The range includes Moscato, Barbera, Barolo and Barbaresco in Piemonte, and primarily Sangiovese from Toscana; there are small amounts of Chardonnay, Sauvignon and some other varietals produced as well. La Spinetta produces approximately 600,000+ bottles per year between the two appellations. The Tuscan property was purchased in 2001.
2004, La Spinetta Barbera d'Asti "Ca'di Pian" ($27)
- Quite deep color of blood red.
- Perfumed nose with violets and roses pushing through with some spice.
- Rich on the palate with a great acidity tang. Very smooth and elegant.
- A bit chewy, a bit long - loads of fruit.
- medium-long - quite good.
2004, La Spinetta Barbera d'Asti Superiore "Bionzo" ($52)
- A single vineyard wine; Bionzo is the name of the vineyard.
- Quite dark - definite deeper color than the Pian.
- Richer nose with very deep flavors - some smoked meat, but loads of perfume and violets, licorices; a bit of wood coming through.
- Quite mouth-filling and smooth on the palate -very big wine, but holds itself well.
- More acidity to balance all that fruit - very good.
2004, La Spinetta Monferrato Rosso "Pin" ($50)
- 65% Nebbiolo, 35% Barbera - aged in French oak for 16-18 months
- Ruby/Garnet red color
- Very layered aromatics: spice, cherries, wood and earth, and on and on.
- Very smooth, medium- to full-bodied with a bit of grip and dusty tannins.
- Quite elegant, rolling tannins and jams of fruit.
- Rockstar wine with a long aging potential ahead of it.
2005, Casanova della Spinetta Toscana Sangiovese "Il Nero di Casanova" ($26)
- 95% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino
- (This wine show just a touch of corkiness, perhaps - still quite impressive, though)
- Deep dark color of garnet/blood red.
- Nose is just off a bit, but shows good fruit.
- Smooth and juicy on the palate.
- Dusty tannins; dry style.
- Need to retaste.
2003, Casanova della Spinetta Toscana Sangiovese "Sezzana" ($52)
- 95% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino - 30 year old vines.
- Quite dark in color with an almost black core.
- Herbs and Bing cherries with a spicy quality that is derived from he oak (12-14 months).
- Lush and velvety on the palate with dusty tannins on the backside. Very pervasive fruit.
- Big wine, juicy, grip, loads of tangy cherry and fleshy red fruits.
- Good length and very intense flavors all the way through.
- Age this one.
2003, Casanova della Spinetta Toscana Sangiovese "Sassontino" ($52)
- 95% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino - 30 year old vines
- Produced almost exactly as the Sezzana, but from another vineyard source. This one has more sandy, ocean sediment soil.
- Very deep dark color.
- Slightly more muted nose than the Sezzana, but quite pervasive and mineral driven.
- Soft and generous on the palate - not as much grip as the Sezzana - more supple. Great length, layered fruit with loads of flavor and some wood spice.
- Just a notch below truly wonderful.
- Drink this one.
2005, La Spinetta Moscato d'Asti "Vigneto Biancospino" ($22)
- "Low Alcohol White Wine" so the label says - 5.5% as the law says
- This is an absolutely lovely white wine - perfect for sippin' or washing down a light dessert.
- This is actually one of the finest examples of the category that can be found. I sell the Elio Perrone Moscato d'Asti, which is a bit different in style: Perrone grown mainly on the northern side of the hills and has a racier acidity and cleaner style. The Spinetta is more plump and mouth-filling with a very creamy frizzante. It is lush without being heavy, though. Beautiful and fun to drink.
- The frizzante will last a long time.
- Loads of peaches and apricots as moscato should have.
THE SKINNY on La Spinetta:
- Exceptionally well made wines - everything is of the highest quality, period
- Very modern approach to the style-interpretations
- Multi-dimensional: mastering Toscana and Piemonte puts you in a category with the likes of, say, Gaia - good club to be in!
- Medium to high priced - I did not review the Barbarescos or Barolos, yet, but they are well over $100 retail
all photos from La Spinetta website: