Over any other region in Italy, France, or elsewhere, we sell more wine from Piedmont. The words “Piedmont” and “nebbiolo” tell you this is a land of mountains and fog, with glorious vineyards sprawling throughout. One can truly spend many lifespans attempting to fully understand the wines of Piedmont, from the lowly table wines to the most exalted and profound wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. We’ve decided to offer a package giving the possibility of a first step of discovery, or rediscovery for the already initiated. Here are six typical, distinctive, and delicious wines from six of our favorite producers, made of six of the region’s most fascinating grape varieties, available all together at nearly 20% off for an even $100. BUY NOW!
2012 Vigneti Massa Derthona Timorasso
Save for the rare exceptional arneis, erbaluce, or cortese, there aren’t any truly distinctive Piemontese whites, which is what has made Walter Massa’s exploits with the nearly extinct timorasso so eye-opening. Timorasso appears to be native to the hills of Tortona, near Massa’s winery in Monleale, in the southeast corner of Piedmont. It was all but lost forever until Massa began experimenting with it in the 80’s. His early results produced a surprisingly well-structured white with the ability to translate information from the soil and age gracefully for many years. Now there are a bevy of timorasso devotees throughout the region, but to this point, none have produced a wine to rival “the original”.
2014 Fratelli Alessandria Verduno Pelaverga
From an estate with over a century of winemaking in Barolo, this is one of the few wines in the market today made with pelaverga, a rare old variety native to Verduno. The current owner, Vittore Alessandria, in an interview with Levi Dalton featured in Art of Eating, has said of pelaverga, it “has no deep color, no deep structure. But it is good for the food, with not too much tannins. …it seems lighter than it is.” Its distinctive black pepper aroma might remind you of something from France’s Loire valley, though floral and spicy notes take you right back to Piedmont. While it is known to be utterly versatile at the table, of its pairing with mushrooms, Vittore simply says, “This is something special.”
2013 Azienda Agricola Roagna Dolcetto d’Alba
Luca Roagna is the fifth generation to farm his family’s 15 hectare estate in the village of Barbaresco. About half of their vines are located in cru vineyards within the Barbaresco DOC, the other half in Barolo. Not much has changed in the winery’s 100+ year history – everything is done by hand, with long macerations, natural fermentation, patient aging in old oak botti, and zero fining or filtration before bottling. The fruit for their Dolcetto comes from the Barbaresco cru Paje. The table wine of the Piedmont, dolcetto is extremely friendly with all sorts of foods, and Roagna’s bottling is no exception.
2013 Poderi Cellario Barbera “Sabinot”
Fausto Cellario makes wine in the village of Dogliani, where the focus is almost always on dolcetto. Cellario makes excellent dolcetto, but on Fausto’s recent visit to the shop, it was this single vineyard barbera that truly shined. From the estate’s oldest vineyard, Sabinot is dark, brooding, and replete with savory extract, putting it in stark contrast with the majority of barberas we see from Alba or Asti. Still low in tannin and fresh enough to pair with most foods, this is a barbera we can all agree upon.
2013 G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo
There isn’t a single wine that the Vajra family makes that we aren’t totally in love with. The family’s 40 hectare estate is now run by founder Aldo Vajra’s grandson Giuseppe, who continues to produce traditional Piemontese wines that are truly beguiling in their elegance and approachability. Their Langhe nebbiolo is a perfect example of the estate’s friendly, appealing style. Made with younger Barolo fruit and fermented and aged in stainless steel, this bottling carries all of nebbiolo’s classic rose and small berry aromatics, with a bright fresh palate and soft tannins, making it an easy pairing for winter dishes.
2014 Poderi Oddero Moscato d’Asti
Sisters Mariacristina and Mariavittoria run their family’s historic estate in La Morra, which has been making award-winning wines for the past 180 years. In addition to their cru Barolo and varietal wines, they also make this tradition lightly-bubbly off-dry moscato. Theirs is a truly refined example of this traditional dessert wine, full of fresh floral and apricot notes, and plenty of lively acidity. Pair with your holiday cheese plate, or a thick slice of panettone!