosso 'Natalin' Grignolino

Grignolino farmed organically from a few parcels owned and rented by Fabrizio Iuli. Fabrizio is the only winemaker in the village of Montaldo di Cerrina, carrying on a tradition started by his grandfather, who planted vines in the 1930s. Fabrizio's first vintage was in 1998 and he is proud of the classic Piedmontese wines he creates. The Natalin is fermented in cement with native yeasts. Aged in cement for around 7 months. The  Natalin 2019 is a lovely shade of black cherry in the glass. On the nose, this Grignolino has beautifully unique fruit, with the scent of pungent ruby red grapefruit and small forest plums, with accents of smoke and fresh violets. On the palate, there is blood orange, with juicy red currant, and a minerally earthiness. Structurally, the wine is set by fantastic tannic form, with a zing of medium acidity. David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 20 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
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Cantina del Lupo 2018 Piemonte Grignolino "Grignole"

“Grignole” is Astigiano (dialect of the region of Asti, home to Grignolino) for ‘a lot of seeds’ – Grignolino has a lot of seeds; hence the label – a festa of happy seeds, or if you prefer, pips. Grignolino is very light in color, and has both high acidity and tannin - A typically Piemontese grape. As Ian d’Agata says “Grignolino was, until recently, a tragically unfashionable wine because of its pale red-pink color, lack of obvious sweet, ripe, soft fruit flavors, and very high acidities and tannins.” A well-made Grignolino has low alcohol – 12.3% in this case! Grignole is made in stainless steel (no need for more tannin from wood), and macerates for just a few days; if you find that your Grignolino is dark in color, try a different version.Grignole is pale, almost like a rosato; it’s very aromatic with strawberry, sour cherry, pepper and delicate herbs. These follow through on the palate, which is layered and lively – and amazingly long and complex for such a humble and humbly priced wine. If you know Poulsard, the Grignole distinctly brings it to mind; it has quite a similar profile, and like Poulsard works well with cheese and other fairly rich food. Grignolino  is also very versatile at the table; we drank it with fairly spicy vegetarian tacos and pretty much finished the bottle without any struggle (or regrets).  Jamie Wolff

Very engaging on the nose, like uncovering a bowl of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries while a breeze of light flowers and green grass stirs on a summer afternoon. Really, if the aromatics of this wine don't put a smile on your face, I don't know what will. The color is a translucent rhubarb hue. On the palate, there is vibrant acidity and only a minuscule tannic touch. The fruit on the tongue has more of an edge than it does on the nose, with tangy red cherry and crisp red apple. Edgy but deliciously fresh. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Poderi Cellario NV Vino Rosso Frizzante La Grinozza {Grignolino Pet Nat}

Poderi Cellario is run by Fausto and Cinzia, 3rd generation winemakers in the village of Carru. In the glass, the color is a fresh strawberry. The nose is full of herbs, like mint and basil, with a slim cherries and red roses. The palate has great juice, with a mix of wild berries, with a core of crushed dark stones. Bubbles are light and airy, and acidity is very tame. A great wine for an afternoon outside! David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur