Diego Conterno, Langhe Nascetta 2020

Nascetta|Piedmont, Italy

"An exquisite grape, tending toward art."

Lorenzo Fantini described the indigenous Nascetta grape thusly in his seminal 1879 book "Wine Production and Oenology in the Province of Cuneo."

Cuneo, the province in which you'll find the magisterial wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, is home to much more than just its prized Nebbiolo vines. The local Nascetta (nah-SHETT-ah) varietal is rarely seen stateside, and this beauty comes from none other than the respected Conterno estate, in Monforte d'Alba, Barolo. 

Conterno's Nascetta is bright, sumptuously aromatic, and reminiscent of a Chenin Blanc with the minerality and tension of an alpine Pinot Grigio or Sancerre.

Orchard notes of pear and apple commingle with white blossoms, elderflower, crushed stone, alpine mint, and bright acidity on a finish laced with supple fruit, a rich and mouth filling yet lithe poise. I would guzzle this in any season, but it seems especially suited to these crisp fall days and scents of autumn leaves wafting through the air. Allow the wine to come up to room temeprature and revel 

Diego Conterno, along with his cousins, formed the Canterno-Fanino estate in 1982; he grew up around the familial vineyards and now owns some of the most prized parcels in Monforte d'Alba, including the epic Ginestra vineyard, from which they produce world-class Barolo. He and his son Stefano established the current iteration of the estate in 2000, and the future has never seemed brighter for this father-and-son operation. Their holdings are certified organic and comprise a mere 7.5 hectares of vines, meaning they tend to each vine with the utmost love, quality, and care.

Artisanal at every level: Hand harvested, fermented from native yeast in stainless steel, and bottled with minimal intervention. If “natural” wine is what you're after, this is as close to the real deal as you will find, period.

In the vineyard, Nascetta is a finicky, delicate grape to grow. This, along with the higher prices Nebbiolo commands, helps explain its scarcity. Conterno's Nascetta is a true labor of love, produced out of their passion and joy of Piedmont's "other" white wine. And at the best price in the nation, this is a gorgeous gem not to be missed!

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