Wine Club – April 2023
Vino del Poggio, 2018
At the very beginning of the Trebbia Valley, amongst the more low-lying hills of Piacenta, Andrea Cervini began making wine in the town of Travo under the tutelage of Giulio Armani in 2016. Vino del Poggio is a relatively small project by the scale of the region’s mentors. Andrea has just about 4 hectares of vines, planted exclusively with the local varieties, and produces a small range of wines with lots of character. This month’s box brings you both the red and the white from Poggio, because they are wines that hit the nail on the head regarding typicity: showcasing perfectly the styles that have come to define this little cluster of natural winemaking. Il Poggio Rosso is a Barbera that is at once dark and stormy, with a rich, earthy undertone and a ripe red fruit, as well as a high acidity and a rustic tannin.
Casè is a long-standing natural wine house of the Trebbia Valley. Founded (and planted!) in 1998, after an extensive study of soil types and careful consideration of which variety should go where, the word of the day here is authenticity. Casèbianco is a mixture of 4 coplanted white varieties in a month-long maceration. They even say that the lengthy skin contact – and the grippy style of orange wine that results from it – is historically important in the region. Regardless of how long orange winemaking has been part of the history of Piacenza, it is certainly a modern tradition in the making, and Casè’s version is a reference point. Bright, tropical fruit aromatics, but not even close to sweet or cloying; potent, gastronomic, mouth-watering structure, but with the lift and pull to keep it driven anyway.
La Stoppa, 2012
They say that wines are not made like before. They say that natural winemakers and natural wine drinkers lack patience and that we make and drink the wines too young. But La Stoppa’s iconic Barbera, recently renamed for its vineyard Camporomano, is here to shut up any and all critiques of this kind. It’s a wine made in the most long-haul style of all: a lengthy and high-extraction maceration of 40 days, a notoriously elevated acid content (so much so, that it prevents the malolactic fermentation in some vintages), plus 2 years ageing in different sizes of oak. This is a wine that would destroy your mouth if it were drunk young; but Elena Pantaleoni’s modus operandi is to wait patiently. 10 years after its birth, there is nothing smoother, nothing more indulgent, and nothing more natural. A masterclass in what natural wine could be.
Vino di Fognano, 2021
Lambrusco gets a bad rap, mostly because a lot of it is, well, pretty bad. And although Le Bolle from Vino di Fognano is not really Lambrusco – for many reasons, principally because it’s not made from the Lambrusco grapes, but rather from Barbera – as a Lambrusco alternative from the major Lambrusco-producing region, it’s a vision of what Lambrusco could decide to be. In a sentence, this wine, made in a pet nat style, is fresh, bright, pink sparkling wine, with a creamy texture and a savoury aftertaste. Rosé bubbles are characteristic of Emilia Romagna, and Paolo Foppiano, with guidance once again from Giulio Armani, offers us the best possible version of the style. It’s the perfect bottle for the first barbecue of the year, as the weather warms up again and we move out of hibernation and into fresh air. Meant for an easy-going “cheers”.
Vino del Poggio, 2020
In the very beginning of the Trebbia Valley, amongst the more low-lying hills of Piacenta, Andrea Cervini began making wine in the town of Travo under the tutelage of Giulio Armani in 2016. Vino del Poggio is a relatively small project by the scale of the region’s mentors. Andrea has just about 4 hectares of vines, planted exclusively with the local varieties, and produces a small range of wines with lots of character. This month’s box brings you both the red and the white from Poggio, because they are wines that hit the nail on the head regarding typicity: showcasing perfectly the styles that have come to define this little cluster of natural winemaking. Il Poggio Bianco is a Malvasia, in all its wild-flower honey, terpenic glory. An orange wine for lovers of structured, aromatic orange wines. Pure joy and pure enjoyment!
Shun Minowa, 2019
Shun Minoya is the insider-outsider of Piacenza: a foreigner making wine in this traditional region. His version of a Piacenzan red is called “Anitya”, meaning “impermanence”. This is an important foundational concept for many of the world’s religions, especially Buddhism. In its essence, it refers to the idea that all existence is conditioned by finality, and that all mental and physical realities exist in a constant state of change and transience. Perhaps, then, this wine is one thing today and another thing tomorrow. Certainly, it means that this supple red wine will not last forever. You will open the bottle, you will be changed by it, it will be changed by you, and then it will be gone. Dear member, this wine will leave you different than when you open it, and we are confident that it will be a change for the better