MCF Rare Wine Ltd.
CASCINA PREZIOSA: Firm, Beautiful Alto Piemonte Gems
Costa della Sesia Vespolina 2015
Nebbiolo Casteleng 2014
I know that I talk plenty about Alto Piemonte.
I also know I'm not the only one who's super excited about it lately. These are really extraordinary wines that have managed to become one of the last frontiers for profound, ageworthy wines of value in Italy.
I've discussed the 'Electric' side (Rovellotti), the grittily aromatic side (Colombera & Garella), the funkier side (Cantalupo), the impeccably elegant side (Franchino) and the impossibly pure side (Nervi) so today I'd love to introduce a newcomer (to the US market at least) who represents, to me, the more firm side of things in this region.
Firm, but beautiful...
Cascina Preziosa has three hectares of Nebbiolo and Vespolina vines in the historic village of Castelleng which they farm organically and, with the help of Cristiano Garella, use to produce just three wines, two of which I'm really excited to offer today.
First, we have the Costa della Sesia Vespolina 2015 which, at 100% Vespolina, might raise a few eyebrows. Those of you
familiar with this indigenous grape know that it's very important to the region and the style of reds that it produces. You also know that it's a grape of intense acidity and aromatics and is more often used to lend those qualities to a blend than it is to make a varietal wine.
But when done right, as this Preziosa is, it makes for a perfectly expressive, unique and versatile wine all by itself. It manages to show the darkest of notes on the nose while simultaneously expressing the brightest of notes on the palate - a true lesson in contrast.
In between those the dark fruits and blazingly bright acidity, there are all kinds of flowery, spicy Alto Piemonte nuances. It's all held together by a wonderfully firm, but fine backbone. This is as fresh and refreshing as red wine gets.
Then we have the other wine, the Nebbiolo Casteleng 2014, which is also beautifully firm, but it's a Nebbiolo all the way.
It's perfumed and high-toned as well, but with a turn towards the red side of the spectrum. It also shows more weight and breadth across the palate and the lengthier, polished tannins have a lot of complexity locked inside them for the future.
While it's unmistakably 'Alto' in nature (gloriously aromatic and nervous), there are also times where some almost Barbaresco-like personality emerges, no doubt from the firm, but polished frame.
Piedmont might not always be at the top of mind during the warmer months, but the beauty of both of these wines is that they'd both be as happy with a chill on them next to some burgers or chicken as they would in the colder months next to some boar ragu.
I'm also really excited to lay down a few bottles of each (provided there's any left, of course) and watch them evolve over the next decade plus.
Firm, but beautiful...
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street