Le Pianelle – another great gem from the Alto Piemonte

Recently, I had the chance to taste the wines of Le Pianelle. Since that time, I’ve had a chance to further investigate this project – what I’ve learned so far points in a few directions, consistently: it’s a story of quality, fortitude and vision. You can find plenty of good information on Le Pianelle HERE

This is a newer project, with much of the (Brusnegno  – porphyry sandy soils) vineyard having been replanted less than 10 years ago (to Nebbiolo, Vespolina, Croatina); vines planted in the Roasio (red porphyry and gravel) vinyeard are much older, averaging closer to 50 years.

Cristiano Garella, consulting winemaker for Le Pianelle and many others in the area, is a part of this project. I mention that because when I taste all of the wines Cristiano produces, across several regions, different vintages and between several different winery names, the one thing he does, consistently, is to give voice to the land, and not a winemaker style that many who offer consulting (aroud the world, not just in Italia) have chosen instead. The wines that Cristiano helps to create are, in my experience, unique mirrors of the land and their winegrapes.

2016 Le Pianelle Al Posto dei Fiori Rosato  (R+)  Less about austerity than it is about persistence and presence. A differnt, fuller expression of a rosato, but sometimes you may want a little more, and this delivers, though it’s never charmless or blowsy. More fruit than earth/mineral driven, with just a dusting of dried/fresh flowers, this is suitable for picnics, the porch, aperitivo, etc. Good fun, very clean, correct. Drink now with gustorecomended

2011 Le Pianelle Bramaterra  (R+)  Blend of Nebbiolo/Vespolina/Croatina (80/10/10), lighter garnet color. Nose is a nice medley of roses, tar and cherry fruit; big burst of bright citrus on the nose. With some more swirling, this wine goes from very good toward excellent – on the nose – with the palate holding the cards pretty close. Lovely wine, and one well worth seeking out; good potential for improvement, too. Thru 2036recommended+

2012 Le Pianelle Bramaterra  (R+)  Brilliant effort at this point, but the serious structure here is keeping this one pretty coiled at the moment. Open this as a PnP, you might well hate it; give this at least 4-5 years of rest in the cellar. Classic color, aromas and flavors in this Nebbiolo blend; it’s all here, just needs time for more harmony to emerge with further integration. 2021-2035recommended+

2013 Le Pianelle Bramaterra  (R+)  Exciting wine, brimming with freshness, and personality. A traditional blend of Nebbiolo, Vespolina and Croatina, this wine is fermented in open-top Grenier casks, then aged in a combination (age/size) older oak. Both elegant and structured, this really serves up a lot of complexity and zeal today – should have a great future, too. Easily  recommended+, and will no doubt prove difficult to leave alone in the cellar. 

2013 Le Pianelle Bramaterra  (R+)  [2nd time tasted]  Classic aromas and flavors in thie Nebbiolo blend. Already fairly open at this point, the wine combines fresh citrus notes on the nose, with medium+ complexity and persistence. Lovely, and bound to be even better with just 3-5 more years of rest; much more available today than the 2012. Now thru 2031recommended+

Rating guide:

  • recommended (R(+/-)  *(a really nice wine!, nothing average about it!)
  • highly recommended (HR(+/-)  *(an excellent wine!)
  • very highly recommended (VHR(+/-)  *(an EPIC wine!)
  • The + or – sign many be attached to the rating. The (+) says it’s an excellent value within its peer group; the (–) says it’s a poor value relative to its peers

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(header photo: the vines and land at Le Pianelle)

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