2010AntoniottiBramaterra2010 Antoniotti, Bramaterra DOC, Piedmonte, Italy.
Finding a new wine that excites you is one of the great joys in life, especially for those of us that live and breathe, and work in the wine business, so it brought much joy and wonder to discover the wines of Odilio and Mattia Antoniotti and especially this fantastic Nebbiolo blend from northern Piedmonte in Italy’s far north west corner. The Antoniotti’s father and son run a small old estate, the cellar sits below their house, it was built in the 1700’s and they make their wines from mostly organic and natural grapes grown on steep south facing slopes set on a mix of soils that are chock full of minerals, you could think of it as a northern Barbaresco with granite intensity and delicate details, though Bramaterra is tiny, only about 28 Hectares in total area for this DOC. The Antoniotti Bramaterra is a field blend that is mostly Nebbiolo with small amounts of Croatina (sometimes referred to as Bonarda) plus Vespolina and Uva Rara (which is thought to be another grape called Bonarda, not related to Croatina or the Bonarda found in Argentina, which is thought to be Charbono!) with this 2010 being about 70% Nebbiolo and it really shines through and has complete control on the palate. The Bramaterra was fermented in cement, the Antoniotti’s have two vats under their house, the grapes are dumped down into this old cellar through a window shaft after being destemmed, after that the wine goes into stainless to finish malos, then it goes into huge oak old cask to age, some of the oak was from local trees, and the Bramaterra is raised in cask 30 months before bottling, with a 6 month rest period before being released, these are old school hand crafted wines of great texture and terroir character, the winemaking is traditional and they use very low amounts of sulphur. The 2010 starts with classic Nebbiolo markers, minty herb, subtle rose petal, Asian spice, tar, earth and mixed red fruits all playing parts, the palate is full, vigorous and shows vivid layers, there is noticeable tannin, mouth watering acidity and plenty of tension, but the fruit really allows grace and beauty to be your first impression and in my case the last too, this is wonderful stuff. The main focus in the mouth is cherry, damson plum and balsamic dipped strawberry, but the is porcini, black licorice, cedar and liquid mineral notes as well, this is one of the best examples of northern Piedmonte I’ve ever had and the price is fantastic, the Antoniotti should be on your radar, imported by Louis Dressner, this is worth the search, especially Nebbiolo lovers will over joyed to experience this stunning and groovy Bramaterra, drink from 2015 to 2022.
($26 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

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