High in the hills above Barolo and Barbaresco, Alberto and Lorella Antoniolo personify the grace and wisp of Alto Piemonte. Antoniolo was the first estate to bottle single Cru wines in 1948 and is the beacon of Gattinara, drawing in the savviest of traditional Nebbiolo collectors.

Gattinara sits on volcanic rock instead of the limestone and clay soils of Barolo and Barbaresco an hour south. The prime vineyards share a common trait of white, dusty, and sandy soil above the mother rock, and the cooler climate in the hills plays a major factor in how these wines are distinguished. The profile is one of high-toned red and black fruits, menthol, and a finely woven streak of minerality.

Planted in the early 1960s, Osso San Grato is the more powerful, concentrated wine in the lineup. Grapes like Bonarda and Vespolina are legally permitted to use for blending, but Lorella's family has always vinified 100% Nebbiolo. The wine ages for one year in a 500-liter neutral barrel, followed by 18 months in large botti and one year in bottle.

Finding top single-vineyard wines from Piedmont's most revered producers is becoming more of a challenge each year—to say nothing of rising prices. Antoniolo is a perfect example of why searching a bit further north can land you with brilliant, age-worthy Nebbiolo that still represents terrific value.

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