When you think of Piemonte, you probably (logically) think Nebbiolo. However, Piemonte is home to a number of ancient varietals as well- one of my favorite being the Nebbiolo di Dronero grape from Saluzzo.
The other day I was reminded of a great wine I have always loved… Marco Giordanino’s “Saluces”, a mono-varietal wine made from the indigenous grape Nebbiolo di Dronero (also known as “Chatus”). This grape makes a wine that looks nothing like typical Piemontese Nebbiolo. It is darker, richer in color and with more brambly blackberry on the nose. There is a very regal elegance to the wine, which speaks to a deft hand with a limited amount of oak in the cellar. The wine is fleshy, and showcases a beautiful long acidity that pairs well with hearty, grilled meats and strong cheeses.
In fact, we enjoyed a bottle of the 2003 with a beautiful veal chop at CARNEVINO, where they offer this wine by the glass (although, once you taste this, one glass would never suffice!).
Nebbiolo di Dronero has a long and quirky history, stemming from France, where the grape is known as Chatus in parts of France. Italian documentation has been discovered proving that Nebbiolo di Dronero has been cultivated in the foothills of the Alps since 1300!
Marco Giordanino and the good people of Giordanino Teresio winery are committed to these traditional wine grape varietals because they represent an important part of Italian history. It would be easier to grow, bottle and market more commonly “understood” wines, but this would be to systematically destroy part of their heritage. Instead, Giordanino Teresio simply keeps firmly along the path of authenticity. The winery, vines and the rest of the estate are farmed responsibly- and in fact some of the fruit from other parts of the estate is sold to some very well-known companies for their organic baby food products. This is a winery worth searching for- get the wine in your mouth and I guarantee you’ll know what I mean.
Miki and Mike.
And if this isn’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what would!