La Spinetta Garretti Barolo 2016 is majestic. Huge proportions here. Instantly the nose makes a statement, black currants, earth, pure and ripe. The intensity follows through on the palate with bold flavours and great length. Big tannins, nice acid and everything you need for a wine that will age forever. Do not open La Spinetta Garretti Barolo 2016 before 2031.
La Spinetta Garretti Barolo
100% Nebbiolo from vines averaging 35 years. It ages in 600l French oak (50% new) for 20 months. Then is bottled unfined and unfiltered and left to rest for another 12 months.
The Rivetti’s have carefully selected their vineyard purchases since 1977. Now they span 165 hectares between Piedmont and Tuscany. They favour sites with southern exposure and the vines to be mature (35-65 years). They have adopted organic principles in the vineyards. Together with low cropping, they feel they have the right ingredients for great wine. La Spinetta means “top of the hill” and refers to the location of their first cellar.
Hear Importer Michael Trembath Talk about Barolo 2016.
Piedmont is one of the most significant wine regions in the world. Its name means the ‘foot of the mountain’. Piedmont is in the North-Western reach of Italy. There are a lot of parallels drawn between the best wines of Piedmont (Barolo and Barbaresco) and the wines of Burgundy. The region neighbours France and Switzerland with its border defined by the Alps to the North and west and Apennines to the South. These natural defences kept the Ligurians safe from Roman invasions. Luckily it didn’t work forever, as we may not have the wines that we cherish today.
Made from 100% Nebbiolo aged for least 3 years (5 for Riserva). Famous villages include La Morra, Verduno, Castiglione, Montforte, Serralunga and Barolo. Awarded DOCG in 1980.
One of the magic years where everything went right in Barolo. Barbaresco was fine too, but Barolo got the best of the conditions, and the wines are unmissable.
They are famously producing long-lived red wines. Light of colour, but abundant in tannin. Barolo and Barbaresco are the pinnacles of Nebbiolo. But many local and international regions are catching up. Typical flavours include tar, roses, anise, cherry, blackberry and truffle.
There are 1000s and 1000s of grapes in Italy. There are sub-alpine cool-climate regions in the North, and Sun-baked vineyards in the South. Add to that, volcanoes and many cultures within one Country. You could struggle to find anything uniform about the wines. The best of the best include Tuscan reds from Sangiovese or Cabernet. Nebbiolo from Piedmont, especially Barolo and Barbaresco. The aromatic whites of NE Italy from Garganega, Pinot Grigio, and numerous crazy blends. The volcanic wines of Mt Etna in Sicily. And many more.
The only generalisation I will make is that a lot of Italian wine is undervalued when compared to a similar French style.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.