Alto Piemonte Reviews – Vinous

Posted on Posted in Azienda Vitivinicola Massimo Clerico, Honors, Luigi Ferrando, Monsecco, Noah, Reviews, Wine Press

Vinous recently posted an article and set of tasting notes featuring the Alto Piemonte. From our growers, Antonio Galloni reviewed Noah, Monsecco, Massimo Clerico and Luigi Ferrando.

Vinous Tasting Notes


2015 Croatina (Coste della Sesia)
The 2015 Croatina (Coste della Sesia) is a gorgeous, translucent wine loaded with character. Licorice, plum, lavender, mint and sweet spices all grace this very pretty, nuanced wine from Noah. Still fresh and vibrant, the Croatina captures all of the energy that makes the wines of Alto Piemonte so appealing. Score 89 Drinking Window 2019 – 2030

2014 Bramaterra
The 2014 Bramaterra is a pretty, gracious wine. Sweet red cherry, kirsch, mint, dried flowers and crushed red berries are all nicely lifted in this gracious, polished Bramaterra. Perfumed and light on its feet, the 2014 is understated but also quite persistent. Drink it over the next decade. Score 90 Drinking Window 2019 – 2027

2014 Lessona
The 2014 Lessona is a bold, bracing red. Seet red cherry, chalk, iron, cinnamon, leather and cedar notes give this potent Alto Piemonte red a good bit of aromatic complexity. Classically austere, yet deep, the 2014 is a terrific wine for the dinner table. Although not especially forthcoming, the 2014 will drink well with alongside hearty foods that can handle the tannins. Score 90 Drinking Window 2020 – 2030

2013 Bramaterra
The 2013 Bramaterra is fabulous. Deceptive in its mid-weight structure, the 2013 is a wine of resonance, vertical reach and, most importantly, real pedigree. Dried flowers, herbs, mint, dried cherry and tobacco all meld together effortlessly. Time in the glass brings out a whole range of floral and savory overtones that add aromatic dimension. Vivid and enticing, the 2013 Bramaterra will delight readers for many years to come. Score 93 Drinking Window 2020 – 2030


2018 Vespolina Barbatasso (Colline Novaresi)
The 2018 Vespolina Barbatasso (Colline Novaresi) is a pretty, fruity wine with lovely red berry, floral and savory character. Drink it over the next few years. Score 88 Drinking Window 2020 – 2024

2017 Uva Rara Massotondo (Colline Novaresi)
The 2017 Uva Rara Massotondo (Colline Novaresi) is soft and attractive, with pretty red berry, floral, spice, cedar and mint character. Open-knit aromatics and soft, pliant fruit make the 2017 a good choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Score 89 Drinking Window 2020 – 2025

2015 Sizzano
The 2015 Sizzano is gracious and understated, not to mention wonderfully alluring. Bright red cherry, orange peel, dried flowers and mint are all finely-knit. Translucent, ethereal and light on its feet, the 2015 has so much to offer. It is one of the prettiest wines I have tasted from Monsecco. Score 92 Drinking Window 2020 – 2030

2015 Nebbiolo Pratogrande (Colline Novaresi)
The 2015 Nebbiolo Pratogrande (Colline Novaresi) is attractive, but also light and forward, which suggests it is best enjoyed over the near-to-medium term. Dark cherry, tobacco, licorice, plum and hints of darker shades of Nebbiolo all grace this lithe Nebbiolo from Monsecco with a good bit of complexity from its aging. I would drink it sooner rather than later before the fruit fades too much further. Score 88 Drinking Window 2020 – 2024

2014 Gattinara Osso
The 2014 Gattinara Osso is dominated by green, vegetal notes that are distracting. This is very hard to taste. Score 80 Drinking Window 2020 – 2022

2013  Ghemme Pelizzane
Monsecco’s 2013 Ghemme Pelizzane is a burly, rustic wine. Dark cherry, earthiness, licorice and menthol all develop in the glass, but the Ghemme never really finds its focus. Even so, there is good potential here if those issues are resolved in the future. Score 88 Drinking Window 2020 – 2028

Massimo Clerico

2015 Coste della Sesia Ca’ Du Leria
The 2015 Coste della Sesia Ca’ Du Leria is a dark, sumptuous wine laced with dark cherry, plum, new leather, licorice and spice. The richness and ripeness of the year are evident, and yet the Ca’ du Leria remains translucent and faithful to its origins. Readers should expect an unusually ample northern Piedmont red. The 2015 needs time for some of the coarseness of that tannin to soften. Score 90 Drinking Window 2020 – 2030

2014 Spanna
The 2014 Spanna is an incredibly beautiful wine, especially for an entry-level wine. Bright, floral and very nicely lifted, the 2014 has so much to offer. Clerico’s Spanna is not a huge or massively structured wine, but it does very faithfully capture the essence of both Nebbiolo and the year. I loved it. Score 92 Drinking Window 2018 – 2029

2012 Lessona Riserva The 2012 Lessona Riserva is ample, creamy and voluptuous, and yet it also avoids some of the excess heaviness and ripeness found in other wines of the year. Sweet red cherry, blood orange, mint, dried flowers and anise add aromatic nuance to this super-expressive, nuanced Lessona. Score 94 Drinking Window 2020 – 2032

2013 Lessona Riserva
Clerico’s 2013 Lessona Riserva is s laced with sweet dried cherry, herbal and floral notes. Readers will find a decidedly gracious, ethereal Lessona that is all about aromatics, energy and persistence. I expected more here. Score 86 Drinking Window 2020 – 2022


2018 Erbaluce di Caluso Torrazza
The 2018 Erbaluce di Caluso Torrazza is absolutely delicious.Apricot, orange peel, yellow flowers and dried herbs give the 2018 gorgeous exoticism that is not at all overdone. Rich in flavor as well as texture, but also light on its feet, the 2018 is impossible to resist. This is such a gorgeous and distinctive white. Score 91 Drinking Window 2019 – 2023

2017 Erbaluce di Caluso Cariola
The 2017 Erbaluce di Caluso Cariola is rich, phenolic and wonderfully textured. Orange confit, candied apricot, chamomile and honeyed notes abound. The 2017 manages to be quite rich – almost unctuous – and yet remains translucent and full of saline energy. Both Ferrando whites are absolutely terrific. Score 93 Drinking Window 2019 – 2024

2017 Rosso Terrazza (Canavese)
The 2017 Canavese Rosso Terrazza is a very pretty introductory level wine in this range. Sweet floral and savory notes perk up a core of bright red-toned fruit in a gracious, lithe Rosso that offers tons of character and pure deliciousness in an approachable style that is impossible to resist. This is an absolutely delicious wine from Ferrando. Score 90 Drinking Window 2020 – 2027

2015  Carema Etichetta Bianca
The 2015 Carema Etichetta Bianca is such a gorgeous wine. Dried cherry, tobacco, licorice, spice, mint and dried flowers give the 2015 striking aromatic openness, but there is plenty of mineral-drenched tannic backbone that gives this wine its distinctive personality. Medium in body, taut and full of character, the 2015 hits all the right notes. It should also start drinking relatively early and age effortlessly for many years. Score 94 Drinking Window 2022 – 2035

2015 Carema Etichetta Nera
The 2015 Carema Etichetta Nera is absolutely stellar. In many vintages, I prefer the Etichetta Bianca, but in 2015, the Etichetta Nera (Black Label) has an extra kick of freshness and body, while the oak is as well-balanced as I have ever seen in this bottling. All of that adds up to a Carema that is positively dazzling from the very first taste. Dark cherry, plum, spice, leather, menthol and licorice develop in the glass, but it is the wine’s vertical energy and overall balance that leave the longest impression. This is a positively dazzling wine in every sense. Score 96 Drinking Window 2022 – 2040

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