- Gattinara 2018 Press Taste Note
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Driven by a passion for exceptional Nebbiolo, the Travaglini family has been producing remarkable, limited-production wines from their eponymous estate in Gattinara for four generations. Gattinara plays an important role in Italian viticulture, but until a couple decades after the turn of the century, this beautiful region of Alto Piemonte was nearly forgotten. A winemaking region older than Barolo, Gattinara covered almost 600 hectares by the end of the 1800’s, making it one of the largest in Northern Europe. The phylloxera plague, coupled with a devastating hail storm in 1905, completely destroyed the region and wine production in Gattinara was abandoned.
The Travaglini family has owned land in Gattinara since the beginning of the 19th century. They farmed a few hectares of land and produced wine for local consumption. The small winery started with Clemente Travaglini, who was succeeded by his son Arturo. It was not until 1958 however, when Arturo’s son, Giancarlo, established the eponymous Travaglini Estate Winery. It was Giancarlo who recognized a greater potential in Gattinara and executed groundbreaking changes in his vineyards and cellar, unseen before in the appellation. For example, he pioneered research into improving viticultural methods, such as high density planting (up to 5,000/HA), 100% hand-harvesting and Guyot vine training; today commonly practiced throughout the Appellation. His passion for Nebbiolo helped raise the profile of Gattinara, a commitment that has been carried on through the generations.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
The Travaglini family owns 59 hectares of vineyards; 55 of which are dedicated to vines, primarily Nebbiolo, which covers roughly 50% of the total Gattinara DOCG. A small portion of old vines, is planted to native varieties Vespolina and Bonarda.
This small appellation lies in the rocky foothills of the Monte Rosa range, where ventilating winds blow down from the nearby Alps. Soils are rocky and rich in porphyry, granit and iron, imparting a reddish color in the soil. Similar in composition to the Alps, Monte Rosa’s sedimentary rocks is hghly acidic, due to low levels of calcium carbonate and magnesium, and an absence of calcium. Vines grown in this rare soil produce grapes with a unique flavor profile, as well high acdity and tannins. Its northern, mountainous location experiences a continental climate, with very cold winters, warm, sunny summers, and a strong diurnal temperature shift.WINEMAKING & AGEING
Grapes are crushed and macerated for about 15 days in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature. Alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation and post-fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, at controlled temperature, over 3-4 months. The wine aged for 30 months in Slavonian oak casks of different sizes, followed by an additional few months of refinement in bottle before release.TASTING NOTES
The Gattinara best expresses the classic qualities of the appellation; it is a wine with marked minerality and complexity.
Deep ruby red in color with garnet reflections. On the nose, aromas of red fruit, blackberry, plum and licorice with hints of vanilla and leather. Full-bodied palate, with intense flavors of cherry, raspberry and spice culminating in a long and smooth finish. Outstanding with red meat, game, and hard cheeses.
Recommended aging from 3 to 10 years, but this wine will easily maintain its integrity for years following.