Nervi-Conterno Gattinara DOCG 2018, Piedmont, Italy

Nervi is the oldest winery in Gattinara. Gattinara is home to some of the best Nebbiolo vineyards in the world. Nervi is the oldest operating winery in Gattinara and comprises 28.5 hectares across some of the region’s top crus. Originally founded in 1906, the winery was purchased by Robert Conterno, who has since brought renovations and advancements to the estate’s three single-vineyard wines. Their Gattinara cuvée is vinified in a combination of steel/oak and is marked by notes of savory red berries, white pepper, and ash. Roberto Conterno acquired Nervi in 2018, and this is the first vintage in which the brand name is listed as Conterno Nervi (as opposed to Nervi Conterno, or just Nervi). Fully under his winemaking watch, the 2018 Gattinara comes from a vintage that performed well in this part of Alto Piemonte. Roberto had the confidence to produce his two single-vineyard expressions (Vigne Molsino and Valferana) in 2018, which is not exactly intuitive, as the growing season proved more challenging in other parts of Piedmont. But Roberto interprets each vintage with a keen eye and deft approach that is often contrary to his peers. I think what stands out here is the freshness, the balance of acidity that plays nicely into the minerality of the wine and the brightness of its wild rose and redcurrant flavors. This Gattinara carries a lot of fruit and primary intensity, all backed by subtle touches of balsam herb and soft tarry end notes. This 2018 underlines the elegance in Nebbiolo.