2018 Le Piane

2018 Le Piane "Maggiorina" Rosso Novares

Regular price $23

Region: Boca < Novara < Piedmont, < Italy

Varietals:  Nebbiolo (40%), Croatina (40%), Vespolina (5%) +  9 other
local varieties, including some whites

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming with ancestral practices; 40 -
100 year old vineyards on minerally gravel, porphyry soil 1300 to 1475
feet above sea level;  Maggiorina trellising system (3 vines form a
goblet); aged 1 year in stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfiltered
with minimal sulfites; 13% ABV

The wines of Le Piane speak the language of a time gone by...It began,
in a way, in 1988 when Christoph Kunzli and Alexander Tolf met Antonio
Cerri.  Antonio (80+ years at that time!) was one of the last wine
growers to produce and cellar the typical Boca wine of Alto Piemonte.
They fell in love with this land, his wines and the traditional style
that historically defined this area. Antonio had no heirs interested
in taking over his life’s work, so Christoph and Alexander convinced
him they would honor his tradition of old-school, hands-off
winemaking. They purchased the vineyards, barrels (still full), an
archive of library vintages, and a small broken-down building right in
the middle of the vineyards.  Slowly, they’ve acquired and cleared
more small plots of land and puzzled together what is the estate
today. Le Piane still maintains the vineyards in the traditional way
and makes wine without the use of modern technology, with each vine
cared for by hand to maintain the highest quality. They still use the
Maggiorina trellising system, which was used in Boca for hundreds of
years as a protective factor from wind and weather -- and goes back
even further, at least to Roman times, when Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD)
wrote about the wine regions of the Novara hills in his “Naturalis

This Maggiorina cuvee was a pleasant surprise, worlds away from most
wines of Piemonte. A field blend of 12 different grapes, both reds and
white, all grown in old Maggiorina trellised vineyards on 25 different
small plots.  The color is a dusty, opaque red -- your first clue this
wine is not like the others.  You get some dusty rose on the nose
(thanks, Nebbiolo!), but the body is light-ish and a touch rustic,
with sour cherry, cranberry, black pepper, violets and rose, finishing
with a wild earthiness that confirms its status as a unicorn in the
kingdom of Barolo.  Don't let the pedestrian label fool you, this is a
delicious, easy-drinking natty wine in bougey clothing.  And a
screaming deal for the quality and care behind it.  Drink now, and

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