You love Barolo, but how do you feel about Nascetta?

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.

Rivetto Matire Nascetta Langhe Bianco

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

Rivetto Matire Nascetta Langhe Bianco

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.

Rivetto Briccolina Borolo

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.

rivetto medicinal herbs jpg (2)

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



About the Author:

Marc has held almost every position in the food & wine industry and is committed to Celebrating Hospitality with Pride. In addition to being the co-founder and editor-at-large for Enobytes, Marc is a wine blogger contributor to (Wine Bytes) and writes the Wine Knowledge column in the print magazine About Face. The Contra Costa County Times, San Jose Mercury News, Tacoma Times Tribune and Washington Post have either interviewed or quoted Marc on his viniferous and culinary opinions. Marc has also appeared on Portland's "Vine Time" on News Radio 750 KXL and on California's Central Coast "From the Growing of the Grape to the Glass" on KUHL-AM 1410. He is also the author of A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy. While continuing to tenaciously search for what he may finally proclaim as his favorite wine Marc is relentless in his quest for the ultimate food and wine experience.

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