Producer profile - Nervi Gattinara, Piedmont, Italy
Gattinara, situated in northwest Piedmont with the mighty Alps looming in the background, was once considered the equal of - if not superior to – the far more famous wines from Barolo and Barbaresco. While those two basked in their respective glories, Gattinara faded into the Alpine fog, all but ignored on the global wine scene. However, as international demand for Nebbiolo grew, it was only a matter of time before Piedmont’s best kept secret was rediscovered.
There are small but important differences between the regions. Whereas Barolo and Barbaresco are 100% Nebbiolo, the wines of Gattinara were typically a minimum of 90% Nebbiolo (locally known as Spanna), with the balance composed of Bonardo and Vespolina, although today the latter are rarely used. The wines of Gattinara must be aged in oak for a minimum of 24 months, longer even than Barolo (18 months) and for a total of 35 months before release. There are differences in style too. Gattinara doesn’t always have the imperious tannic structure found particularly in Barolo, but it still has unquestionable ageing potential. It tends more towards the floral, aromatic and earthy traits of Nebbiolo, thus generally producing a wine of greater accessibility in its youth.
Nervi was originally established in 1906, but its more recent history is guided by Roberto Conterno of the legendary Giacomo Conterno Estate in Barolo, first as consultant, and eventually in 2018, as owner, and under his direction we fully expect Nervi to evolve into one of Piedmont’s greatest estates, reclaiming its rightful position as one of the greatest Nebbiolo regions. We are delighted to stock two of his wines, the Gattinara 2015 and his single vineyard Vigna Molsino 2014.