Category Archives: Gattinara

Travaglini Gattinara: A Great Wine in a Unique Bottle.

The first thing I noticed about Travaglini Gattinara was the unique shape of the bottle.  It was unlike any wine bottle I had ever seen before. But what  impressed  me even  more  was  the  wine  inside  the  bottle.  

At a recent tasting of the wines and lunch at the Lambs Club in NYC the the speakers representing the winery were Cinzia Travaglini and her daughter, Alessia.

Gattinara is a commune in the Province of Vercelli in the northern part of Piedmont (Alto Piemonte) close to the Alps. It is located about 80 kilometers north of Turin and 90 miles from Alba.

Travaglini owns 59 hectares, of land in Gattinara, 44 of which are planted with vines. This is more then 1/2 of the total land in the Gattinara DOCG. Cinzia said Nebbiolo here is called Spanna. The vines are between 6 and 45 years old and the training system is guyot.

Cinzia said the winery is located in the heart of Gattinara and was established in 1920 by Clemente Travaglini. Cinzia is the great granddaughter of Clemente Travaglini and she manages the day-to-day operations of the winery. Her husband, Massimo Collauto, is the chief winemaker.  Alessia said that other grapes, Bonarda and Vespolina can be used to produce Gattinara but Travaglini uses 100% Nebbiolo.

The Travaglini Wines:

Method Classico Extra Brut “Nebolè” 2013 made from 100% Nebbiolo from the top vineyards of the estate. The soil is rocky and abundant in iron minerals. Only the tips of the Nebbiolo grapes are hand harvested in early September and then vinified into a white wine before a second fermentation takes place in the bottle to produce a sparkling wine. The wine remains on the lees for a minimum of 46 months. Cinzia said the first vintage was in 2010 and they were the first ones to produce this type of sparkling wine. It was also the first time I had a sparkling wine made from the Nebbiolo grape and I really enjoyed it.

Nebbiolo “Coste Della Sesia” DOC 2017 made from 100% Nebbiolo The vineyards are at 280/350 meters and the exposure is south/west. There are 4,500/5,000 vines per hectare and the training system is guyot. The soil is rocky with abundant iron minerals, which give the soil the typical reddish color to the indigenous rock. Harvest takes place the first part of October. The grapes are crushed and macerated for about 12 to 14 days in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine remains in the stainless tanks for 4 months and 10 months in Slovenian oak casks. The wine has hints of pomegranate, red berries, violets and a touch of licorice. It is an easy to drink wine but still needs a little more time.

The regional designation Coste della Sesia encompasses vineyards to the west of the Sesia River within the provinces of Vercelli and Biella.

THE  GATTINARA BOTTLE

In 1958 Giancarlo Travaglini set out to create a bottle for an exceptional wine that would also be a work of art. Cinzia said the distinctive shape of the bottle featuring a unique curve that fits naturally in the palm of the hand serves to catch sediment during pouring, allowing the wine to be served directly from the bottle to the glass without decanting. The dark-colored glass prevents light from passing through and impacting the quality of the wine.

Gattinara 2015 DOCG made from 100% Nebbiolo. The vineyards are at 320-420 meters and the exposure is south-southwest. There are 3,500 -5,000 vines per hectare and the training system is guyot. Harvest takes place the first part of October. The grapes are crushed and maceration lasts for about 15 days in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine is aged for 3 years, 2 years in Slovenian oak of different origin and size. The wine remains in the bottle for 3 months before release. It has hints of black fruit, violets, blueberries and nice minerality.

Travaglini, “Tre Vigne” Gattinara 2013 made from 100% Nebbiolo from three historic vineyards. The soil is rocky with iron deposits, rich in minerals, which give the soil a reddish color. The vineyards are at 320 to 420 meters and there are 3,500 to 5,000 vines per hectare. The exposure is southwest and the training system is guyot. Harvest takes place in the beginning of October. The grapes are crushed and macerated for about 15 days in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine is aged for 40 months, 30 months in Slovenian oak casks, and in the last year 20% is aged separately for 10 months in French barriques. It then remains in bottle for 10 months before release. This wine is only produced in the best vintages. This is a very impressive wine, full bodied with hints of pomegranates, plum, jam and a touch of spice and vanilla. It will age for many years.

Gattinara “Tre Vigne” 2006 made from 100% Nebbiolo from three historic vineyards. The wine is aged for 40 months, 30 months in Slovenian oak casks and 20% of the wine is removed and aged for 10 months in French barriques. The wine remains in bottle for 8 months before release. Cinzia said the wine is only produced in the best vintages. This is a full-bodied wine with hints of red and black fruit, plum, violets and vanilla.The Tre  Vigne is for those that like a wine that is a little less  traditional in  style.

Gattinara Riserva DOCG 2013 and 2009 The best grapes are harvested from the oldest vineyards that are 35 to 60 years old.The grapes are crushed and macerated for 15 days in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine ages for 3 years in Slavonian oak casks of varying sizes. Then the wine remains in the bottle for one year before release. This wine is produced only in the best vintages. The wine has hints of red fruit , cherry, with a touch of licorice.

The 2013 needs much more time but the 2009 was drinking very nicely now. Many said the 2009  was their favorite wine of the tasting,

Il Sogno 2014 (The dream) made from 100% Nebbiolo. The grapes are hand harvested in October and dried until January (about 100 days) in a natural ventilated storage area. This is known as appassimento. After 50% of the water in the grapes evaporates, they are brought to the cellar to begin fermentation for 25-30 days in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged for 40 months in used Slavonian oak casks and then in bottle for 10 months before release. The alcohol is 15.5% and the residual sugar is 4.8. This is a complex and intense wine with hints of ripe fruit and a touch of prune. Even though it is made with dried grapes, it is not really a dessert wine and would be an excellent combination with wild game and roasted meat. This was the first time I had this wine and It was wonderful.

 

 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Gattinara, Spumante, Travaglini, Uncategorized

Gala Italia Showcases Italian Wine

The Italian Wine and Food institute held its 34 annual Gala Italian Wine and Food Tasting at Il Gattopardo restaurant in NYC. Lucio Caputo, head of the Institute and former head of Italian Trade Commission in NYC said that the event was a great success attended by many members of the trade and the media. The event was divided into to parts, the afternoon secession was for the trade and the evening session was for the media.

I went to the afternoon secession early because I knew it would be less crowded and would be able to taste the wines at my own pace.

Lucio Caputo and Augusto Marchini the former Assistant Trade Commissioner

There were a number of excellent wines and here are a few I really liked.

The Wine

Valdo Brut Prosecco DOC NV Made from 100% Glera.(Veneto) The vineyards are the traditional “Metodo Spalliera”, where the stems can be as long as one meter and are tied to a horizontal wire. Grapes are hand picked during the last week of September. Soft pressing and fermentation occurs at 64F in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. To obtain small and fine bubbles (perlage) a selection of natural yeasts is made. There is 3 months of Charmat aging, followed by 3 mo nths in bottle before release. This is a sparkling wine with hints of peach, melon, pear and golden apple.

Ferrari Brut Trento DOC NV Methodo Classico 100% Chardonnay. (Trentino) The grapes are picked by hand at the beginning of September. They come from various communes in the Val d’Adige, .Val di Cembra and Valle dei Laghi. The vineyards are between 300 and 700 meters above sea level, with southeast or southwest exposure. The wine is aged for at least 24 months on the lees. It is selected yeast from Ferrari’s own cultures

Muzic, Collio Ribolla Gialla DOC 2017 100% Ribolla Gialla(F V J) grown on hilly terrain of stratified Eocene marl and sandstone. The training system is Guyot. Grapes are hand harvested the third week of September. The grapes are destemmed and crushed, followed by maceration on the skins for12 hours at 15C. There is a soft pressing of the grapes. Alcoholic fermentation is for 8 to 10 days at a controlled temperature. The wine is aged on the lees in steel vats with periodical batonnage for at least four months. This is a light bodied, balanced white wine with hints of citrus fruit, white flowers and good acidity.

Planeta Etna Rosso DOC 2016 made from 100% Nerello Mascalese (Sicily) The soil is black lave sand, rich in minerals. The vineyards are at 510 meters, there are 5,000 plants per hectare and the training system is spurred cordon. Harvest takes place from October 15th to 20th. The grapes are picked and placed into crates and, if necessary, are at once refrigerated at 10C. A selection takes place by hand. After destemming, fermentation is at 23C in wooden vats and in stainless steel vats and the skins mains in contact with the must for 14 days. There is a mixing and manual stirring every day. Decanting takes place with the help of the vertical press. The wine is aged in wooden 50hl and stainless steel vats for 6 to 8 months. The wine is bottled in July. This is a fruity wine with hints of cherry, strawberry and a touch of spice and black pepper.

Villa Antinori, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2013 (Tuscany) Made mostly from Sangiovese with some Cabernet Sauvignon. Harvest began on September 25th with the Sangiovese and ended in mid-October with the Cabernet. The grapes were given a soft destemming and pressing, and the must went into stainless steel tanks, where it fermented for a week at a controlled temperature. Skin contact lasted for 8 or 9 days. Malolactic fermentation took place in stainless steel for the Sangiovese and in oak barrels for the Cabernet. A master blend was made and went into big barrels and partially in small barrels of Hungarian oak until the spring. The wine was bottled in June 2015. The wine has hints of red fruit, spice and balsamic notes.

Bertani, Secco Original Vintage Edition Verona IGT 2015(Veneto) in) Made from 80% different varieties of Corvina, 10% Sangiovese, 5% Syrah and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in the hills around the historic winery outside Verona. After a long cold maceration on the skins, a slow fermentation is started using native yeasts. The wine is still slightly sweet and goes into the final slow fermentation in wood. Aging is is traditional medium-sizes wooden barrels 750 to 5,000 liters made from chestnut and cherry wood. The wine has hints of cherries and blackberries with notes of spice and black pepper. This wine goes back to an old recipe from 1889.

Faraone, Le Vigne del Faraone” Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC 2014 (Abruzzo) made from 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. After fermentation the wine is aged in wooden casks for 24 months and then bottled. This is a rustic wine with flavors and aromas of red and black fruit, and a touch of spice. This wine will age and is a very good food wine.

Travaglini, “Tre Vigne” Gattinara 2012 made from 100% Nebbiolo (Northern Piedmont) The soil is rocky, iron deposits, rich in minerals which give the soil a reddish color. The vineyards are at 320 to 420 meters and there are 3,500 to 5,000 vines per hectare. The exposure is southwest and the training system is guyot. Harvest takes place in the beginning of October. The grapes are crushed and macerated for about 15 days in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine is aged for 40 months, 30 months in Slovenian oak casks, and 20% aged separately for 10 moths in French barriques and the rest in bottle for 8 months. This wine is only produced in the best vintage. This is a very impressive wine, full bodied with hints of pomegranates, plum, jam and a touch of spice. It will age for many years.

I attended the first Gala 34 years ago and have found memories of the ones I have attended over the years

Leave a comment

Filed under Bertani, Faraone winery, Ferrari, Gala, Gattinara, Planeta, Prosecco, Travaglini, Villa Antinori

The Nebbiolo Wines of the Novara- Vercelli Hills

Mention the Nebbiolo grape and the wines that are most likely to come to mind are Barolo and Barbaresco.  These are great wines but there are others from northern Piedmont that deserve some attention, such as Ghemme, Bramaterra, Spanna, Carema, Boca, and Gattinara.  These are made from100% Nebbiolo or blended with little known grapes such as Vespolina, Croatina and Bonarda.

As Co-Chair of the Wine Media Guild, I was happy to assist member Ed Mc Carthy and member sponsor Tom Maresca in putting together a tasting of these wines along with lunch at Felidia restaurant in NYC. One of the guest speakers was Ciniza Travaglini  of the Travaglini winery. One of the points that she made was that all of the wines at the tasting showed better with food.  I could not agree more.

Morgan Rich and WMG member Ed Mc Carthy

The other guest speaker was Morgan Rich, a former sommelier, now with Polnar Selections. Mr. Rich spoke about each of the Northern Piedmont appellations that were represented at the tasting.

There were 16 wines at the tasting including a 1995 Gattiniara Risreva from Travaglini that we had with lunch. 

Ghemme 2006  made from 100% Nebbiolo Cantalupo The grapes come from the Carella Baraggiola Valera and Cavenago vineyards. The vineyards are on hills formed during the interglacial stage by the Monte Rosa moraine, the second highest peak in Europe. The soil is very rich in minerals because of the considerable crumbling of the rocks. The vineyards are between 280-310 meters. The training of the vines is counter espalier with Guyot pruning.  Harvesting takes place in mid-October. The grapes are destemmed and delicately pressed. Temperature controlled fermentation during which repassing was carried out twice a day until the sugar was completely transformed.  This was followed by submerged cap fermentation. The wine was then transferred to oak casks where it remained for about 20 months. After bottling the bottles were stored horizontally for refining. Aromas and flavors of violets, faded rose and raspberries.   $37

Bramaterra 2007 made from 70% Nebbiolo, 20% Croatina, 7% Vespolina and 3% Bonarda  Antoniotti.  Odilio Antoniotti and his son Mattia run the winery. The grapes are from the oldest vines, in a high elevation vineyard on porphyry soil that drains extremely quickly and is full of minerals and nutrients. In the vineyard they did not use fertilizers only compost and try to keep the sulfur at a minimal level. The vines are Guyot trained and the grapes are hand harvested. The grapes are destemmed and fermented in underground cement tanks for 12-14 days. The wine is racked into stainless steel tanks for Malolatic fermentation and then placed into botti of at least 1,250 liters around the end of December for about 30 months. There is no fining or filtration. $25-30

Spanna  “Campi Raudii” 2009 Vallana Tom Maresca said that he was told when he visited the winery that this wine was 90% Nebbiolo with Vespolina and Bonarda. The wine is vino di tavola because they wanted to make a wine as they did in the past that did not follow the law. Since there is no IGT in Piedmont the wine had to be vino di tavola and therefore could not have a date on the label. Tom said that he was told it was a 2009 and that it was on the bar code. Vallana Spanna was a wine that could age. A few years ago I had a 1954 and a 1955. Will the present wines last as long? Only time will tell.  They are a great bargain! $16

Spanna “Colline Novaresi “2008 Vallana . The Spanna Vallana is made from 100% Spanna the local name for Nebbiolo. Grapes from two different Crus Boca and Gattinara are used. These high altitude vineyards were planted in the 1960’s.  The acidity of the soil prevents iron deficiency and only basic fertilizer is used. The grapes are hand harvested and selected. They are crushed and transferred to cement tanks for a 24-hour cold soak. Then the must is injected with selected yeast strains and fermentation begins. The cement tanks thermally insulate the must and the fermentation temperature gradually rises which is ideal for color extraction. Fermentation lasts between 8 to 10 days and pumping over is performed during this period. The wine undergoes Malolatic fermentation over the first winter. In the spring the wine goes into botti of 5-12 HL for six months.    $ $17

Carema Classico 2007 DOC Produtti Carema 2007 Made from 100% Nebbiolo $24 This winery created in 1960, is a small cooperative divided amongst 45 growers in this small, remote region. Each grower rarely owns more than 1 hectare, most having only ½ hectare. The D.O.C. Carema, established in 1967, sits on a mountainous piece of land bordering the Valle d’Aosta. The climate is cold and quite windy here, resulting in grapes that are slow to ripen, and wines that are light garnet in color.

The vines are planted on steep stone terraces that reflect the sun and maintain the heat of the day during the night. The vines are trained on pergola-like crossbeams locally named topie or tabbie, onto which the vines are tied down firmly to keep them from being broken by the strong winds. These topie also allow for maximum exposure to the sun, helping to draw out the harvest for as long as possible, thereby taming the grapes’ high acids that would otherwise overwhelm the palate. The wines are 100% Nebbiolo from the local clones of Nebbiolo, Picutener, meaning “tender stem” and Pugnet, meaning “fist-like,” a reference to the compact shape of the bunches. The minimum aging requirement for these wines is 4 years, of which two years have to pass in large oak or chestnut botti.

Carema “ La Tabbie” 2007 DOC Orsolani The wine made from two clones of Nebbiolo Picutener and Pugent. The wine is aged in botti for three years and in bottle for 12 months before release. This was one of the more elegant wines at the tasting.  $36

Carema is a wine valued for its perfume and elegance, but with the structure and acidity to age for decades with aromas and flavors of tar, leather, damp leaves and faded roses.

Bocca 2004 Valanna made from 65% Nebbiolo, 20% Vespolina and 15% Uva Rara. Grapes are hand picked and transported in small boxes to protect the skin and delay natural fermentation. Each variety is fermented separately. Fermentation takes place in cement tanks, with aggressive pumping over in the beginning to develop tannins and color. The wines are then blended and aged in 10HL casks for 2 years.      $ 30

Gattinara 2006 Antoniolo 100% Nebbiolo, with a south/southwest exposure, the vines are 40-50 years old.  Fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with an automatic daily pump over. Maceration takes place between 14-16 days. The wine then ages in medium capacity oak barrels for 24 months and in bottle for another 12 months. $40

Gattinara “Le Castelle” 2006 Antoniolo    Made from 100% Nebbiolo from the Castelle cru with a mostly southwest exposure.  Fermented in temperature controlled stainless tanks with daily pumping over and 10-12 days maceration. The wine is aged for 2 year in barriques and one year in bottle. $55

The hills of Gattinara have the same mineralogical composition as the Alps: granite rocks, porphyries, quartzes and iron minerals, which give the typical reddish color to the indigenous rock.

Travaglini Gattinara the vineyards are at 280 to 420 meters and the exposure is south /southwest. There are 3,500 to 5,00 plants per hectare. The grapes are crushed and macerated for about 14 days in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.

Cinzia Travaglini

Cinzia spoke about Gattinara in general and her winery in particular and pointed out that all of their Gattinara is made from 100% Nebbiolo. She also said that it is a family run winery and her husband Massimo is the wine maker

Gattinara 2006 Travaglini the wine is aged for 3 years. 2 years in Slovenian oak. After the  required aging is finished the wine rests in bottle for 3 months.   $30

Gattinara “ Tre Vigne” Travaglini 2005 The wine is aged for 40 months, 30 months in Slovenian oak casks -25% of which is aged separately for 10 months in French barriques. The wine then rests in bottle for 8 months. $49

Gattinara Riserva 2006 Travaglini The wine is aged for 4 years, at least 3 in oak casks of different origin and sizes, then in bottle for 8 months. This wine is only made in the best vintages from a special selection of grapes. $59

Gattinara Riserva 2005 $ 59 Same as above

Gattinara 2004 Vallana This is the same as the Spanna but it is aged  for 24 months in botti and 9 months in bottle before release.$30

Gattinara “ Tre Vigne” 2001 $ NV Same as above

Gattinara Riserva1995 Travaglini  $ NV Same as above

 

5 Comments

Filed under Antoniolo, Antoniotti, Boca, Bramaterra, Cantalupo, Gattinara, Ghemme, Italian Red Wine, Italian Wine, Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Piemonte, Spanna, Travaglini