All wines stored at 55° and 70% humidity
High in the hills above Barolo and Barbaresco, Alberto and Lorella Antoniolo personify the grace and wisp of Alto Piemonte. The wines of Gattinara may be more pale and transparent vs. their southern counterparts, but the elegance in glass is supported with a beguiling structure allowing them to shine decades after bottling. Antoniolo, the very first estate to bottle single Cru wines in 1948, is the beacon of the comune that draws in the most savvy of traditional Nebbiolo collectors.
Gattinara sits on volcanic rock, as opposed to the limestone and clay soils of Barolo and Barbaresco an hour south. The prime vineyards here share a common trait of white, dusty and sandy soil above the mother rock. The cooler climate in the hills here is obviously a huge factor in how these wines are distinguished. The profile is one of high-toned red and black fruits, menthol, and finely-woven streak of minerality.
Although grapes like Bonarda and Vespolina are legally permitted to blend with Nebbiolo here to soften the edges and plump up the fruit profile, Lorella's family has always vinified 100% Nebbiolo in their Crus. These special parcels flaunt Nebbiolo with a wild array of flowers, mint, sage, leather, with high toned cherry and wild strawberry notes.
Finding top single vineyard wines from Piedmont's most revered producers is becoming more of a challenge each year, to say nothing of the rising prices. Antoniolo is a perfect example to why searching a bit further north can land you with brilliant, age-worthy Nebbiolo, that still represent terrific value.