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La Spinetta

In mid-December 2002, I visited three growers around Alba, in the Piedmont, Italy:

Georgio Rivetti is the famous owner of La Spinetta. Stephano, the French wine-maker, received us - a group of French tourists - at the estate.

La Spinetta vineyard next to the storehouse

La Spinetta vineyard next to the storehouse

Nebbiolo vines are conducted in "Guyot" pruning (one stem is kept to bear fruit each year). Did you know that the three first knots are sterile? I didn't. This explains a density of planting lower than in other European regions.

Here are my tasting notes:

The Chardonnay is called "Lidia" (the name of Georgio's - the owner - mother).

The 2000 showed a lovely woodiness - the nose played with almond; the palate showed almond, plant, grapefruit peel, apple, palate-wideness; plant on the aftertaste.

The 1999 is more settled - a nose with almond and vanilla; solid on the mouth (volume you know); a very long aftertaste.

Special care is given to the Barberas.

The 2001 Ca'di Pian Barbera d'Asti is pleasurable and shows horse manure (Brettanomyces?), a light reduction, something carbonic.

The 2000 Barbera d'Asti Superiore is more fun - fruit is more apparent on the nose; the palate shows fruit, fullness (volume), the material holds very well the 15.2% alcohol and the high acidity; the aftertaste is long.

The 1999 Barbera d'Alba has a nose of cold fruit and a palate onctuous and fresh.

Georgio Rivetti is buying land in western Tuscany. The Sangiovese will hold the "Alto di Pisa" DOC when their storehouse is operational there.

The 2001 is only an IGT. It smells of raspberry; the palate is drying and fresh.


Other reviews on Italian wines are available:


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