Gattinara Strikes a Nerve
Unquestionably the greatest of the great Barolo producers is Giacomo Conterno. Giacomo's grandson, Roberto, is now at the helm of the winery and the reputation has only grown stronger in recent years. Every wine produced in this legendary cellar is hard to get and hard to afford. There is a new option, however, for the nebbiolo lover eager to try the wines of Roberto Conterno.
In 2018 Roberto purchased Nervi, an historic winery in the Alto-Piemonte region of Gattinara. Barolo is a grand region covered with thousands of acres of Nebbiolo and dotted with castles among its imposing hills. Gattinara is quite different: a humble little town with just over 200 acres of vines to its DOCG. Still this small region has long been known for making Nebbiolo which can challenge Barolo, and never more than now.
The Conterno name entering the region is a game changer for this small DOCG, and overnight the prices jumped. While the purchase was finalized in 2018, wines starting with the 2014 vintage are labeled under the new Nervi-Conterno label and already garnering huge praise for the elegant style of Nebbiolo.
We were fortunate to be able to acquire some of the 2015 Gattinara before the vintage went out of stock, although expect higher praise and a higher price for the 2016 and beyond. Besides the standard Gattinara, Nervi Conterno also produces two single site riserva bottlings which are destined to become some of Piedmont's most sought after wines, and I highly recommend stocking some for both future value and drinking pleasure.