About this wine
Osvaldo's first Nascetta plantings were in 2008 and he produced his first vintage 3 years later.
100% Langhe Nascetta in the La Morra vineyards of Bricco Pichera, Serra dei Turchi and Roggeri with clay, calcareous and sandy soil. At an altitude of 250-300m, the vineyards face east and yield 70 hl/ha.
Vinification is at controlled temperatures for 7-10 days in steel tanks with the sediment, where it stays for several months until bottling (August for this vintage). Typically, he's capable of producing 3,000 bottles but in 2017 only 1,800. The wine needs about a year in the bottle to resolve and will hold there for 5 or so more years.
About the grape
Nascetta is a white wine grape exclusively native to the town of Novello in Piedmont, which was best known for Barolo. Originally, it likely was used to produce sweet wine. For decades, it was virtually non-existent. No surprise as it is a real pain to manage. The vines grow wildly, yet the fruit production is minimal. The bunches are tight and subject to rot and also prone to “millerandage” or significant variation in berry size.
An increasing number of Langhe estates (maybe a couple of dozen) are producing Nascetta and not just because it’s the only indigenous white grape. It can produce wines with remarkable aromatics, expressiveness, brightness and structure. Total plantings are only 24ha (including vines planted outside of Novello. It was conferred DOC status in 2002 and became an appellation in 2010.
About the vintage
2017 was an uncommonly stable and uneventful (at least for these days) growing season. Winter snow melt offset the dry, hot summer and the spring frosts were confined to the valleys. Cool late summer nights allowed for proper ripening and most harvested a week or more earlier than usual.
Our tasting impressions
A good dose of spicy white fruits are lifted by significant acidity. No absence of mineral flavors either that provide a lovely touch of bitterness. A singular white wine with real precision and cut. This is really hard to describe but is definitely worth a taste.
On your table
Honestly, we haven't experimented that much since there isn't all that much of this wine. Our sense is that it is very flexible. Lemony seafood comes to mind as do vegetables, even tough to pair ones like asparagus and maybe fennel. Spicy food also might do well. Have some fun! Serve slightly chilled (low 50's).
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Osvaldo Viberti located in La Morra produces Barolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Langhe Nebbiolo and a little known but wonderful white called Langhe Nascetta. The 10-hectare Azienda produces about 40,000 bottles per year with input from a winemaking consultant.
Osvaldo remembers fondly helping his grandfather farm grapes to sell from their vineyards. His father began making wine but not bottling. In 1993, Osvaldo took control and began bottling and marketing his wine. Today, he is joined in this endeavor by his wife Carla and children Paolo and Anna.
Viberti farms naturally and organically without certification. He has not used pesticides in 3 years. All the bunches are destemmed and almost all of the fermentation is naturally occurring. He does manual pump-overs and pushes down the caps.
There is something uncommonly nice about Osvaldo. Ten minutes after meeting him, we felt a bond as if we had known him forever. He is humble, sincere and genuinely kind and you can taste these attributes in his excellent wines. By the way, he also makes amazing roasted hazelnuts.