Vines in Boca, looking north, about 50 miles west of Milano

Gattinara and more

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We’ve now tasted quite a few of these wines at dinners; I apologize that those tastings haven’t produced proper tasting notes – just happy memories. I need to learn to write while trying to play host. But, some standouts: pretty much all things Antoniolo (1964s!), and the Nervi and Travaglini wines (the 1973 was a surprisingly good wine, given the vintage). We’ve tasted less of the lesser-known producers, but those have been sound, and sometimes a good deal more than that. 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 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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