2015 Spanna, Colline Novaresi, Vallana, Piedmont, Italy

2015 Spanna, Colline Novaresi, Vallana, Piedmont, Italy

Product: 20158001089
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2015 Spanna, Colline Novaresi, Vallana, Piedmont, Italy

Description

Spanna is the local name for Nebbiolo in the lesser-knowm Alto Piemonte region of Italy, which creates a very different expression of this variety to the more widely appreciated wines of the Langhe. The wine is dark and rich, with an almost bloody character coming from the iron-rich soils of this old volcanic region. Earthy characters and spice add complexity to the floral, cherry fruit. The wine is only released after two years of ageing, once the tannins have softened and integrated. This is a supremely underrated region in Italy, producing some of the most thrilling and versatile red wines. Serve this alongside a hearty ragù, game or wild mushrooms. Drink now to 2025.
Matt Smith, Buyer (spring 2019)
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About this WINE

Antonio Vallana e Figlio

Antonio Vallana e Figlio

The domaine of Antonio Vallana & Figilo dates back to the early 19th century and is located in the town of Maggiora, about 100 miles northeast of Barolo. Antonio Vallana produced legendary wines in the 50s and 60s before the domaine's fortunes slipped in the mid 70s. The wine is now back on form with Antonio's son Francis now playing a major role.

While the domaine has always produced a wide range of wine, its reputation is largely owed to it wines produced from Spanna, the local synomon for Nebbiolo. The steep slopes of the domaine's vineyards mean that all the grapes are hand-harvested. The wines are traditionally matured in large old oak barrels and are characterised by their depth of fruit as well as their exceptional balance.

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Piedmont

Piedmont

Piedmont has been the pre-eminent fine wine province of Italy since Roman times, a reputation reinforced under the House of Savoy – which lorded it over Europe during the Middle Ages from its base in Turin. Piedmont's own fame increased too as this noble House secured its place in history as the driver for Italian Reunification in 1861.

Located in the north-west of the country, with a continental climate, Piedmont is influenced culturally and climatically by the surrounding Alps and Ligurian Apennines. Piedmont's most important fine wine regions are: the Langhe, south of Alba, incorporating Barolo and BarbarescoMonferrato, comprising the wines of Asti and Gavi; and Novara with its Colline Novaresi and Boca.

Nebbiolo is the grape of Piedmont, and arguably the country as a whole. It is planted in only the most favourable sites, and is the power behind Barolo and Barbaresco. It is followed by Barbera d'Alba or Barbera d'Asti and Dolcetto, an early-ripening antipasti wine produced more seriously around Dogliani. For whites, Moscato is queen, responsible for copious amounts of frizzante, more commonly known as Asti. A far more rewarding, gently-sparkling wine, made in an off-dry style, is labelled as Moscato d'Asti.

A notable red version is also made: Brachetto d'Acqui. Cortese is the white grape behind the region's most popular dry white wine, Gavi, from vines south of Alessandria. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Piedmont has the highest proportion of Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines, even if it is responsible for only seven percent of Italy's total production (2006).

Recommended producers: La ColomberaRoberto SarottoCornareaLuzi-DonadeiAntoniotti Odilio e MattiaLaiolo RegininMarinacciPunsetLuisinRoagnaFratelli AlessandriaCasina Bric 460TrediberriVigneti Luigi OdderoMarcariniE.Pira di Chiara BoschisBartolo 

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Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is the grape behind the Barolo and Barbaresco wines and is hardly ever seen outside the confines of Piedmont. It takes its name from "nebbia" which is Italian for fog, a frequent phenomenon in the region.

A notoriously pernickety grape, it requires sheltered south-facing sites and performs best on the well-drained calcareous marls to the north and south of Alba in the DOCG zones of Barbaresco and Barolo.

Langhe Nebbiolo is effectively the ‘second wine’ of Piedmont’s great Barolo & Barbarescos. This DOC is the only way Langhe producers can declassify their Barolo or Barbaresco fruit or wines to make an early-drinking style. Unlike Nebbiolo d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo can be cut with 15% other red indigenous varieties, such as Barbera or Dolcetto.

Nebbiolo flowers early and ripens late, so a long hang time, producing high levels of sugar, acidity and tannins; the challenge being to harvest the fruit with these three elements ripe and in balance. The best Barolos and Barbarescos are perfumed with aromas of tar, rose, mint, chocolate, liquorice and truffles. They age brilliantly and the very best need ten years to show at their best.

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