La Prevostura's Lessona is a great reminder for me on why I went down this path as a wine merchant. Continuing to discover newer producers and regions is a top priority, one that is extremely rewarding.
70 miles north of Barbaresco, you will be in Alto Piemonte, a region whose alpine vineyards shrunk from 120,00 acres to 5,000 after World War II. And it is the commune of Lessona that is one of its very smallest today - under 20 acres planted! Its sandy soils and cooler altitude render a more delicate and lighter expression of Nebbiolo as compared to Barolo and Barbaresco.
Since 2001, the young Bellini brothers have farmed their Lessona vineyard, but 100 years ago this same parcel was one of the very most revered in the region. They have worked tirelessly to get the land back to its gold standard, waiting until 2009 to commercially bottle.
Their 2011 Lessona is comprised of 95% Nebbiolo, and 5% Vespolina (used to soften the inherently tannic Nebbiolo). I was floored when I tasted with winemaker, Cristiano Garella. It has all of the savory, stony alpine elements that make high altitude Nebbiolo so thrilling, but also a depth, complexity, and length that's rare at this price point.
2011 La Prevostura Lessona $41.95 per bottle
The 2011 La Prevostura Lessona offers red cherries, balsamic and licorice notes, and mouth-watering crisp red fruits. It has the elegance and sophistication of great Burgundy, and site-specific transparency that immediately takes you high into the hills above Piedmont.