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Giuseppe “Pin” Rivetti and his wife, Lidia, were both very experienced and dedicated farmers. In the early 60’s, still in the reconstruction era after the Second World War, they began looking to the future of their vineyards and winery. All of their children, Carlo, Bruno, Giorgio, and Giovanna would become involved in the family business, eventually assuming control with the support of their parents. This inner familial transfer of knowledge and practices would be the defining strand throughout the successful history of La Spinetta. In 1977, the family began the first production of Moscatos; Bricco Quaglia and Biancospino.  This was when they moved to La Spinetta, in Castagnole Lanze, which is in the heart of Moscato d’Asti.  This was groundbreaking, as these were among the first single cru Moscatos ever produced. This proved to be very successful. Therefore, in 1982, they released their first red wine; Barbera Ca di Pian. This was not basic, gimme-a-glass-of-red, Barbera.This was oak, aged, vineyard select, cerebral Barbera. This, too, was a success. Therefore in 1989, paying Homage to their father, they released “Pin.” This oak aged blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera, would be received as an eclectic, modern, innovation. Over time, it would become iconic.

 

The development and production of “Pin” would be instrumental in preparing the Rivettis for their foray into Barbaresco. Therefore, the release of their first Barbaresco, Gallina, in 1995, was a complete success in every sense. This would be followed by Starderi in 1996, and then Valeirano in 1997. Philosophically, these three sister wines are meant to be expressions of the sites, as all three are treated identically in the winery. Therefore, the nuanced contrasts between them, are rightly viewed as the result of place.

 

Additionally in 1997, La Spinetta’s Gallina Cru began producing Barbera d’Alba. It was a breakthrough for Barbera, as this prestigious site would produce a version of this wine that is so very unique and unlike anything prior, it would redefine the possibilities of this noble Italian variety. This advance would soon be followed in 1998 with the release of their Barbera d’Asti Superiorie Bionzo. From ancient vines, many of which exceeding 100 years of age, this Barbera  would offer staggering complexity, along with structure and aging potential previously unknown to this variety.

 

The next venture would be Barolo. As the new millennium arrived, the Rivettis acquired a handful of hectares in Grinzane Cavour. Giorgio Rivetti was able to foresee the potential for this site to produce Barolo that was both unique, and archetypal. Next in 2001, the Rivettis unveiled their first endeavor outside of Piemonte. The Casanova della Spinetta winery in Tuscany was born out of a desire to experiment. However, keeping to their core philosophy, the family shunned the trends of the time in Tuscany, and instead pursued the traditional path. Therefore, rather than planting Bordeaux and Rhone varieties to producer Super Tuscans, they doubled down on the indigenous Sangiovese grape.

 

2011 would be a year of yet another epic leap for the Rivettis, with the acquisition of the fabled Piemontese sparkling house, Contratto. Arguably the best traditional method sparkling producer in Italy, this was not only a wise business move, but a passion project, as Giorgio, in particular, is a long lover of Champagne. Finally, in 2018, the most recent endeavor came to fruition with the purchase of hectares in the hills of Tortona, Piemonte, for the purposes of the production of Timorasso. The timing of this new project has been ideal, as there is new interest in this unique variety. Moreover the style of wine it has the potential to elaborate is quite popular worldwide in wines such as Chablis, Sancerre, Assyrtiko, and Albarino.

 

Oh, the use of the Rhinocerous on the labels, as well as the Lion on the Spinetta Barolo Campe is primarily because of Giorgio Rivetti’s love of the work of Albrecht Durer.

 

Vineyard sites include:

 

Gallina in Neive, Barbaresco.

 

This vineyard was purchased in 1995. It has southern exposure and totals 5.4 hectares. The average altitude is 250 meters above sea level. The average age of the vines is 55 years. The soils are Calcareous marl with light sand.

 

Starderi in Neive, Barbaresco

 

This vineyard was purchased in 1996 and is located in the hills just behind Gallina. It has southwest exposures and totals 4.5 hectares. The average altitude is 230 meters above sea level. The average age of vines is 55 years. The soils are blue-tinted calcerous marl, with a small percentage of clay.

 

Valeirano in Treiso, Barbaresco

 

This vineyard was purchased in 1997. It has a southwest exposure and totals 2.5 hectares. The average altitude is 380 meters above sea level. The average age of the vines is 55 years. The soils are clay-like limestone marl, of marine origin, and sandy.

 

Bordini Neive, Barbaresco

 

This vineyard was purchased in 2006 from the last of the Bordini family. The exposure is southeast and the vineyard totals 4.5 hectares. The average altitude is 240 meters above sea level. The average age of the vines is 40 years old. The soils are Calcareous marl, with light sand.

 

Bionzo Costigliole d’Asti

 

This vineyard was purchased by the Rivetti’s in 1998.  The exposure is south, and the vineyard is just under 5 hectares. The average altitude is 250 meters above sea level, and the vines average 60 years of age. The soils are Clay-like limestone and marl.

 

Garretti, Grinzane Cavour

 

This vineyard was acquired by the Rivettis in 2000. The vineyard is south facing, and the entire vineyard is 4.5 hectares, with a southern exposure. The average altitude is 240 meters above sea level, and the vines are an average of 70 years old. The soils are alluvial with a calcareous clay mantle.

 

Campe, Grinzane Cavour

 

This vineyard was acquired by the Rivettis in 2000. The vineyard is south facing, and the vineyard is 3.5 hectares. The average altitude is 280 meters above sea level. The vines are quite old, averaging 70 years of age. The soils are alluvial, with a calcareous clay mantle.

Campe is located within the upper and central areas of the Garretti vineyard. It is considered the best plot within the greater vineyard.

 

Sezzana, Casciana Terme

 

This vineyard was acquired by the Rivettis in 2001. This was their first vineyard in Tuscany.

The exposure is southwest, and the vineyard is just under 2 hectares. The average altitude is just under 160 meters above sea level. The average age of the vines is 30 years. The soils are rocky, with some travertine within.

 

Sassontino Terricciola

 

This vineyard was acquired by the Rivettis in 2002. The exposure is southeast, and the vineyard is 2.5 hectares. The average altitude is 200 meters above sea level. The vines of Sassontino averages around 30 years. The soils are sandy, from marine origins, replete with oceanic sediments.

 

Vermentino Toscano

 

This is 100% Vermentino from Terricciola. The marine sediment rich soils allow the Vermentino’s aromas to thrive. The wine is fermented with native yeasts, and aged on the lees for 3 months in stainless steel. This is a classical Mediterranean white; mineral driven, floral, salty, citrusy, and plenty of garrigue.

 

Il Rose di Casanova

 

This is 50/50 Sangiovese and Prugnolo Gentile. It is destemmed and then gently pressed. After a brief masceration with the free run juice, the wine is fermented for 10 days. It is then aged in stainless steel for 3 months prior to release.  In addition to the classic pink notes offered up in this rose, there are additional terroir-driven hews including citrus and wild herbs.

 

Il Nero di Casanova

 

This is 100% Sangiovese from the Casanova site, from vines aging around 20 years. The wine is macerated and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for about two weeks. Malolactic fermentation is carried out in used French oak barrels, followed by 12 months of aging. The wine is aged for an additional 3 months in bottle prior to release. This wine shows classic Sangiovese notes of cherries, kirsch, and subtle spice, along with darker notes of blueberries, blackberries, and a hint of cocoa. Drink this with game poultry, pasta with bell peppers and artichokes, or bruschetta with basil, tomatoes, and aged balsamic vinegar.

 

Chianti Riserva Casanova

 

This is 100% Sangiovese from the Casanova vineyard from vines aging 30 years old. Maceratioin and fermentation are done in temperature controlled stainless steel for two weeks. Malolactic fermentation occurs in used French oak barrels, followed by two years of aging. The wine is bottled and held 6 months prior to release. The calcium rich sandy soils enable intense floral notes, brambly, with violets, and garrigue. It is silky, savoury, and elegant. Drink with white bean stew, braised beef, or rosemary herbed lamb shanks.

 

Derthona Colli Tortonesi  

 

This is 100% Timorasso, a variety indigenous to Piemonte. The wine is destemmed before a gentle pressing. The wine is then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. After which it rests on the lees for 8 months. After filtration the wine is bottle aged for 3 months prior to release. This is tropical, citrusy and floral, with exceptional structure, and a long finish. The body is quite full, and the acid is ample. Drink this with garlicky shrimp, salt cod brandade, or crispy onion and herb fritters.

 

Barbera d’Asti Superiore Ca di Pian

 

This is 100% Barbera from vineyards in CAstagnole delle Lanze, and Costigliole d’Asti, and Montegrosso d’Asti.  The wine is macerated and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for 2 weeks. Malolactic fermentation is done in used French oak barrels, followed by two months of aging. The wine is aged in bottle for 3 months prior to release. This has classic Barbera notes of sour cherries, blackberries, cherry cola, and kirsch. Drink with chicken and vegetable stew, moderately aged gruyere, or pasta with sun dried tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, basil, and Pecorino Romano.

 

Langhe Nebbiolo

 

This is 100% Nebbiolo. The wine is macerated and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for two weeks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in used French oak barrels. It is then aged for 12 months. Before release it is bottle aged for 6 months. Fresh red berries and roses dominate, accompanied by violets, and the classic earth one expects. The tannins are ample, yet elegant, and the acid is predictably high. Drink with a thick medium rare ribeye, Carolina pork barbeque, or pork belly tacos.

 

Moscato d’Asti Bricco Quaglia

 

This is 100% Moscato from the Bricco Quaglia vineyard in the municipality of Mango. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for 3 months. This is exquisitely complex, with peaches, honeysuckle, lemon zest, sage, apricots, and spicy honey. Classic pairings include Gorgonzola dolce with pears, panettone, or take it the other way and have it with a spicy coconut green curry shrimp and rice.

 

Moscato d’Asti Biancospino

 

This is 100% Moscato from vineyards in Coazzolo and Castagnole delle Lanze. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for a month. This is springtime in a bottle; mandarin oranges, white flowers, lemon and lime zest, honeysuckle, geraniums. With loads of minerality, and jittery acid, this is a exceedingly versatile Moscato. It pairs well with hazelnut sweets, lemon curd and thyme, or with spicy lemongrass chicken and rice.

 

Barbaresco Bordini

 

This is 100 Nebbiolo from the Bordini vineyard in Neive. The wine is macerated and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for 2 weeks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in used French oak barrels, followed by 20 months of aging. Prior to release, it is bottle aged for 6 months. This is a very expressive wine with intense purple flower and rose notes on the nose and palate. Flavours of raspberry, sour cherries, and rose hip tea are supported by graceful tannins coiled with ample acid, and integrated alcohol. Drink this with red clam chowder, tagliatelle and meat ragu, or with braised beef ribs and mushrooms.

 

Barbaresco Starderi

 

This is 100% Nebbiolo from the Starderi vineyard in Neive. The wine is macerated and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels, 20% of which are new, followed by barrel aging for a 20 to 22 months. Prior to release it is bottle aged for typically 6 months. This Barbaresco is uniquely drinkable when relatively young. It offers a natural balance between tannins and acid, creating a vibrant body and weight. The palate offers bright, red, fruit including cherries, raspberries, and plums. Braised shredded beef and with polenta, roasted lamb leg with herbed potatoes, or sopes with suadera and ancho salso are all great pairing suggestions.

 

 

Barbaresco Gallina

 

This is 100% Nebbiolo from the Gallina vineyard in Neive. Maceration and fermentation was carried out in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for two weeks. Malolactic fermentation took place in French oak barrels, 20% of which were new, followed by aging from 20 to 22 months. The wine aged an additional 6 months in the bottle prior to release.  This is a small release of only about 500 cases per year. Gallina is a softer, feminine, elevate expression of Barbaresco, with velvety tannins infused with red floral notes, and precise defined red fruit, particularly bing cherries, and candied raspberries. This would be perfect a massive bowl of dried and fresh porcini mushrooms with petit pois, Reggiano Parmagiana, braised chicken, all drizzled with white truffle oil.

 

Barbaresco Valeirano

 

This is 100% Nebbiolo from the Valeirano vineyard site in Treiso.  Maceration and fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for two weeks. Malolactic fermentation is done in French oak, 20% of which was new, followed by 20-22 months of aging. The wine is aged an additional 6 months in bottle prior to release. This is a very well-structured, mineral driven Barbaresco. The nose and palate both offer tea leaf, kirsch, and subtle balsamic notes. The finish is long and intense, driven by ample, yet sophisticated tannins. The classic pairing with this wine would be a fresh, medium pasta, tossed with an Alpine wild boar ragu, and mounds of salty hard cheese and sage on top.

 

Barolo Campe

 

This is 100% Nebbiolo from the Campe a Grinzane Cavour site. Maceration and fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for two weeks. Malolactic fermentation is done in French oak, 20% of which was new, followed by 24 months of aging. The wine is aged an additional 12 months in bottle prior to release. This is a decidedly masculine wine. The aromas have classic rose notes with darker, brambly hews, intertwined with earthy notes of truffles, and wet earth. The palate leans into the dark berries adding plums, all situated on a bold tannic structure. The finish is long and mouth filling. This is ideal with a thick ribeye, porcini mushrooms stuffed with roasted tomatoes and smoked mozzarella, or slow roasted fatty pork loin with fresh herbs and white truffles.

 

Barolo Garetti

 

This 100% Nebbiolo from the Garretti a Grinzane Cavour site. Maceration and fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for two weeks. Malolactic fermentation is done in French oak, followed by 24 months of aging. The wine is aged an additional 12 months in bottle prior to release.  Despite the wine’s full body, there is almost perfect equilibrium between the ripe, dark red, fruits, the plush tannins, the elevated alcohol, and the generous acidity, replete with sour cherries and rose hips. This would be a great pairing for lovers of game stews, Lamb Navaran with roasted root vegetables and rosemary, or a two year aged Manchego drizzled with white truffle oil and mixed olives and herbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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