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.
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.