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2019 #Piemonte | Paride Iaretti winery, Gattinara

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

That was my first winery visited in Gattinara, a micro production zone in Piemonte region. In general there are not so many wine producers located, even though the wines of Gattinara DOCG are made from the famous #Nebbiolo grapes, but Gattinara area itself is far not that much commercialized and promoted in the world as Barolo and Barbaresco, zones of wines crafted from same Nebbiolo grapes. This calmness and exclusivity of #Gattinara in reality is good, because here you can find a super small authentic producers of great wines, which probably you can never try in your country because production here is too small and there is not enough wine available for export.

Definitely Paride Iaretti is one of those boutique wine producers. There is a great family story, where winemaking was started by Pietro, Paride's father, and many years ago the wines were produced at the family's house basically. Paride himself was graduated in gastronomy and first doing a chef's job, which he later left for taking care of family's wine business. Paride is a very talented winemaker, now he runs everything which is connected with #wine and its production in the winery, at the same time the commercial and administrative are run by his partners, who recently build the new winery and cellars, where now all the wines of the estate are produced.

The winery is located on the south part of the town, there are no pointers in the city on the way to the place, but google map shows it precisely correct, so I would say it's reliable. There is no sign with #winery name at the entrance, I was lucky that at the time of my appointment Fabrizio was already waiting for me outside at the road entrance, otherwise I would probably thought I've got lost even with google map's guidance.

The winery is completely new and very well maintained. On the upper floor there are fermentation area, packaging zone and tasting/meeting room area. Fermenting is going only in stainless steel tanks, so the wines keep freshness and high acidity. The tanks are of different sizes, depending on the type of wine and quantity being produced at the certain period.

On the lower floor, which you can reach with elevator, there is a #cellar.

Botti, large casks made of Slavonian oak, are used during many years to run necessary oxidative ageing process, in the same time to avoid an influence of strong wooden tannins.

Gattinara DOCG wine is made with all the strict rules, which local Consorzio (the wine production controlling body) set up. All the botti and barrels are signed off with every detail, making available to track every bottle made from this #cask. Here you can see info about the number of the cask, litres quantity, vintage, vineyard's name, name of the grapes and even the date of vinification. This all info is needed to be correctly mentioned on every barrel not because it's helpful to find in what cask you keep what wine (even though in reality it is very helpful for that), but because at any time it can be controlled by Consorzio. just arriving to the winery to make sure the winemakers are following the rules.

The ageing rules for Gattinara DOCG wines are min.35 months from which 24 should be in wood. So today, in September 2019, the latest #vintage of Gattinara DOCG can be found on the market is vintage 2015.

The next one to be bottled and presented on the market next year (2020) is vintage 2016, which is now still ageing in the casks at Paride Iaretti winery. Thanks to Fabrizio, I was able to taste Gattinara 2016 made of Nebbiolo from Valferrana cru right from the casks, and this young wine already shows its great potential.

There are also some tonneaux (400-500l) and small barrels (French barriques 225l) of Medium or Medium+ toast, where some wines are being aged. But the approach for barriques usage is same - only old oak is used (1st, 2nd, 3rd use), again to do not overpower wine with specific tannins from new oak.

The winery produces four wines all of the perfect quality, in very elegant and delicate style. For such small volume of production you can imagine it's nearly impossible to find them somewhere outside of Italy or even outside of Gattinara area itself. Even if there is some part is being exported, but anyway the total production doesn't let to spread it out worldwide as much.

In the tasting room you can find the samples of local soils, oh yes, one of my favorite topics in the wineworld.

As vineyards of Gattinara are located on the hills with altitude from 300 to 550m, of course different crus has different kind of subsoils and topsoils (sorry the picture below is of a very bad quality, however at least it shows the real relief of vineyards' area).

The #wine history of Gattinara tells that in this zone a huge collapse of Super Volcano many years ago created such geological formation and particular relief with plenty of #soil types. The subsoil is originally volcanic, full of minerals of magmatic origin, like porphyry and granite, and rich of potassium, magnesium and iron.

For instance, the Valferrana cru is full of iron (Valferrana means in Italian like Valley of Iron=Ferro), so when you take a piece of this soil you immediately see a quite big pieces of #iron sparkling right inside the rock. The Osso cru, for example, is full of volcaniс ash and granite elements, so it's dark greish color let you understand that once you look at it.

All soil types are absolutely reflected in the wines taste. This is not just a beautiful story written in your wine books or told in your wine school, but it is a real thing, which you can understand only when you visit different areas of wine production, see those soils by your own eyes, touch them and taste those #wines by yourself. This is the only way to get it in reality, just try it.

Uve Nere Vino Rosso

Grapes: Nebbiolo 20%, Vespolina 30%, Croatina 30%, Uva Rara 20%

Alcohol: 12.5%

Soil: volcanic

Vinification: in stainless steel with maceration on skins within a week, malolactic in stainless steel

Ageing: 9 month in stainless steel

Light bodied, very simple wine made of a very good quality. Full of red fruits, slightly grippy tannins, young and vibrating. Can be paired with any kind of simple food like pizza, proscuitto and simple cheeses. Definitely a summer #wine, could be better served a bit chilled, this way in a hot summer day you can easily drink a bottle and not even notice you did it.

Coste della Sesia Nebbiolo Velut Luna 2017

Grapes: 100% Nebbiolo

Alcohol: 13%

Soil: volcanic, iron

Vinification: 10 days maceration on skins in stainless steel, malolactic in stainless steel

Ageing: 12-15 months in French barriques (225l barrels) old oak

Very nice young wine to be drunk now, even though it can be also ageing in bottle for next 5-10 years. Made of #Nebbiolo from the area around Coste della Sesia DOC. Full of red fruits like strawberry and cranberry, very bright with medium tannins, with strong hints of peper and licorice. Drinkable and enjoyable at any moment paired with lots of food types.

Gattinara Pietro 2015

Grapes: 100% Nebbiolo

Alcohol: 14%

Soil: volcanic, iron

Vinification: in stainless steel, malolactic in stainless steel

Ageing: 36 months in tonno (400-500l barrels) of old French oak, 6 month in bottle

Strong and fruitforward made of the grapes from old vines of 50 y.o., with leather and balsamic notes, quite high acidity, I would say kind of easy drinking for Nebbiolo of the recent vintages. Lovely, still young and can be easily kept for another 10-15 years to show it's full potential, but also approachable to drink now. Great as a winter #wine.

Thanks to Fabrizio for welcoming receipt and managing my visit in the best way. Looking forward to come back and would be glad to meet Paride next time.

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