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Captivating” Rare Value from the Hands Behind Conterno Barolo Monfortino
May 11, 2020

New Noble Nebbiolo Arrivals from 2016 Alto Piemonte. Plus The Monfortino Alternative From the Historic Grand Cru-Like Vineyard Of Gattinara and Barolo Royalty — At a Fraction of the Price.

“There is no question that the most exciting development in Alto Piemonte is Roberto Conterno’s recent acquisition of Nervi in Gattinara. Nervi is the oldest winery in Gattinara and owns several choice vineyards, including Molsino….” — Antonio Galloni

If you love Italian wines, you have likely heard the overwhelming positive press around the 2016 vintage and the prized wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. But what you should know is that these powerful words extend well beyond the boundaries of the King and Queen of Wines to Alto Piemonte. In particular, the small region of Gattinara, which lies about 90 miles to the north of Barbaresco, really stands out. It is in this under-the-radar region that the noble Nebbiolo delivers exceptional value, especially in the hands of Piemonte royalty.

And that value begins with Nervi (now Nervi-Conterno), maker of one of Alto Piemonte’s benchmark Gattinara bottlings and the region’s oldest cantina. The estate shook up the wine world two years ago when Roberto Conterno, the current owner of the legendary Giacomo Conterno (Monfortino) in Barolo, acquired Nervi. Conterno has been a silent consultant of Nervi since 2013, but the newest releases now have the Roberto Conterno touch and DNA running through the wines. From the entry-level Gattinara Normale to the single-vineyard crus from grand cru-like terroir, Valferana and Molsino, these wines are simply stunning, offering bright acidity, minerality, and classic Nebbiolo purity. Today we are excited to highlight the exciting new release of the straight Nervi-Conterno Gattinara from the standout 2016 vintage — the finest since 2004 and 2010. At under $50, this is one of the rare expressions of Nebbiolo delivered with such a sterling pedigree. It is a wine that Antonio Galloni echoes our opinion when he notes that “readers who want to get a sense of what the future holds at Nervi will get plenty of answers here [2016 Gattinara]. This is such a captivating wine.”

Under Roberto Conterno’s leadership, Nervi will certainly be an estate to follow in the upcoming years, and it is well worth grabbing the 2014 Nervi-Conterno Gattinara Vigna Molsino and 2016 Nervi-Conterno Gattinara now before they are snapped up by collectors and connoisseurs alike!

Featured Wines: Flagship Release From Historic Estate - Nervi Gattinara (Click to Order)

If you are unfamiliar with Gattinara, it is part a small region to the north of Barolo and Barbaresco called Alto Piemonte. Situated closer to the Alps, this under-the-radar region focuses on stunning terroir-driven Nebbiolo that also delivers incredible value. This past summer, Antonio Galloni highlighted the wines of the region, calling the Nebbiolos of Alto Piemonte “The Last Frontier!” The best vineyard sites in Alto Piemonte and Gattinara DOCG are laden with volcanic soils and cool conditions that “yield bright, focused red wines that have the underlying minerality and acid profile to age effortlessly for years, and in many cases, decades.” These terroir-driven Nebbiolo wines show a distinctive style, while still delivering on the typical flavor profile of the “King of Wines and the Wine of Kings.” We highly recommend these stunning Gattinaras to any Nebbiolo or Pinot Noir aficionados.

Additional Notes and Reviews:

Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Nervi is the oldest producer in the remote, ancient village of Gattinara — about 90 miles above Barolo and Barbaresco in northern Piedmont (or Alto Piemonte). Over the past few years, the respected estate has asked for some additional guidance from the strong hand of Roberto Conterno. He was just an added contribution to the already established foundation that dates back to 1906, but Conterno is now quietly taking control of the ancient estate and vines. And while many collectors’ eyes are on the grand cru-like expression from the vineyard of Vigna Molsino, it is the normale, or straight Gattinara cuvée, that is the perfect pizza wine for us. In 2016, from Napa to Bordeaux, Bolgheri to Burgundy, and Rhone Valley to Piemonte, Mother Nature blessed the Earth with arguably the finest universal vintage since 2010 and 1990. Explosive red fruit nuances, wild berries, dried cherries, a touch of kirsch, crushed roses, tea, brown spices, herbs and saline, and under the explosive red fruit, there is a linear focus and energy. Finishes firm and dry as Nebbiolo should, and is the perfect complement to Ken Forkish’s homemade sausage and mushroom pizza.”

94 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: Nervi's 2016 Gattinara from Nervi is superb. Sweet red cherry, mint, juniper berry and wildflowers are some of the many notes that soar out of the glass. The 2016 is distinguished by its brilliant aromatic presence and tremendous purity of fruit. Even just bottled, the 2016 exudes precision and nuance to burn. Of course, the 2016 needs time, but readers who want to get a sense of what the future holds at Nervi will get plenty of answers here. This is such a captivating wine.”

Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “In many ways, this is the Monfortino value alternative that lives in the shadows of Barolo. It is another take on Nebbiolo from Barolo royalty, Roberto Conterno and Molsino, the grand cru-like vineyard of Gattinara. Like traditional Barolo, there is a deceiving translucent hue to this wine. On the nose, the wine takes you to the Langhe Hills with intoxicating notes of macerated cherries, raspberry, tar, underbrush, and herbal notes. These nuances continue through the palate with light accents of tart and succulent red fruit, dried cherries, crushed roses, black tea, citrus peel, brown spices, and salinity that hint at so much more. It is a juicy, expansive wine that remains extremely light on the palate with its energetic core. And with some recommended aeration, the austerity and firm Nebbiolo tannins soften, filling out on the palate and revealing more texture with warming red fruits that will evolve alongside the staining floral notes, baked earth, leather, sweet tobacco, and awesome flavor spectrum that only Nebbiolo can deliver. It begins as a high tone wine for the old school Barolo, Sangiovese, Burgundy, and Rioja enthusiasts. Surprisingly, I had this with iron skillet salmon, some charred, smoky kale greens, seared jalapeno, and shallots and it worked rather nicely. Again, this is a wine for enthusiasts of high toned, energetic, understated wines — count me in. Bravo.”

94 Points, Monica Larner, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Roberto Conterno tells me he prefers the 2014 Gattinara Vigna Molsino over his other single-vineyard expression from the Vigna Valferana. I tend to agree given this wine's large span of beautiful aromas. This is a deep and expressive Nebbiolo that starts with plump fruit tones and ends with drying mineral nuances. There is a touch of white pepper too. Bring this one out for pheasant or other game bird roast. Starting in 2018, the Nervi estate is fully under the control of Roberto Conterno of the Giacomo Conterno estate in Monforte d'Alba. Although Roberto Conterno promises that he will not change the Nervi house style, it will be fascinating to taste this wine in a few years, when it is under the full tutelage of the maker of Monfortino. One thing must be said for both Monfortino and Molsino-these wines benefit from first rate quality of fruit."

This is an email ONLY offer! Should you have any questions on these exciting wines, or would like to take advantage of this offer, we are asking that you email orders back to me at, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.

All my best,