Sure, you love Barolo, but how do you feel about Nascetta?
Before you answer that question, let’s arm you with pertinent information about the wines of Rivetto from the Piedmont region of Italy.
Not long ago, Novello, Italy was mostly known as one of the Barolo producing wine regions in Italy. Now with the rebirth of the white grape Nascetta, this town will have double the allure with this ancient aromatic white grape suitable for year round consumption.
In 1991, Elvio Cogno and Savio Daniele tasted a farmers wine made of Nascetta and discovered the grape was almost extinct. The wine was ballyhooed by several Italian botanists’ a couple of centuries ago, but production dwindled down to homemade wines by the late twentieth century. This coincidental tasting by the two producers was an exciting and delicious discovery, prompting a vigorous replanting to revive the grape.
Since then no other enology anomaly has been received with as much fervor and hope as the revival of this ancient white grape grown in the Po River Valley of Northern Italy.
The Producers Association of Nascetta worked hard to bring attention to this uniquely flavored variety. Obviously, the organization is doing an excellent job, since they managed to get a bottle to a wine writer in Portland, Oregon.
It was a real pleasure to have the opportunity to taste both wines. Hopefully, the reviews will stimulate a newfound interest in the wines from this ancient wine region in northern Italy. Perhaps, even create the impetus for a journey to familiarize you with this beautiful part of Northern Italy.
On that note, the Rivetto Estate has a lodging facility that is ideally situated a couple of hours southwest of Milan by car and a short walk from the friendly commune of Serralunga D’ Alba, and a half hour drive from Novello. Turin is also close enough for an esoterically interesting day trip. Here are some reviews of a couple of Rivetto’s current releases. Enjoy!
2013 Rivetto Borea Nascetta Langhe Bianco, Piedmont, Italy
This wine originates in the world famous Nebbiolo producing town of Novello where many DOCG Barolo wines call home. The recent rebirth of the white grape Nascetta is one of the most exciting and promising viticultural progressions in the region. In case you have never heard of this grape do not fret—few have, and even fewer have tasted it. This wine is 100% Nascetta—a semi-aromatic grape native to Langhe with excellent aging potential.
The vines for this wine are located in Serralunga D’ Alba. Historical texts liken it to the great wines of Reno River region in Emilia Romagna. Rivetto’s winemaker Enrico Rivetto starts with skin-on grapes macerated for three days before pressing. It is then aged in concrete vats with batonage before bentonite filtering.
The Rivetto Borea Nascetta Langhe Bianco exhibits a capacity for extended maturity and should be served slightly chilled to allow the wine to fill out as the ambient temperature brings out the complexity. The nose is multifaceted and expresses the nobility of mature white wines from this rare varietal.
Primary aromas are citrus, floral smoke, dried herb, wet rocks. The minerality in the flavors tends to lean to a saline petrol component with sage, lime, and grapefruit in the mix. Pleasant medium length finish, this wine pairs well with fowl, pork, and veal.
Rating: Excellent (91) | $25 | 13.0 % ABV
2010 Rivetto Briccolina, Barolo DOCG, Italy
First, I must make this disclaimer; my epiphany wine was a Barolo from the 1958 vintage consumed a very long time ago. I am proud to say I have tasted rare mature Barolo and young Barolo side by side, and they are always like looking at a talented young actor and later viewing some of their mature works.
You will never forget the raw talent you recognized when you taste the same wine after it has matured. Rivetto has riveted my intellectual history with its 2010 Briccolina Barolo.
Consuming this wine at its youthful age, I will forever have the tastes and smells of this beautiful elixir to refer to when I meet up with another bottle at another time. Hopefully, that experience will not be too far off in the distant future.
The cultivation of this 100% Nebbiolo wine is cultivated closely to Rudolf Steiner’s methods, utilizing cover crops to revitalize the soil and eschewing chemical pesticides. At the start of fermentation in the winery, the wine spends up to two months in extended maceration to build the impressive tannins that set the stage for aging potential. Three years in oak prior to release ensures the acid and fruit are in balance allowing time for those tannins to soften.
Rose and violet floral aromas in conjunction with dark red and black fruits enhance the bouquet. The mouth feel is a bit taut, but will diminish with time. Remarkable flavors of cherry brick, cola, berry, licorice and medicinal herbs cascade across the palate, producing an impressive rendition of classic Barolo. 56 cases produced.
Rating: Excellent (92) | $220 | 14.5 % ABV