We have finally received the first production of Proprieta Sperino Lessona 2004. This wine, the first produced in the Sperino cellar since 1952, is the result of an herculean effort by Paolo Demarchi of Isole e Olena fame in Chianti Classico and his son LUCA. It is the beginning of the restoration to its pre-1900 grandeur of the old family property at Lessona in north eastern Piemonte.
Senatore Sperino, a senator of the new Italian kingdom, and Paolo DeMarchi’s great-great uncle, produced Lessona wine. It was the most expensive wine sold in Italy in 1900s. (I have seen the evidence from the Corriere Vinicolo, Italy’s wine Wall Street Journal.) The nebbiolo based wines from this area, between Biella and Novara are not as well known to consumers today, but at one time were considered more important than the wines of the Langhe. Lessona, Gattinara, Ghemme, Fara, Bramaterra, Boca, and Sizzano are all wines from this area.
At one time there were more than 40,000 hectares of vineyards in this area. Now there are barely 800. When industrialization came to northern Piemonte, farmers fled the land and ended up going to factories in Turin, Biella (the seat of Italian woolen production), even Milano. The countryside was de-populated. Now with more attention being paid to winegrowing, there is a modest renaissance. Proprieta Sperino Lessona will doubtless help rejuvenate this historic area.
Previously, we offered the very first wines from this property: Proprietà Sperino Uvaggio 2004 and Rosato del Rosa 2005. Uvaggio 2005 is now available. Both vintages are very similar to Lessona. Also available is the second vintage of the elegant dry rose, Rosato del Rosa 2006--named for Monte Rosa which can be seen from Lessona--vinified from the same blend of grapes as the Uvaggio.
This area of north eastern Piemonte is the beginning of the rice lands of Piemonte. Wines from the region are the perfect accompaniment to risotto. They have a sprightliness and finesse, with a length of flavor which makes them perfect partners to a rich risotto with its butter, marrow and cheese components.
I urge you to try these wines. Shortly, they will become very famous. But now you can say that you bought them when they were unknown.
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