WHAT IS THE GREATEST ITALIAN WINE?
Do you like Barbera? How about Nebbiolo?? Barolo??? Tonight behind the bar, the very knowledgeable Marco from Italian importer Dalla Terra will be behind the Lions Club Bar pouring wines from one of our favorite producers in Piemonte (aka “the Piedmont”), a hilly region in Northern Italy that produces the country’s finest wines. The Vietti winery, managed by the family’s fifth generation, is based in the small medieval village of Castiglione Falletto, the heart of Piedmont’s famous “Langhe” wine region. Here the Currado family carefully and patiently handcrafts lauded wines that are the result of a unique combination of sun and soil. The autumn winds blow chilly and cold. We’re your homies who bring you wine, and this is a great opportunity to warm up with some fine Italian wine, to pick up a little for the house, and to learn a little more about what these different wines are.
Vietti, Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco 2016
100% Nebbiolo grapes coming from different vineyards, mostly in the area of Barolo, with a little from Barbaresco as well. Each parcel is processed and aged separately until when they select the ones that will be included for the blend of Perbacco or the ones that will keep ageing to become Barolo Castiglione (excluding the parcels from Barbaresco). Which is to say, a lot of Nebbiolo claims to be declassified Barolo – this one truly is, and it tastes like it. There’s generous, big dark fruit here along with menthol notes and a lot of spices; the wine shows a notable intensity while retaining an essentially mid-weight style. Strong, intense and powerful when young, complex and elegant as years go by – pretty much like a Barolo there as well, right? This is for your stews, hearty ragout, your game, your sharp, aged cheese – big strong things basically. Killer stuff, and a particularly excellent value this year! Organic, vegan. $30
Vietti, Barolo Castiglione 2015
100% Nebbiolo, old Guyot-trained vines on clay and limestone, natural yeast, 24-30 months in oak. Vietti’s Castiglione Barolo is the primary Barolo produced by the winery. It is named after Castiglione Falletto, the commune where the Vietti winery is situated, but it contains grapes from a careful selection of the best 15 Grand Cru of the Barolo zone (Bricco Fiasco, Bussia, Fossati and Ravera, to name a few) all located around Castiglione Falletto. Truly a remarkable expression of Barolo year after year, it’s also a remarkable value. The 2016 is a mix of grapes from Castiglione Falletto, Monforte, Barolo, and Novello (province of Cuneo), all vinified separately before blending. (Pro tip: they only make a certain amount of Barolo. The extra wine goes into the Perbacco – and there was a lot extra this year!)
The Vietti winery, managed by the family’s fifth generation, is based in the small medieval village of Castiglione Falletto, the heart of Piedmont’s famous “Langhe” wine region. Here the Currado family carefully and patiently handcrafts lauded wines that are the result of a unique combination of sun and soil. Organic, vegan. $66
Vietti, Barbera d’Alba Scarrone 2016
Ruby purple colour with intense aromas of ripe red and black cherries. With refreshing acidity, rich tannins, full body, the single vineyard Scarrone has finesse, excellent balance, great complexity, integration and a long lingering finish. Pricier than most Barbera and that’s because most Barbera isn’t grown on such special vineyard land – that generally gets reserved for Nebbiolo. What a difference an a acre or two can make. There’s a delicacy and raciness to the acidity that’s surprising and takes this grape to the next level. We’re sold. Come check it out. Organic, vegan. $50
Vietti, Roero Arneis 2018
And the white knight! This grape is leaner than Chardonnay but with a lot of texture and ability to transmit the specific nature of its place of origin. Previously called “white Nebbiolo” by many, grown and exported by few, Arneis has emerged from its long hibernation in the last decade or so and is receiving all the accolades it deserves. We’ve carried several in the last few years and Vietti’s, recently returned, has remained a staff favorite. In the last few years, winemaker Luca Currado eliminated precise measurements of acid and tannin levels in favor of a more intuitive, wine-specific approach, and we can taste that immediacy here. He also stopped publishing tasting notes, preferring that wine critics and drinkers apply their own perceptions and preferences to his wines. Bravo Luca! Organic, vegan. $25