2013 throughout Piedmont is now firmly cemented as one of the truly standout vintages over the last decades. While most were released some time ago, quantities long gone, those from Alto Piemonte's Rovellotti family in Ghemme were the last to arrive. Each year, I'm all-in on this alpine Nebbiolo-based star, but 2013 adds magic that's understandably on a different level.

Rovellotti was introduced to importer, Neal Rosenthal by the Ferrando family of Carema. When you taste Rovellotti, it's clear these two estates are cut from the same cloth. I find a huge range of styles in Ghemme (and Alto Piemonte as a whole), with many examples showing grippy tannins that call to mind tar rather than roses. What I love about the wines from Rovellotti (and Ferrando) is the softness of the fruit and elegance of the structure, both still completely driven by their sense of place.

Rovellotti's exclusive protocol of pumping over during fermentation and avoiding punchdowns of the cap plays a huge role in this more sensual and graceful texture. Each vintage tasting, it's their light-handed touch and supreme drinkability that stand out so much from the pack. In 2013, notes of dried black cherries, cinnamon, and orange peel jump out of the glass, and the famous floral rose quality of Nebbiolo melds with an alpine mint inflection that lingers on the long finish.

Introducing Rovellotti to customers who love Barolo and Barbaresco has given me a huge sense of gratification. In every circumstance, there's a mix of joy and revelation, as the extended aging means this release is always easy to drink from day one. Pricing for the 2013 vintage is one of the greatest values in all of Italy.

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