2017 Proprietà Sperino, Uvaggio, Coste delle Sesia Rosso, Alta Langhe, Piedmonte, Italy.
The Proprietà Sperino winery is located in the Lessona DOC appellation, in the Alta Langhe part of the greater Piedmonte region, and is one of the oldest and most historic wine-growing areas in Italy with wine producing records showing, as early as the 14th century, this was a thriving wine community and now it is one of Italy’s hot spots, along with Mount Etna on Sicily, with wines like this one, made from mostly Nebbiolo, being a fine example why these wines are getting such attention. Luca de Marchi, who’s family has some Piedmonte roots has a well known father, Paolo, who owns the famous and critically acclaimed Tuscan estate Isole e Olena in Chianti Classico, runs this Lessona property with a passion for Nebbiolo. This 2017 Uvaggio Coste delle Sesia Rosso, which is 80% Nebbiolo, 5% Croatina and 15% Vespolina, is a beautiful and exciting wine with a fresh nature and ripe fruit that allows it to drink fabulous in its youth, while still having the depth and structure underneath to age well with a pretty array of red fruit, perfumed floral notes and delicate earthy elements and a silky and supple texture. There is loads to please the palate here in this medium body wine with crushed raspberry, dark cherry, wild plum and blood orange fruits along with seeped rose petals, tangy garden herbs, mineral tones and a light touch of wood, this red has a brightly fresh personality, but has a subtle savoriness, a good cut of acidity and a nice tannic backbone that is not aggressive.
Luca de Marchi, who is a mission to bring more quality Lessona and has laboriously restored the family vineyards, which he and dad inherited in 1999 and have put hard work in ever since. The Proprietà Sperino is located, as they note, right at the foot of Monte Rosa, where the soil consists of marine sand and Alpine granite that are perfect for the Nebbiolo vines to thrive and produce exceptional long lived wines. The Nebbiolo, locally called Spanna, here is very aromatic and complex, and is lifted by the small amounts of Vespolina and Croatina, which adds to the flowery bouquet, some heightened pigment and gives some spicy notes to this Uvaggio Rosso. For this wine, de Marchi says that he is looking to craft his wine with a respect to nature and remaining faithful to history of this place and not imitate other oenological styles. To that end, the Uvaggio Coste della Sesia DOC is made from sustainable farmed grapes, which are all de-stemmed and fermented in tank and used wood and then it is raised 22 months in mostly small tonneau/barriques then bottled unfined and unfiltered. I tasted this one along side Luca’s signature Rosso Lessona DOC 2015, which is a powerhouse and is 100% Nebbiolo that saw 32 months in wood with 18 of those months on the fine lees, it is an ultra serious effort that rivals Cru Barolo for impact, while this wine is just a little more quaffable and playful, though both are well worth chasing down, especially Nebbiolo fans. This label was new to me and I was highly impressed with what I tasted and look forward to following Proprietà Sperino’s efforts in the future, plus I learned they also make a Rosé and a super rare single vineyard Cabernet Franc that I hope to sample someday!
($45 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive