Gattinara San Francesco 2012
6 Bottle Mix $53.99 / 12 Bottle Mix $47.99
94 points - Antonio Galloni
The 2009 Gattinara San Francesco is drop-dead gorgeous. A layered, voluptuous, sexy Gattinara, the 2009 San Francesco is firing on all cylinders. Leather, smoke and licorice add complexity to the dark fruit in this deeply layered, expressive wine. The depth of color and fruit suggest the 2009 will drink well for years, but it is already fabulous.
The small DOCG of Gattinara is located far north of the Barolo/ Barbaresco zones in the Alpine foothills close to Lago Maggiore. The soils of this region are more acidic than those of the Langhe, which, paired with the cooler climate and altitude, results in highly fragrant, elegant wines at their best in hot years. Few estates remain in this historic northerly zone, but tenacious Antoniolo, established in 1949, is surely the most dynamic; Antoniolo was the first producer in the DOCG to bottle cru wines, and is one of the only to bottle 100% Nebbiolo without blending in other varietals. Proprietress Rosanna Antoniolo owns over 14 hectares of vineyards in five plots, and son, Alberto and daughter, Lorella, third generation Antoniolos now supervise every stage of winemaking. The Osso San Grato, San Francesco and Castelle vineyards yield selections and the standard Gattinara while Nebbiolo Juvenia and the Bricco Lorella rose come from the Borelle and Valferana vineyards. The “Osso” yields an imposing wine with structure and longevity, while “San Francesco” is the most delicate of the trio. Partly barrique-aged “Castelle” is a forward wine with ripe, pleasing fruit and rose petal aromas. Aging requirements are the same as those for the Barolo DOCG (three years, at least two in wood.) Each of the three 2004 cru Gattinara wines received 92+ scores from the Wine Advocate and the 2005 bottling of 'Osso' was rated "Italian Red Wine of the Year" by Gambero Rosso! These wines are an excellent lower-priced, off-the-beaten alternative to Barolo or Barbaresco.
#16116 Case: 750ML / 12