What makes one wine more popular than other wines? Is it a “cru” status? Is it legend or history? Why do some wine regions receive more notoriety than others? For old world wines that recognition usually comes with a long history of crafting wines that are not only representative of the unique terroir but also because wine drinks appreciate the wine. This is certainly true for Piedmonte and its beloved Barolo.
Chances are if you are a wine lover you are not only familiar with Piedmonte, you love the wines of Piedmonte. Piedmonte is one of the most beautiful and popular wine regions in Italy. Barbera is the most widely planted grape in the region yet it is Nebbiolo crafted as Barolo that is the wine of nobility. In fact Barolo was the first wine in Italy to receive DOCG status, with Piedmonte producing more DOCG wines by volume (84%) than any other region in Italy.
Barolo is a big, tannic expression of the grape Nebbiolo. It is often described as one of Italy’s greatest wines. No argument from me there. When Barolo is well-crafted and properly cellared it is like drinking a glass of liquid velvet. Nebbiolo is also used to craft Barbaresco, Barolo’s baby brother, as well as Nebbiolo Langhe, the best value of the three. You can find Nebbiolo grown in other parts of the world but due to Piedmonte’s tug-of-war climate (ice cold Alps versus warm Mediterranean) and unique soil consisting of marl, limestone and clay Piedmonte reigns supreme for growing the best Nebbiolo in the world.
Rivetto exemplifies the finest qualities of Piedmonte. The Rivetto family is one of the oldest wine making families in Piedmonte, crafting wines for over 100 years. Today Enrico Rivetto represents the fourth generation of wine makers from this great family. The Rivetto estate has 35 hectares of land, 20 hectares of vineyards, facing the Serralunga D’Alba castle near the medieval town of Sinio within the Langhe region of Piedmonte. Rivetto crafts a variety of outstanding Piedmonte wines included highly coveted Barolo as well as Barbera. Rivetto shared three of their wines with me and I want to share them with you.
2012 Zio Nando Barbera D’Alba DOC: 100% Barbera; bright ruby; cherries, strawberries, plums, touch of candied violets, spice notes, licorice; lively on palate with zesty, penetrating acidity and round tannins; long mouth-watering finish; aged 18 months in Slovenian oak casks and in third-forth passage 225L French oak barrels, additional 9 months in bottle before release;
2011 Barolo Del Comune Di Serralunga D’Alba DOCG: 100% Nebbiolo; garnet; briht red fruit notes of cherries, plums, cranberries and pomegranates, with spice notes, a touch of dusty earth, savory herbal notes, and minerality; lively and complex with layers of flavors wrapped in round acidity and integrating tannins, full body, long, pleasing finish; this wine represents a multi-vineyard expression of the Serralunga D’Alba municipality; aged 30 months in Slovenian oak casks then an additional 10 months in bottle before release
2009 Leon Riserva Barolo DOCG: 100% Nebbiolo; soft garnet; rustic aromas of cherries, dried figs, balsamic notes, spice, pepper, savory herbal notes such as sage and mint, with a touch of toasted cedar; lush and alluring on the palate, rich and round acidity; well-structured with penetrating tannins, full body, mouth-coating, long and lush finish that begs for another sip; aged 40 months in Slovenian oak casks and in 225L French oak barrels, additional 20 months in bottle before release.
Each of these wines were beautifully crafted with soft fruit notes and pronounced earthiness. I would highly recommend all three of these elegant wines.
Rivetto has a simple wine making philosophy:
The vineyards before all else. For wines to be an authentic expression of their territory, it is necessary to trust the vineyard and lead it toward self-regulation. This is why our wine-making is minimalist: sometimes we think it’s better to not take action.
No synthetic chemicals for weeds, defence or fertiliser.
No aggressive handling of the soil or the vines.
Sowing of grassy plants and legumes in order to revitalise the soil and reduce soil compaction.
Use of natural phyto-fortifiers to stimulate plants’ self defence.
Rivetto wines are distributed in thirty countries world wine, including the US. Furthermore you can also purchase Rivetto wines direct by emailing Enrico at firstname.lastname@example.org. I encourage you to visit their web site to learn more about the winery, view their entire portfolio of wines (they also craft white and sparkling wines). Also, if you are heading to Piedmonte, Rivetto has a beautiful agriturismo on their property! I want to stay there!
Rivetto is participating in The Great Piedmontese Wine Giveaway. Winner receives a dozen bottles of Piedmonte wine brilliantly stored and delivered in a Lazenne Winecheck. Head over to Please Bring Me My Wine for contest information, rules and to enter!
My Song Selection: These wines were smooth, lively, beautifully crafted and easy to drink. These are wines crafted from passion and perfect for falling in love with Piedmonte!
Get your own bottles of Rivetto wine and let me know what songs you pair with them. Cheers.