La Spinetta Barbaresco Cru Gallina 2017

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Robert Parker/Wine Advocate – La Spinetta's 2017 Barbaresco Gallina Vürsù draws its fruit from a site in Neive with old vines. Intensity and richness are two qualities often associated with the wine made at this historic estate. A rotofermenter is used during winemaking to increase color concentration and richness, although its use is carefully measured and calculated says Giorgio Rivetti. The house style embraces barrique aging, and you get some soft spice and spent ember as a result. The 2017 vintage is distinguished by extra tightness, and you sense that in this wine.”

About This Wine

The grapes hail from the first cru site La Spinetta purchased: Gallina. It features calcareous soil with bounteous chalk and limestone. The average age of the vines is 57 years. True to the La Spinetta philosophy, no pesticides or herbicides are used. The fruit undergoes maceration and alcoholic fermentation in temperature-controlled vats for an average period of eight days. Malolactic conversion takes place in French oak barrels, in which 30% are new and the remaining used (2nd passage), followed by 18 months of aging. It is then bottle-aged for about eight months. It’s ruby red in colour, with hints of ripe red fruits, poppies and cloves. The palate has notes of ripe red berries and ginger jam. It has a broad and persistent finish, with a good presence of soft, yet strong tannins.

Type Red Wine
Varietal(s) Nebbiolo
Country Italy
Region Piedmont
Brand La Spinetta
Vintage 2017

Wines of Piedmont

In the North-Western corner of Italy, with a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, Piedmont is a great place to visit for wine tourism. It is also home to some of the most sought-after wines in the country.

Nebbiolo is the region’s most prestigious grape variety, a red variety not seen much in Australia. Wines made from this grape are powerful with remarkably high levels of tannins but a balancing acidity. The Piedmont region offers the grapes with a reliable autumn fog that provides a cooling effect which is particularly beneficial to the growth of Nebbiolo. This pre-harvest fog (“nebbia” in Italian) is actually where the grape’s name comes from. The fog is vital in that it prolongs the time spent on the vine and allows the grapes to achieve full ripeness.

The most famous examples of Nebbiolo come from the appellations (subregions) of Barolo and Barbaresco, known for their ability to age well, firm tannins and distinct smell of tar and roses. Barolo is a big tannic expression of Nebbiolo, while Barbaresco only about 15km away makes a more elegant style. Barolo wines are generally the more expensive of the two and are known to cellar for decades.

By volume however, Barbera is the most planted red grape in Piedmont. This grape makes a juicy, low tannin but high acidity easy-going red. Perhaps somewhat like a lighter style Shiraz.

While there are quite a few white varieties planted in the region, the most notable is Moscato d’Asti, made in a sparkling style in the Asti subregion.

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