From Vine Farmer:
Vine Farmer is proud to have introduced the wines of Cascina Val Del Prete, Roero's leading grower for natural farming and traditional cellar work, to the East Coast. Chastised in the past for farming the difficult way, Cascina Val Del Prete is now leading a wave of new farming standards in Roero as more growers look to realize the heights that they have demonstrated are possible and that were known historically.
Farming Arneis, Barbera and Nebbiolo, it's the Nebbiolo based wines that soar the highest. They are never over extracted or dark in color despite long maceration times; combining structure with detail and finesse and highlighting a paradoxical phenomenon where longer maceration yields wines of grace. This practice is shared with traditional Barolo producers. However, where Barolo is more about tar and rose, these wines combine deep cherry, rose and chinato spice - truly beautiful and aromatically vibrant wines with a touch of exoticism. Make no mistake: these Nebbiolo based wines showcase the varietal in all its triumphant glory.
Serious connoisseurs of Nebbiolo should take note - perhaps the most intriguing clue to the true nobility of Roero is that it is one of the few regions in the world with the historical record needed to map out a quality hierarchy of vineyards. In fact, Roero's recent MGA designations doing just that place Roero among the handful of other classified regions in the world - regions such as Burgundy, Barolo, Barbaresco and the Mosel.
The Wine - Cascina Val Del Prete's Nebbiolo d'Alba is a selection from the Bricco Medica (Alfalfa hill) portion of the Madonna Delle Grazie MGA. The Bricco Medica slope is East facing, behind the family farmhouse, and is comprised of 16 year old vines. Grape selection for the estate is always severe, and the resulting wine is not a second selection of grapes. It is a first selection of grapes from a fruit health perspective; these grapes are simply less ripe than those destined for the Bricco Medica bottling. Even so, this wine sees the long maceration time that the family prefers for paradoxically bringing more finessed to Nebbiolo based wines.
The resulting wine is fresh, elegant and soars from the glass with classic Nebbiolo aromas of cherry, chinato and rose. This is the agile and transparent side of Nebbiolo that admirers of high-toned Burgundy will find particularly appealing. Although friendlier than the other Nebbiolo wines from the estate, it is not an easy wine, typically having the signature of the more exalted bottles, in more modest proportions. In short, "entry level" Nebbiolo is rarely a wine to take too lightly, in the hands of the right growers.
March 2020 Check In - This wine has a transparency and jewel-like nature to its particularly bright red fruit, per the excellent vintage. I love the refreshing acidity to this wine and its amazing drinkability right now. This truly invites and begs for another sip. Orange peel, airy red cherry, raspberry, chinato spice and rose water all effortlessly rise from the glass. It has a beautiful symmetry in a light to medium bodied frame that lends a feeling of both elegance and structure. No decant is needed as this wine is so nicely balanced upon opening. However, it should age gracefully for at least 10 years.