Red

2010 Antonio Vallana e Figlio Spanna Cuvee Bernardo Vallana

Nebbiolo

  • Italy
  • Piedmont
  • Piemonte DOC

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Community Tasting Note

  • bags wrote:

    February 20, 2014 - definitely the real deal. Out of the bottle, first glass needed around 8 hrs of air to drink. Coravined this and left it intentionally upright without a seal, to age quickly, and 3 days later...wow.

    2,642 views

6 Comments

  • Sheila62 commented:

    2/20/14, 7:08 PM - I bought a case plus of this. Nice to hear that it is the real deal. Any idea how long these can age?

  • bags commented:

    2/21/14, 6:06 AM - I am putting the rest of my own case away. My sense is that these will age for a couple of decades easily.

    And thanks for the nice write up on Burlotto Lange 2012. I thought the 2011 a bit too hot, but, on your note, bought a bottle of the 2012, which I opened last night and thought lovely. I may buy more if I can find the cellar space.

  • Sheila62 commented:

    2/21/14, 8:03 AM - I thought you would enjoy this email that I received from Marina Fogerty of Vallana:

    first of all, thank you so much for purchasing our wine and I really hope you will enjoy it with as much pleasure and passion as we put in producing it! As the word cuvee suggests, our Bernardo Vallana is not so much focused of enhancing a single vineyard (obviously a cru) but it is focused on expressing the style of our winery and what we think is the best expression of the «Spanna» appellation in the region of Alto Piemonte. For this reason, the grapes are sourced in a selection of sites spread around the whole appellation and a selection is made in the cellar, in order to choose only the best expression of the wine. The use of pesticides is kept to a minimum in the vineyard (we have laws that impose the use of pesticides against a specific insect which is the vehicle of Flavescenza Dorata, the most disgraceful epidemic which can hit a vine. The law is imposed by the government) and the common practice for canopy management is to spray with Bordeaux mixture against fungal diseases which are quite an issue in the area due to humidity.

    I’m sure you’ve already read a lot about how Nebbiolo/Spanna interacts with our terroir, but I also have some new information which come from a geological research which has very recently been published. Alto Piemonte literally lies on a super volcano crater which is set in Prato Sesia, a small town on the border between Gattinara and Boca. The composition of the soil in this small part of the world is virtually unique: from a geological point of view, this is one of the most interesting areas of the world, as there is an endless variety of minerals in the soil, and geologists have started to come from all over the world to explore the area. There is just another area in the world which can be compared to Alto Piemonte under this respect: the Supervolcano of Yellowstone (Rocky Mountains, Wyoming).

    The pH of the soil in Alto Piemonte is acidic, and such a rich composition coming from the (super) volcanic origin of the soil adds a unique character to the grapes. From a flavor point of view, the pH and the cooler climate (the landscape is hilly) explain why the wine has such an important acidic backbone which allows it to age for decades; and we also notice that the wine develops more floral notes and a more delicate body in comparison with Nebbiolo from the Langhe area (alkaline soil, warmer climate, less steep hills, different origin of the soil).

    We are very excited to have discovered that the complexity of minerals in the soil of Alto Piemonte is unique in the world: in fact, as I have mentioned above, ours is not simply a Volcano but a SuperVolcano (a rare phenomenon, it means that the composition of the soil is extraordinarily complicated as far as the minerals are concerned - much more than an ordinary volcano - although from a geologist point of view it is a much more complex story)!

    I just thought that this news would be interesting and exciting for you, since I'm sure that there is nothing in the internet about it yet!!! (or at least, there might me scientific articles but definitely nothing about in in wine related websites!). Oh…I must not forget: the super volcano has been completely inactive for millions of years and it is 100% extinguished! So we can now enjoy the benefits and we must not worry like for Etna or Vesuvius :-)

    Maybe you are interested in knowing that we will release single vineyard wines as well in the future: I’m sure The Rare Wines will be among the first to have them available!

    I hope this background will add excitement to your tasting! Please get back to me if you have further questions…and let me know your opinion on the wine! Best regards, Marina

    she also said in a letter email to me:

    I would drink some in 3 years (2017), some in 5 and definitely some in 10. After 10 years I would decide wether to finish it or leave some…we definitely have wines that age for over 30 years (even 50) but even in wines from the same lot there can be variation after such a long time…I have kept a few hundred bottles of that lot for myself too…maybe this is a sign for you that I’m betting the wine is going to keep well!

  • bags commented:

    2/21/14, 8:12 AM - Many thanks for this. We are traveling along northern Italy this summer, and I'm hoping to stop in at Vallana. This is quite helpful and interesting.

  • Sheila62 commented:

    9/7/14, 12:44 PM - Just curious if you visited vallana. I will be southern piedmont in the fall.

  • bags commented:

    9/7/14, 1:47 PM - No, I couldn't quite manage that. I did have a wonderful visit with Ferrando on the way south to Barolo land. I envy your going in the Fall.

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