Contratto / La Spinetta Visit

Canelli, Italy

Tasted March 27, 2015 by Rezy13 with 611 views


Contratto winery
Tasting and dinner with Luca Cigliutti
Giorgio's sister made dinner for us.

Australian winemaking assistant gave us a tour. Very impressive.
250,000 bottles made per year
1,000,000 bottles in the caves (seemed like a sea of wine, but this is probably tiny compared to some Champagne houses)
established in 1867
Champagne/Traditional Method
only make vintage sparklers
36 months on lees
each bottle is touched 30 times!

Also got to see the historic recipe for the Vermouths (which I love) all the herbs and botanicals that go into them.

It was funny/seemingly awkward how the previous owners still live on the grounds.

Flight 1 - Dinner (13 notes)

We stood and had an assortment of appetizers with bubbles.
Then we sat down at the formal dining table.
We started with Rosé and Vermentino with cured meats then had several more courses after that.
Favorites included:
Asparagus with sunny side up eggs
Agnolotti (for the 3rd time but still delicious, rabbit pork and veal)
Roasted rabbit, tied up around a bunch of herbs, it was lean but went really well with the Nebbiolo.

White - Sparkling
2010 Giuseppe Contratto Piemonte Metodo Classico Brut Millesimato Italy, Piedmont, Piemonte DOC
3g; 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay; strong apple, red and green, brioche, floral nose, nice depth

served a second bottle disgorged 2 weeks later: green apple, yeasty, acid seems a bit sharper.
White - Sparkling
2010 Giuseppe Contratto Asti Blanc de Blancs Brut Costigliole Italy, Piedmont, Asti
Zero dosage; strong yeasty notes, golden apple, pear, hint of cider, lemon; good.
Rosé - Sparkling
2010 Giuseppe Contratto For England Rosè Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Alta Langa
100% Pinot Noir; light pink amber; sharp nose, faint strawberry, some yeast, honey; nice fuller palate, sour light cherry and strawberry, fresh acid; good.
White - Sparkling
2010 Giuseppe Contratto For England Pas Dosé Italy
Tart green and red apple, some rose, yeast, larger and fuller nose; larger on the palate though it maintains nice freshness; needs some richer food to pair with (grilled).
2014 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Il Rosé di Casanova Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
50% Sangiovese/50% Prugnolo Gentile; pale pink; fresh light strawberry, cherry, almost mineral, more Provencal; good crispness, nice body, sweet fruit, acid not harshly sharp; good.
2014 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Vermentino Casanova della Spinetta Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
Light straw color; bright nose, fresh, mineral driven, white pepper; good citrus on the palate, slight pear, nice body, salty finish; tasty.
2011 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barbera d'Asti Cà di Pian Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d'Asti
Very dark core, opaque, with duller purple rim; a lot of violets, mineral, almost grapey, sweet dark fruit, good tartness; dark fruit on the palate, juicy, some deep musky fruit, sage, slight leather, beef stock; serious, very good.
2010 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barolo Vigneto Garretti Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Garnet core with larger dull maroon rim, some clarity; high toned, elegant, dense, darker fruit, dark cherry, violets, sour plum; silky texture, some vanilla, fine strong tannin, very plum, sour darker cherry, dark raspberry, big but elegant; nice.
2011 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barbaresco Vürsù Vigneto Starderi Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
Dull purple with dull violet rim; polished nose, slight vanilla, dark cherry, softer raspberry, plum, nose became really spicy with more air, cinnamon came out too; solid palate, very firm, very compact, cedar, fresh sweet fruit; very good, some drinkability, with 1 hour of air or more this becomes delicious but I would probably set some aside for 10+ years.
2010 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barolo Vürsù Vigneto Campè Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Dull purple core with lighter reddish violet rim, some clarity; intensely perfumed, sweet meaty dark cherry, polish, dried herbs; tannins are slightly broader and more noble, dark cherry, slight orange oil, great balance; very good.
2004 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barolo Vürsù Vigneto Campè Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Dark garnet core with dull garnet rim; very similar character as the 2010 on the nose, a baby, sweet dark cherry, sandalwood, herbs, white truffle, violets/roses, slight cocoa; still youthful on the palate, super fine tannin, licorice, brandy warmth, ripe, silky, menthol; very modern but tasty; could use more time in bottle.
2004 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Sezzana Riserva Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
Served to us blind; 95% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino, held 10 years before being released; opaque core with thin reddish violet rim; big, ripe, aged, strong sandalwood, inky, tar; very sweet dark fruit, palate is less tannic than Nebbiolo, brooding, very ripe, some raisin, tobacco, drying tannin; fully mature so I wouldn't wait much longer on this.
2000 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barolo Vürsù Vigneto Campè Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Dark core, dull purple, paler rim but not showing a ton of age; tar, dark cherry, dried roses, very ripe almost raisin, licorice, anise, pure, still youthful, only showing some secondary nuances; rich and full, black currant, black cherry, liqueur like sappiness, menthol, still a pleasant grip; this is normally not my style but this was delicious.
1 person found this helpful Comment


A great meal and tasting. Very impressive how great they treated us.
We have a history with Giorgio having sold lots of his wine in the earlier years. He was out a couple weeks before we left tasting us on his new wines and he invited us up here.

Some awesome memories and 3 classic quotes this night:
"How has the feedback been with putting ISIS on your labels?" Response: "That is the date, 1515...?"
"What animal do these eggs come from?" (they were very different colored yolks) Resonse: "...chickens...?"
"Americans love happy endings." No response needed just uncontrollable laughing.

Luca was also very generous giving us a bottle each of the new Contratto Aperitif and Bitter...both delicious. He also gave me a bottle of 2004 Sassontino Riserva. All ended up getting consumed happily our last night in Barolo.

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