Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wine of the Week: 2006 Monsecco Gattinara

I am absolutely thrilled to find this very lovely wine. There are only a handful of producers in the tiny Gattinara winegrowing region in North Piedmont, and rarely does one even make it to the US. I can’t blame anyone who thinks that only Barolo and Barbaresco make the best Nebbiolo. But if you ever taste Gattinara as good as this superb 2006 from Monsecco, then I am certain you would change your mind.

The northern location of Gattinara is considerably cooler than Alba, while the soils are granite, not clay-chalk as in the Langhe. The resulting wines are higher in acidity and greater in precision, and due to their elegant character, age very long and beautifully. Good Gattinara, one could say, is the epitome of Nebbiolo.

But I do believe that the 2006 Monsecco Gattinara kicks up the quality level a notch. Gattinara is in a privileged site in North Piedmont, particularly suited for Nebbiolo, where it ripens fully in most years unlike in neighboring villages. The 2006 vintage was blessed with a sunny and warm growing season, producing a great Gattinara with the full expression of Nebbiolo in this northerly region.

Rosenthal started importing Monsecco’s Gattinara with the 2005 vintage, which took a while to be released until it finally did in 2012. And now the 2006 vintage is out--an awesome Gattinara that brings back its past glory. Finally.

Gattinara DOCG, Monsecco 2006 $42.00

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