On Thursday November 13 at 6:30 Stellina will present one of the most important wine tastings we’ve ever undertaken. This evening is devoted exclusively to wines from the northern Italian province of Piedmont, all made from the noble Nebbiolo grape.
The tasting will cover the entire spectrum of upper-level Piedmont wines, but from three entirely different perspectives.
First, we will compare the difference in traditional and modern styles of vinification. Representing the “Old World” style is the Nebbiolo “Garombello” from Marziano Abbona. Side-by-side we will try the “New World” style of La Spinetta, with their Nebbiolo Langhe.
Next, we’ll stretch the lense wider to include a Nebbiolo and Barbera blend known as Langhe Rosso “Bricoserra” from the Cigliutti family.
To bring the evening to a climax we’ll jump directly into a tasting of the legendary King and Queen of Italian red wines, the Barolo and Barbaresco.
Our Barbaresco is the “Curra” from Sottimano, and for our Barolo we go to the world-famous Marchese di Barolo to taste their “Cannubi” Barolo.
In addition to the wines, four courses of antipasti will be served to show the wines to their best advantage. Expert commentary will come from the area distributor’s representative.
Fans of great red wines, and Italian wines in particular, will not want to miss this event. Cost per person is $45, which includes all wine and food. Reservations are required.
Call 617-924-9475 or go to the reservation page of this website.
The following are tasting notes and reviews of some of the wines being tasted. More details will be posted as they become available.
Nebbiolo Langhe from La Spinetta
Awarded 90 points by Wine Spectator
Color: defined, vibrant red
Bouquet: sweet, open bouquet leads to dark red fruit, mint, spices
and licorice in this dazzling, nuanced Nebbiolo
Taste: a wine all about detail and understated finesse, it boasts
breathtaking purity in its fruit and fabulous overall balance,
A textured, finely-knit finish leaves a lasting impression
Evolution: 15 years
Pairings: grilled and elaborate red meat and wild game
The history of La Spinetta: The Rivetti family story begins in the 1890s, when Giovanni Rivetti, grandfather of the three Rivetti brothers, Carlo, Bruno and Giorgio, left Piedmont for Argentina. Like many Italians of that time, he dreamed of returning rich and a powerful man, perhaps even one day able to make a great wine in his homeland. He never did, though his son, Giuseppe (nicknamed Pin) did. Pin married Lidia, bought vineyards and began to make wine. In 1977 the family took up residence at LA SPINETTA (top of the hill) in Castagnole Lanze. It was the heart of the Moscato d’Asti country, home of a rather light and simple dessert wine. But the Rivettis believed that Moscato had the potential for greatness and set out to prove it by making Moscato Bricco Quaglia and Biancospino.
Eventually though the family’s vision became even grander. In 1985 LA SPINETTA made its first red wine, Barbera Cà di Pian. After this many great reds followed: In 1989 the Rivettis dedicated their red blend Pin to their father. In 1995 they started to make their first Barbaresco, Gallina. In 1996 and 1997 the Barbarescos Starderi, Barbera d’Alba Gallina and Barbaresco Valeirano follow. In 1998 premiered the Barbera d’Asti Superiore.
In 2000 the family’s ambition of also making a Barolo became reality. The Rivettis acquired vineyards in Grinzane Cavour and built a state of the art cellar, Barolo Campè. Since 2003 visitors are welcomed to visit also Campè, outside the town of Grinzane Cavour.
In 2001 LA SPINETTA expanded over the borders of Piedmont and acquired 65 hectares of vineyards in Tuscany, between Pisa and Volterra, to make three different 100% Sangiovese wines, as Sangiovese to La Spinetta is the true ambassador of the Tuscan terrain.
Langhe Rosso “Bricoserra”, Cigliuti
The Cigliuti estate is located in the Serra Boella district on the outskirts of Neive. The soils here are poor, tortonian-
age soils similar to those found at Bussia in Monforte d’Alba, and known for producing large-scaled wines that
reward aging. Today Renato Cigliuti’s daughters Claudia and Silvia are running the family estate, which produces
about 30,000 bottles per year from holdings of 6.5 hectares.
Tasting Notes: Cigliuti Langhe Rosso Bricco Serra—This blend of equal parts Nebbiolo and Barbera shows lots of new
oak, rich, jammy dark cherry fruit and a balsamic note on the long finish.
Barbaresco “Curra”, Sottimano
“These 2006 Barbarescos from Rino and Andrea Sottimano are divine. As outstanding as the wines are, their 2007s may be even better…These are very serious, beautiful Barbarescos”- Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate
“Sottimano made very serious wines in 2006.” – Wine Spectator
“Sottimano shows a level of commitment to excellence I wish were more the rule rather than the exception in these parts.”-Antonio Galloni, The Piedmont Report #5, October 2005
Young Andrea Sottimano and his father Rino produce wines of outstanding quality from thirteen lovingly cared for hectares in the Cottà, Currà, Fausoni, Pajoré and Basarin crus in the Treiso and Neive townships. Their Barbarescos are elegant, evocative, subtle and yet hearty – to taste these crus side-by-side is to reply with a resounding YES to skeptics of terroir that question whether differences of only 200 meters does matter!
The approach here is one of minimal intervention: indigenous yeasts, no fining or filtering. No insecticides are used and only organic fertilizers are used, and only minimally. Natural cover crops (grass cover) are left in the rows between the vines and are mowed 2 or 3 times a year. In autumn the soil of every other row between the vines is tilled. Each of their four cru Barbarescos are given the same treatment to allow the uniqueness of each cru to express itself. Fermentation is done in oak, of which about 30% is new, followed by 18-20 months in neutral barriques. The elegant “Currà” is a big mouthful, extracted and built for the long term; the 2006 vintage rated 94 points from the Wine Spectator and 93 from Wine Advocate.
Barolo Cannubi, Marchese di Barolo
The Marchesi di Barolo Estate encompasses approximately 110ha of vineyards in the Langhe, some of the finest in Piedmont. The cellars are located in the village of Barolo, overlooking the magnificent village landmark, the Renaissance castle of the Marchesi Falletti di Barolo.
Marchesi di Barolo is focused on the vinification of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Arneis and Cortese – the most prestigious grapes of the Langhe. The Abbona family controls a total of 110ha of vineyards. Forty-five hectares are estate-owned with 25 hectares in the commune of Barolo (including 4.5ha Cannubi, 6.5ha Sarmassa, 2.5ha Coste di Rose all planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo DOCG production and 2ha in Paiagallo and 1ha in Ravera both planted to Barbera for Barbera d’Alba DOC production) and 20 hectares throughout other communes in Barolo, Barbaresco (Serragrilli) and Roero. The balance is farmed by family and friends they’ve known for over thirty years.
Tasting Notes: Garnet-red in color with ruby reflections. Intense perfume with clean scents of roses, vanilla, licorice, spices and toasted oak. Gentle notes of absinth. The flavor is full and elegant, good-bodied and austere with recurring olfactory sensations. The spicy note and the hints of wood blend perfectly. The Barolo Cannubi reaches its maturity after 6 years from the harvest and can be enjoyed throughout its life between 6 and 25 years.
With its great structure, this wine is particularly adapted to red meats, braised dishes and game in general. It is an ideal accompaniment for cheeses and our local cuisine.
“Almost over the top, this beautiful Barolo from the most celebrated cru of them all—the iconic Cannubi vineyard—delivers maximum pleasure and intensity. This is a soft and velvety wine, with cherry, cassis, leather, moist tobacco and licorice aromas over extracted concentration and tight tannins. The wine needs more time to age and once it does, it can be paired with beef or aged cheeses.”
95 Points Wine Enthusiast
“The 2007 Barolo Cannubi shows excellent density and mid-palate sweetness. Sweet red fruit, spices, flowers and mint are some of the notes that take shape in the glass. The Cannubi is an attractive, pliant Barolo that should drink well with a minimum of cellaring. A soft, caressing finish rounds things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022. ”
91 Points The Wine Advocate