Wednesday, May 23, 2007

La Spinetta - Piemonte, IT

Here is a series wine from one of Piemonte's (and Tuscany's) top modern-styled growers. Founded in the late 1970s by the Rivetti family, La Spinetta means "top of the hill". They produce wines in both Piemonte (100ha) and Toscana (65ha).

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.

  • Wonderful.

  • 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:

1 comment:

  1. Several days later I retasted the La Spinetta Il Nero di Casanova, 2005, and it was juicy and fat with deep dark fruit. Definitely better than the first bottle tasted.