These vines are trained in the traditional Alto Piemonte method; there are very few left in the region. They are owned by Vallana.

Alto Piemonte and Other Fine Expressions of Old Nebbiolo

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Good and age worthy wine from Nebbiolo is also made outside of Barolo and Barbaresco; here we’ve collected some fine examples, mostly from Alto Piemonte, and a few from Carema. The wines come from the same fine private cellars in Italy where we buy Barolo and Barbaresco. They are here and are available now, but we’re going to have a dinner in their honor at Maialino on October 12th (details to come soon but please let us know if you’d like us to save a place/places for you). At dinner I think we’ll find that these wines offer many fine and complex examples of old Nebbiolo that are well worth exploring. Jamie Wolff

 

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Francoli 1970 "Expo" Riserva

This wine is Gattinara — so says the previous owner, who we trust entirely — but is labelled in celebration of the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka, Japan. It wasn't easy to sell Gattinara in 1970, so the creative vendor tried some novel approaches... We don't know if it worked, but we do know that old Francoli is worth a try. JW

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Nervi 1964 Gattinara

The color has faded to a soft ruby with rosy hues, but this vintage has aged quite gracefully. Aromatically, it's quite lifted with maraschino cherry fruit and porcini undertones. On the palate, it's a bit denser and structured with stewed cherry, and carob/dark chocolate flavors. Although it's reached maturity, the wine is still quite fresh and could hold on for another 10 years. A testament to Gattinara's oldest producer and the ageability of Nebbiolo in Alto Piemonte. Jonas Mendoza

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Nervi 1964 Gattinara Riserva Speciale del Tittolare

Only a week has passed since this wine arrived, but we couldn't wait any longer to taste it. Fortunately our impatience was rewarded — although the wine will continue to improve with a longer rest. As with many old Barolos, it started off very pale and gained color with exposure to air. It also gained richness and complexity, opening in minutes from rather mute to a rich, raspberry-fruit laden nose, with plenty of earthy Nebbiolo stuff going on. The fruit carries over to the palate; the wine is light bodied but sufficiently rich to be more than just a curiosity. There's a lot of sediment, but no sign of any boosting with non-Nebbiolo grapes — possibly no Bonarda involved with this either, although it was and is permissable in Gattinara. A definite opportunity to try a very rare wine. JW

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Nervi 1976 Gattinara

This was among the first vintages after Italo Nervi passed away in 1975 and left the winery to five of his cousins, his secretary Carla Ferrero, and the consulting oenologist Giorgio Aleata. A quite ripe Gattinara with lots of dark fruit on the palate (ripe blackberry, dried black cherry, brandied cherry). A bit weightier than those from from the 1960s. Jonas Mendoza

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