A couple of years ago I read an article regarding the possibility that if the temperature rises by 2 degrees by 2050, 56% of the current wine regions could disappear. In 2100 it would reach 85%. We are already witnessing early harvests and migration of vines to higher altitudes or to the north. I think of Roberto Conterno, the father of Barolo Monfortino, an icon of the Langa Nebbiolo who bought the Nervi estate in Gattinara, the area of the homonymous Docg, a mainly Nebbiolo wine from acidic, rocky soils rich in iron minerals that give the typical reddish color to the ground. The climate is typical of the foothills area: mild compared to that of the plain and thanks to the thermal inversion it allows for a distribution of rainfall in both spring and autumn and ventilation of the vineyard. Another Docg of the area is the Ghemme from alluvial soils where Nebbiolo gives wines with virile tannins and a lot of flavor. At higher altitudes there are the Doc di Boca wines where the cold currents coming from Monte Rosa, although mitigated by Monte Fenera, produce remarkable day-night excursions. Also in northern Piedmont there are other ancient oenological pearls such as Lessona and Bramaterra always with Nebbiolo as protagonist. Nebbiolo gives great results also in the mountains of Lombardy in Valtellina or in Valle d'Aosta but now I want to talk about the wines of northern Piedmont which in my opinion represent the Nebbiolos of the future, when due to climate change and the consequent diseases of the vine it will be possible that there will be no more neither the wines of Barolo nor of Barbaresco.
2016 Franchino Gattinara Riserva. Here there is the whole territory and a rigorous fidelity to tradition. Direct and grumpy, on the nose a lot of iron, minerals and tar based on small red fruits, violet and balsamic. Mouth still impetuous with licorice and oriental spices, intriguing and long finish. Here there is only a big barrel and a lot of patience, what it will take to wait for it in all its magnificence. Outstanding value for money. 92pt.
2016 Mazzoni Ghemme Ai Livelli. Nose of tar and licorice, balsamic and spicy. Slender and aggressive, good progression and finish with cloves. 91pt.
2015 Castello Conti Boca Rosso delle Donne. It is a bit expensive but worth every single euro. At the moment it is my favorite Boca for typicality and character. A few years ago I drank a great 85 that still looked like a pawing young man. 2015 is pure elegance and typicality combined with a surprising complexity on the nose. Still aggressive palate, it takes at least 3 years to be ready for polite palates, for me who love Nebbiolo from vulcanic soil when it is true Nebbiolo is already a delight now. The Boca specification provides for Nebbiolo (Spanna) at 70% and the remainder is Vespolina and Uva Rara. Three years of big barrels. 93pt.
2015 Tenute Sella Lessona 90pt.