Under the spell of Nascetta – Piemontes best kept secret

Nascetta

Less than a week ago I was standing in Amstel hotel surrounded by thirty wine producers from Piedmont. As you can understand, my love for Barolo is greater than my fear of the Corona virus.
Because it was only twelve o’clock in the morning and the thought of Nebbiolo for breakfast frightened me a bit, I suggested to start with some white wines. And so we did.

White wines from Piedmont

First I tasted two different Roero Arneis. One from Palazzo rosso and one from Marco Bonfante. Then a Monferrato bianco and Barbera vinified as a white wine. Especially the last one was a nice surprise. A full white wine that smelled like strawberries. Always fun.

Nascetta the discovery of the century

Just before we wanted to switch to red we decided to taste one last white wine, because we had never heard of it. A Nascetta.
Damn, what a discovery. Let’s be quiet for a minute.
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Our first Nascetta made sure that we finished all eight Nascetta’s present at the tasting in a row. What an interesting grape!

Nascetta in the glass

Semi aromatic with notes of stone fruit, citrus, sage and rosemary and some honey as a finishing touch. Mild acidity and tasty Italian bitters. Very quirky and yet also familiar in a way. It reminds of a Rhone blend and a Gruner Veltliner but with Italian elegance. You can certainly have a bite to eat with this wine but you don’t have to.
Most Nascettas ripen on stainless steel and a few undergo some wood education.

The history of Nascetta

The Nascetta falls under the DOC Nascetta Langhe and Nascetta del comune di Novello since 2010. This forgotten grape used to be very common around Alba and Mondovì, but at one point it was banished from the throne by King Nebbiolo. In the nineties the winery Elvio Cogno saved Nascetta from oblivion. Today there are only 9 producers who grow Nascetta, they all have only a few hectares of vineyards of this very difficult to grow grape with low yields.

Of all the Nascettas I tasted I found the Anas Cëtta of Elvio Cogno and the Gavetta Nas-cëtta the best.

Read here about the history of the Nascetta and order Elvio Cogno’s Nascetta here.

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