Torraccia del Pientavigna, Ghemme DOCG 2013 (about $44)

Italian Wine for december, 2021

The Ghemme DOCG appellation lies in the province of Novara in the northeast corner of Piedmont. Just as in southern Piedmont where Barolo and Barbaresco reign, the primary grape variety here is Nebbiolo, known locally as Spanna, and Ghemme DOCG wines must have a minimum of 85 percent Nebbiolo.

They also have a long aging requirement, a minimum of 34 months of which at least 18 months must be spent in oak barrels and 6 months in the bottle. Ghemme wines have good aging potential and generally display a spicy character with prominent tannins.

Founded in 1977, Torraccia del Pientavigna is a family-owned winery with an outsize reputation for producing high quality, elegant wines utilizing local varieties and traditional methods. Situated in the foothills of the Italian Alps the estate owns nearly 100 acres of vineyards dedicated primarily to 3 local varieties – Nebbiolo and Vespolina for reds and the white Novaresi. The winery has won numerous awards for its sustainable vineyard management practices.

2013 Ghemme DOCG from the Torraccia del Pientavigna winery in the northern part of the Piedmont region.Torraccia del Pientavigna’s 2013 Ghemme DOCG is a blend of 90 percent Nebbiolo and 10 percent Vespolina. The Vespolina adds some flavorful and aromatic notes to the blend and, more importantly, helps soften Nebbiolo’s robust tannins.

The grapes are fermented in stainless steel and the wine is then softly aged in medium-size French oak casks for 36 months followed by a final maturation of 6 or more months in the bottle prior to release. It has 13.5 percent alcohol.

The wine has a violet-tinged dark ruby color and a gentle swishing of the glass presents Nebbiolo’s trademark floral, rose petal aromas accompanied by hints of dried cherries. The wine is medium to full-bodied with a clean and elegant style with mature tannins and refreshing acidity.

t is very rich, full and densely textured with aged balsamic-like sweet and tart notes of dried fruit compote and gentle spice notes of cinnamon and star anise. Dark fruit and pleasant earthy notes give lift to the long and balanced finish.

It is an outstanding wine by any measure and while I don’t feel the need to appeal to a higher authority, it is worth noting that this wine was the recipient of Gambero Rosso’s prestigious Tre Bicchieri ("Three Glasses") award.


©Richard Marcis
December 8, 2021

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