The 2007 edition of Gambero Rosso named this Italy's No. 2 winery just behind Gaja, and the international press continually lauds it as one of the country's most progressive wineries. La Spinetta is truly is a world-class producer.
La Spinetta was founded in 1977 and now spans 165 hectares between Piedmont and Tuscany. Instead of inheriting their land through generations of winemakers, the Rivettis have carefully selected their vineyards over time. All sites have a south, south-east or south-west exposure and the vines tend to have a bit of age (35-65 years). The approach in the winery may be modern but the vineyard ethos is utterly traditional: extensive year round care, extremely low yields and no use of chemical fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides. La Spinetta means "top of the hill” and refers to the location of their first cellar in Castagnole delle Lanze in Piedmont. La Spinetta’s motto is: "Making wine with passion". We’ll drink to that.
2010 La Spinetta Barbaresco Cru Valeirano
100% Nebbiolo from the Valeirano site in the village of Neive in the Barbaresco production zone. It's a five hectare south-facing site on calcareous soils, and the vines have an average age of between 50 and 55 years. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled rotofermenters and lasts between six and seven days. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in oak, where the wine is aged for between 20 and 22 months. From these new, medium toast French oak vessels it's transferred to stainless steel vats for three months before bottling with no fining or filtration. It is then rested for a further 12 months in bottle before release. It shows exotic berries and Barolo-like perfume on the nose. The palate is plush with mineral undertones, dried currant and berry fruit. Very long.
Aromas of dried flowers, plums, truffles and dried spices. Full body, firm and chewy tannins and a rose petal, dried strawberry and plum aftertaste. This is structured and rich. Better after 2015.
Fruit for the 2010 Barbaresco Vigneto Valeirano is harvested at 450 meters above sea level in the Neive township. These conditions shape a radically different character. This wine is precise and sharp with finely etched tones of spice, dark berry and wet earth. The overall structure and power of the wine is super elegant and immediate. You can safely put this bottle away for years. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2035.