November 2018 Selection

Perhaps the best Piedmont is here

November 2018 Selection

Travaglini Gattinara 2014 (2 bottles)
Rovellotti Ghemme Chioso dei Pomi 2012 (2 bottles)
Tenute Sella Bramaterra 2011 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £115.35
Club Discount Price: £101.40
You save: £13.96 (12.09%)

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About this selection...

Cultivated in Nebbiolo well before the Langhe, in the last hundred years Northern Piedmont has lost about 90% of its wine heritage. The vineyards now appear to be clinging to heroic slopes, and appear suddenly within clearings in the dense forests of this area. Here, amongst the provinces of Novara, Vercelli and Biella, Nebbiolo takes on an unmistakable character. Less structured than that of the Langhe, it gains enormously in finesse and aromatic depth, giving, thanks to the strong minerality, which is sometimes ferrous, an incredible longevity.

This is due to the exposures, the considerable altitude and the tense and foggy climate, but above all the soils. Although fragmented in many small denominations, the district of North Piedmont is almost entirely on volcanic soils deriving from the prehistoric explosion of a crater that has littered the soil with a strong porphyry component. Poor and mineral soils, therefore great wines.

Sharp and taut in youth, perhaps more than Langaroli, Nebbiolo in these areas was traditionally combined with softer and more aromatic grapes, such as Vespolina. This is a wise practice, which makes these wines more affable, and which is still used in the specification of many denominations. But for lovers of the extreme, here pure Nebbiolo does not disappoint. The waiting times are very long, but the emotions it gives are without comparison. Like Ghemme and Gattinara, where some historical crus are already used, such as Molsino, Osso San Grato, Valferana. While in Boca and in the Bramaterra blends are still loves, and it's a marvel.

More towards Biella, Lessona benefits instead from sandy and mineral soils, which are often yellowish, suited to big reds with a sapid and spicy inclination. Here too crus like San Sebastiano allo Zoppo embody pieces of Italian wine history. And then the jewel in the crown, Carema, on the border with Valle d'Aosta. Here a mountain Nebbiolo rises along impressive terracing on very steep slopes. An unmissable spectacle, even though production is very limited.

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Travaglini Gattinara 2014 (2 bottles)

Red. Travaglini Gattinara, Italy Nebbiolo

Bottle: £16.77 club members / £19.12 non-members


For many, Travaglini and Gattinara are synonymous. Indeed, Travaglini is an historical name in the main northern Piedmont area. Founded by the legendary Giancarlo in 1958, the winery immediately distinguished itself by the unique bottle designed by its own noble father: an artistic bottle, unique and easily recognisable, which at the same time has the very useful function as a natural decanter. The decanter, of course, is important, so that Gattinara could immediately be seen as a wine with long ageing, to be allowed to breath and cleaned before being served after so many years in the cellar.

Travaglini owns rows in almost all the biggest Gattinara crus. However, the winery is one of those which have rejected the contemporary tendency to vinify the vineyards separately, and in fact, in its most representative products, Gattinara and Riserva, grapes come from a clever blend of the various crus. Molsino, Ronchi, Valferana, therefore, come together in splendid equilibriums, exalting and harmonising the typical features of these porphyry, rocky, ferrous and granitic soils.

A Gattinara of brio and substance, of unbelievable value for money, Travaglini encloses the best of this terroir in a fantastic blend. Clean and clear garnet, it exposes all the ferrous and granite matrix of the soil, with minerality and balsamicity standing out. But the plot is young and perky, with notes of rose and cherry, and even a crispy vinosity. On the palate it is fresh and sharp, but very pleasant and graciously sapid. It stays for 30 months in Slavonian oak and it is thus even more powerfully vertical: its longevity is therefore absolutely guaranteed.

Cooked pork products

  • Alcohol content: 13,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Travaglini Gattinara 2014
Front and back

Rovellotti Ghemme Chioso dei Pomi 2012 (2 bottles)

Red. Rovellotti Ghemme, Italy Nebbiolo, Vespolina

Bottle: £18.31 club members / £20.81 non-members


The fourteenth-century walled village of Ghemme is the setting for the beautiful and historic cellar of Paolo and Antonello Rovellotti. The position is perfect, so much so that Rovellotti is the most central company in the village, and that places it in a magical dimension handed over to time. Further proof of this identity is the company style: only large barrels and tonneau in the cellar, only long ageing as sought out by the magnificent Nebbiolo di Ghemme.

The vineyards are located on moraine hills just outside the city, surrounded by woods as it is typical in northern Piedmont. The Rovellotti manage the vineyard according to basically biological principles, with minimal intervention and in full respect of the ecosystem, including the fauna. This is reflected in a range of simple and genuine wines, in which the territory bestows its natural majesty.

A beautiful garnet still lined with ruby, Chioso dei Pomi is the company's vintage Ghemme. It comes out with several years already behind it, and deserves further waiting to reach the peak of its expression. However, upon first impact, it immediately reveals a splendid minerality, a nice spiciness and pleasant notes of red fruits. In its youth it reveals good crunchiness and perky freshness, with a marked sapidity and a strong tannin.

Meats cooked on hot stone / small game / cured cheeses

  • Alcohol content: 13,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Rovellotti Ghemme Chioso dei Pomi 2012
Front and back

Tenute Sella Bramaterra 2011 (2 bottles)

Red. Tenute Sella Bramaterra, Italy Nebbiolo, Croatina, Vespolina

Bottle: £15.62 club members / £17.74 non-members


From 1671, the Sella family has been one of the best purveyors of the terroir of Northern Piedmont. It experienced the centuries of the great northern Piedmont vineyard, its crisis and, now, of the very difficult coming out of the woods. Now that the vined area does not exceed 10% of the historic area, the Sella are still there, at the peak of the production of these legendary Nebbiolos. The sense of tradition, business acumen and sound policies have re-launched, with Quintino Sella, the great history of this noble wine family, which today boasts a peak position of absolute importance among the Lessona and Bramaterra DOCs.

The Bramaterra dei Lessona is praised by Mario Soldati in the famous itinerary of "Vino al vino" as a "formidable" nectar: ​​powerful, tasty, full-bodied, of an intact and very pleasant bitterness". And we can only confirm how well Soldati identified the splendid characters of the porphyry, harsh and rugged terroir of this corner of Piedmont. A terroir that offers a blatantly hard wine in its youth, of difficult minerality, but which can open with solemn majesty in the very long years to come.

With a characteristic austere garnet, the Bramaterra opens with toasted and balsamic hints, immediately accompanied by typical ferrous, rusty notes. With oxygenation, more reassuring puffs of jammy fruit, aromatic herbs, liquorice, candied and dried fruit appear. The tannin is perky and decisive in the balance with its deep but gentle structure, in the sapidity, which in turn still dominates with its splendid character. A wine of a relaxed territoriality, of persistent balsamicity and of a harmonious whole in progress.

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Tenute Sella Bramaterra 2011
Front and back

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