Correggia - Nebbiolo - La Val dei Preti 2015
At this point most of our Italian Wine Buyers have dabbled in our Matteo Correggia offerings – whether it was one of the Arneis, the Roero Nebbiolo (a fantastic value neb), or La Val dei Preti (Correggia’s single vineyard old-vine Nebbiolo). If you haven’t had the chance to indulge in the latter take a walk with me through Piemonte…more specifically: Roero.
Matteo Correggia: an innovator for the wines of Roero, sadly passed away in 2001 leaving his legacy to wife, Ornella, and two young children: Matteo and Brigitta. Ornella stoically continued the family business and when Giovanni (son of Matteo) was old enough he decided to study winemaking and later became the winemaker of his father’s progressive Cantina. When you hear Giovanni speak about his father and the vineyards it is clear that it is a true honour for him to work the land where his father once did.
This story rings even more true when you learn about the Val dei Preti single-vineyard site, which was purchased over 45 years ago when Roero was mostly known for white wine (Arneis). You see, in order to produce great Arneis, you need the cooler, North-facing slopes in Roero. Matteo, being the innovator that he was, knew his precious Nebbiolo would prefer South-facing slopes and at that time those slopes were not desirable to the winemakers of the area; Matteo had his pick of the litter and his foresight really paid off. Everyone thought he was crazy at the time, but Matteo was learning from some of the best names in the Barolo region and was the accepted out-sider within the “Barolo Boys”. These men were teachers for Matteo in the 70’s and 80’s and Matteo knew they were all speaking the same language of Nebbiolo; he had faith in his town’s soils.
Since that time, Roero has risen to be known for their Nebbiolo. It is sometimes said that the Nebbiolo of this area doesn’t have the ageing potential of their cousins in Barolo & Barbaresco, but with the right aspect, soil, drainage, and viticulture there are exceptions to this “rule”; Val dei Preti is one of these exceptions. This is a serious Nebbiolo. Giovanni now has the greatest terroir in the region to work with and he understands what that legacy means.
Recent years has seen the style at Correggia change as Giovanni looks for more finesse and pure expression in each of the wines. He finds this style by focusing more on the vineyards and land. Part of his search for more purity has seen him work with less new wood and different fermentation vessels as well as managing the vineyards in a more holistic way (Correggia’s vineyards were officially certified Organic in 2014).
Today Giovanni’s wines are unmistakably like his father, Matteo Correggia: innovative and forward-thinking, yet they also show more vibrancy and purity. The expression of Giovanni’s fruit now has the loudest voice rather than the winemaking and this rings true the most through the old vine Val dei Preti.