I recently attended the first of what I genuinely hope becomes an annual event, TasteAltoPiemonte, 2017, in Novara, in the northern half of Piemonte.
The setting was in the Castello di Novara,; once inside the tasting area, there are few vestiges of a ‘castle’, as the room is clean, bright and modern, i.e. the opposite of a medieval castle.
The tasting brought together many (not all) of the region’s producers, across the full range of zones: Boca DOC, Bramaterra DOC, Colline Novaresi DOC, Coste della Sesia DOC, Fara DOC, Gattinara DOCG, Ghemme DOCG, Lessona DOC, Sizzano DOC, and Valli Ossolane DOC. I did not get to taste across all of those regions – palate fatigue set in…despite several ‘breaks’, by mid-afternoon, I could tell my palate was slipping, so it was time to back away, and try again another day.
There were a number of producers on my ‘short list’, though, as a rule, I always try to taste at least as producers that are new to me, also. At this event, with so many tiny regions and so many producers that have productions that don’t lend themselves to export (to USA), it was easy to find names/wines I’d never seen before – these regional events are so good in this sense.
And now, to the wines/tasting notes. Some really exciting stuff here, but the production is limited, so these will be out-of-stock before you know it. Happy hunting!
2013 La Prevostura Lessona (HR) 100% Nebbiolo from vines at the top of Prevostura vineyard. Sand/silt/clay soils in a 1Ha vineyard of low-density planting, this wine is fermented in stainless steel for ~30 days then moved to barrique/tonneau (various ages) for malolactic fermentation for 20 months; after, another 9 months minimum rest in bottle. <5000 bottles produced, sadly, this one is an ager, with plenty of structure and pitch-perfect fruit to see this another 20-25 years easily. Too young today to say much more about this, but the pedigree and purity here are quite obvious nonetheless. HOLD until 2021; highly recommended
2012 La Prevostura Bramaterra (R+) Nebbiolo 70%, Croatina 15%, Vespolina 15%, from the red-brown soils of Bramaterra. Soil driven nose at first, this requires some coaxing in the glass before it wants to reveal the dusty, red/dark red fruits. Finely structure, the acids and wood is poking out a touch today, so give this 6-12 months to settle in a little further. The combination of barrique and tonneau is basically the same as the Lessona bottling. Easily recommended+, classy and rustic at the same time; can go for years. Really nice, huge potential. Thru 2033, 13,0% abv
2013 La Prevostura Coste della Sesia Muntacc (HR+) Really fresh today, though it still needs another 6-12 months to more fully integrate. Classic build, aromas and flavors packed on to slender medium-bodied frame. Plenty of acidity, fruit that will continue to fill out, good+ persistence. A wine that will be best from 2018-2029. More complexity will follow with more rest; but as it is today, this shows no reason to call this anything other than drop-dead gorgeous. 13,0% abv. highly recommended
2014 La Prevostura Coste della Sesia Garsun (NR*) The fruits slightly overwhelm the soil aspects here. Tart, dry, with good body; more juicy as it opens up. Modest complexity, finish. Good table wine for mid-week dinners. Give this an hour in decanter. Thru 2023. (* note * Not rated as I felt the serving order here – with the least structured/young-fruity wine being served last – kind of impacted my ability to evaluate it more fully)
I recently posted a tasting note for the 2011 La Prevostura Lessona, it’s a gem, and might still be available in the marketplace; might be.
Below are links to the La Prevostura website, with additional details/technical information.
(header photo: Nebbiolo, I love you)