Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Visit to Cantina Rizzi

This was my first visit to Cantina Rizzi, and I was happy to have the opportunity to get out to Treiso to taste, because I don't know the Rizzi wines well.

It is a large property spanning 60 hectares of vines, although a portion of the resulting wine is sold off in bulk.

It is also very beautiful out on the hill. In fact, if you recall the Wine Atlas of the Langhe it is the Rizzi cantina that is on depicted on its cover.

Enrico Dellapiana led us on a tour of the grounds.

Despite what it looks like in these pictures, Enrico is a super affable guy, and as a far as I can discern, a very popular dude with the younger generation of Piemontese.

The Boito portion of the Rizzi cru, depicted above, is the source of some of Rizzi's best wines. The Boito Barbaresco from 2006 was particulary good when we tried it before lunch.

These grapes were almost ready to be harvested.

Enrico's father Ernesto founded the Rizzi winery in 1974. His winemaking employs complete desteming, fermentation in stainless steel, pumping over a few times a day, 25 days of maceration on the skins for the Nebbiolo, and a combination of ageing in oak (mostly botti) and cement. Yeasts are of the selected kind. Ernesto is a salt of the vineyard type guy, and has to be reminded by his son to remove his boots so as not to track mud from the rows through the tasting room.

Several Barbarescos are produced at Rizzi, but Enrico seems especially proud of the Metodo Classico Extra Brut, a sparkling wine made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Nebbiolo. The 2008 base is a tasty bit of Piemontese bubbles, with a leesy quality lent from 36 months on the spent yeast. As for the Barbarescos, Enrico said that they are aiming for drinkability, and there does seem to be an open knit character to the reds.

There is also a dessert wine based on Moscato, the labels for which Enrico paints by hand himself.

It was a pleasure to stop in at Rizzi and taste.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I love your photos and captions. Detailed and unique. Big fan of your podcast. Thank you for sharing.

leviopenswine said...

Thanks, Anon!

Enrico Dellapiana said...

Thanks Levi for the article! It was a plaisure to meet you in my cellar!
Ci vediamo presto.



leviopenswine said...

Ciao, Enrico!