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Gattinara, Torraccia del Piantavigna 2016

Red Wine from Italy - NW Italy (Piedmont)
The vineyards of Gattinara are an hour north of Barolo, between the great Italian cities of Milan and Turin. Here in these cool hillside sites Nebbiolo thrives and in this especially good vintage this light-bodied yet well structured wine has lovely redcurrant and rose perfume with earth and spice notes.
Price: £24.00 Bottle
Price: £144.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: IT31101

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Nebbiolo
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2028
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

North West Italy

The most renowned of the north western wine regions of Italy is Piemonte, and it is arguable that it is the most renowned of all Italy’s wine producing regions. Home to Barolo and Barbaresco, both made solely from the nebbiolo grape that performs particularly well on the slopes around the town of Alba, Piemonte produces some of the most famous, and increasingly sought after, wines in the World. These are wines that manage to harmonise power and finesse, harnessing the abundant tannins of nebbiolo to richness and concentration but, in good examples, never tipping over into heaviness. They have all the components necessary to make wines that can age for many years and achieve a silky elegance that reminds many of the finest Burgundies. The climate is largely continental with a little influence from the Mediterranean over the hills helping to maintain the long, warm autumns that nebbiolo needs to reach full ripeness on the limestone, clay and sandy soils not far from the Alps to the...
The most renowned of the north western wine regions of Italy is Piemonte, and it is arguable that it is the most renowned of all Italy’s wine producing regions. Home to Barolo and Barbaresco, both made solely from the nebbiolo grape that performs particularly well on the slopes around the town of Alba, Piemonte produces some of the most famous, and increasingly sought after, wines in the World. These are wines that manage to harmonise power and finesse, harnessing the abundant tannins of nebbiolo to richness and concentration but, in good examples, never tipping over into heaviness. They have all the components necessary to make wines that can age for many years and achieve a silky elegance that reminds many of the finest Burgundies. The climate is largely continental with a little influence from the Mediterranean over the hills helping to maintain the long, warm autumns that nebbiolo needs to reach full ripeness on the limestone, clay and sandy soils not far from the Alps to the north.

Besides nebbiolo the Piemontese also make wines from varieties that give them something to drink while the Barolos and Barbarescos mature gracefully in vat and bottle. Dolcetto (little sweet one in Italian) and barbera are the principal varieties, best known for producing fruity, lively reds to match the foods of the region but which are also now being taken more seriously and given the treatment that can turn them into something far more refined and structured through lower yields, better sites and oak ageing. Beside them growers persist with the lesser known but just as fascinating freisa, rouchet, grignolino, brachetto, pelaverga, bonarda, croatina and vespolina, and the white varieties cortese and arneis. Lastly, but these days not necessarily least, Moscato d’Asti and Brachetto d’Acqui are two wines that, when made well, can be a delight – frothy, sweet and fragrant bubblies of low alcohol and gentle fizz for enjoying with a range of desserts when lightness of touch is called for or for drinking in the garden on a warm Summers’ evening.

North of Piemonte is the Valle d’Aosta, the smallest wine region in Italy squeezed into a valley abutting the Alps almost in the shadow of Mont Blanc and reaching out to the French border. Here, on steep Alpine slopes, varieties like petite rouge, fumin, malvoisie and petite arvine sit alongside a few plantings of chardonnay and make characterful wines with a mountain freshness that goes delightfully with the local cuisine. Slightly to the east a scramble of small appellations such as Gattinara, Ghemme and Lessona produce perfumed and fine boned variations on nebbiolo, here known as spanna and sometimes blended with other local varieties, that were once more famous than Barolo.

In the north-east of the region on the border with Switzerland Valtellina Superiore also majors in nebbiolo of excellence, this time within the region of Lombardy. Head south from Valtellina Superiore to the hills around Lago d’Iseo and the méthode traditionelle sparkling wines of Franciacorta are made from pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot bianco grapes. Throughout Lombardy still wines are made from an assortment of varieties in several different appellations without any making a stand as the focal point of regional production. Perhaps the closest to achieving such recognition, besides the increasingly well-known Franciacorta, is Lugana just south of Lake Garda where turbiano (aka verdicchio) can produce some excellent, fragrant whites on a flat glacial plain where the lake acts as a moderator of temperatures, cooling the air with its breezes.

Liguria, famed more for its picturesque and exclusive Riviera resorts than its wines, runs in a strip from the French frontier to the border with Tuscany. Vineyards are small and fragmented due to the rugged terrain as the Ligurian Appenines finally curl and dip towards the sea and because of this Liguria’s production is tiny, if interesting. Vermentino, rossese, sangiovese and dolcetto are all grown but the most famous wine, oft seen by the tourists who consume most of it, is Cinque Terre made from bosco with either vermentino or albarola blended in.

Finally, the wines of Colli Piacentini, Oltrepo Pavese and Gutturnio close to the city of Piacenza on the edge of the Emilia-Romagna, if chosen carefully, can provide much pleasure with wines made from barbera, bonarda and a number of international varieties. However, much of the crop and the wines made here are destined for spumante producers or blenders based elsewhere.
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Torraccia del Piantavigna

Torraccia del Piantavigna is a family owned estate in the foothills of Monte Rosa, within hailing distance of the Alps. Here they own vineyards in both Ghemme and Gattinara and grow nebbiolo, vespolina and erbaluce grapes, happy to work with only varieties native to their region. Allessandro Francoli founded the estate in 1997, though his grandfather Pierino had planted vineyards near Ghemme in the 1950s, and today two branches of the family are involved, the Francolis and the Pontis. Their belief that great wines can only come from great vineyards is reflected in the amount of hard work done among the vines to ensure the highest quality of fruit.

Planted on hillsides the vineyards are all cared for by hand, green harvested to reduce yields and concentrate fruit, and harvested manually into small baskets to protect the integrity of the grapes which are then sorted again on reception at the winery. In Ghemme the soil is largely acidic alluvial clay, cooled by the chilly air rolling down the slopes of Monte Rosa. The swing between day and night temperatures can be large, helping the grapes to retain freshness while concentrating the flavour during a long ripening. The Gattinara vineyards are hillier and made up of a mix of rocky, porous and notably acidic volcanic soils such as syenite, quartz and porphyry that suit nebbiolo well, leading it to produce small berries in compact bunches.

Winemaking is tradition and modernity in balance, with the fermenting in temperature...
Torraccia del Piantavigna is a family owned estate in the foothills of Monte Rosa, within hailing distance of the Alps. Here they own vineyards in both Ghemme and Gattinara and grow nebbiolo, vespolina and erbaluce grapes, happy to work with only varieties native to their region. Allessandro Francoli founded the estate in 1997, though his grandfather Pierino had planted vineyards near Ghemme in the 1950s, and today two branches of the family are involved, the Francolis and the Pontis. Their belief that great wines can only come from great vineyards is reflected in the amount of hard work done among the vines to ensure the highest quality of fruit.

Planted on hillsides the vineyards are all cared for by hand, green harvested to reduce yields and concentrate fruit, and harvested manually into small baskets to protect the integrity of the grapes which are then sorted again on reception at the winery. In Ghemme the soil is largely acidic alluvial clay, cooled by the chilly air rolling down the slopes of Monte Rosa. The swing between day and night temperatures can be large, helping the grapes to retain freshness while concentrating the flavour during a long ripening. The Gattinara vineyards are hillier and made up of a mix of rocky, porous and notably acidic volcanic soils such as syenite, quartz and porphyry that suit nebbiolo well, leading it to produce small berries in compact bunches.

Winemaking is tradition and modernity in balance, with the fermenting in temperature controlled stainless steel and the maturation of the wines taking place in 2,500 litre Allier barrels, not small enough to give the wine an overt oak influence, but not as big as the botti that are often used to age wines in Italy.
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2016 vintage reviews
2015 vintage reviews
2013 vintage reviews

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