For this Aprils’ wine club, we are going to take you on a journey in the Piedmont region of Northwest Italy. These wines are only a glimpse into a very special region of Italy. There are many more beautiful varietals to enjoy and mouth-watering cuisine to say the least. Located just over the Alps from France, the scenery is stunning with valleys and hills leading to the snow-covered alps. Below are some of our favorite expression of varietals indigenous to the region.
P. & E. Mullins
2017 Cieck Erbaluce di Caluso
This is a grape variety that was totally new to us and also newer to most, “Erbaluce” (pronounced Urr-ba-luch-eh). The Erbaluce grape is an ancient white variety that originates, and can only be found, in the alpine foothills of this northwestern corner of Piedmont. At one time, this ancient grape that was thought to be lost. It was rediscovered growing wild. Erbaluce is derived from two words: dawn (“erba”) and light (“luce”). The name refers to the color of the grapes as the sun hits them. The vines are trained on traditional pergola grown over creeks. Harvest is done by hand and from platforms that float down the creek. Perfect for an aperitif to awaken the palate, this 100% Erbaluce is cold fermented in stainless steel to preserve the aromatics and lively flavor. It is a pale straw color in the glass. Its nose is lively and fresh with notes of apple. The palate is crisp with firm acidity. The structure is strong with pleasant fruity sensations. It has a high acidity which keeps it very refreshing and gives it a clean bright finish.
2015 Pace Roero Arneis
In the Northern part of the Langhe in Piedmont is Casina Pace. According to historical records, this estate is situated in an exceptional area to grow the indigenous grape Arneis. The family Negro has owned the estate since 1934, for three generations with the desire to increase production and growth. Aged in stainless steel to showcase the beauty of the Arneis varietal without much alteration. This wine is a straw yellow with greenish tint in the glass. The nose has aromas of peach, chamomile and flint. The mouthfeel is full and silky, with notes of olives. There is a bright acidity that balances the fullness. The finish is long. This is a beautiful pairing with fish.
2016 Voerziomartini Dolcetto D’Alba
Only newly imported into the United States last year, this family-owned winery in La Morra, a sub-zone of the Barolo DOCG has 30 acres of vineyards. The name “Voerzio” references Gianni Voerzio, whose family has made wine in the area since 1950. Current owners are winemaker Mirko and his sister Federica, handling marketing and administration. Born in 1992, the twins are especially grateful for the families Voerzio’s institutional memory. Under the twins’ stewardship Voerzio Martini is transitioning to fully organic. Green harvest has been instituted across the board;harvesting is done by hand using small crates so as not to crush the grapes. The focus is 100% on terroir, quality and estate-bottled wines.Voerzio Martini’s eye-catching labels are designed by local artist Gianni Gallo. Each depicts a different flower native to Piedmont. This 100% Dolcetto wine fermented in steel is a deep ruby red in the glass. The nose is elegant with aromas of black cherry, blueberry and violets. The body is full and harmonious with silky tannins, light minerality and vegetal notes.