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Travaglini Gattinara Riserva 2009

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • JS94
13.5% ABV
  • WE93
  • JS93
  • RP91
  • WE95
  • JS92
  • W&S90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A deep garnet red with delicate scents of violets and cherries with traces of black pepper. This wine is rich and refined, filled with red fruit, spice, raisins and smooth tannins. The finish is long-lasting and juicy.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
Wonderful aromas of dried roses, walnuts, mushrooms and ripe fruits. Full body with firm, silky tannins and a tangy finish. This is solid, tight and condensed. Very silky texture. Drink or hold.
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Travaglini

Travaglini

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Travaglini, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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Travaglini is a family-owned wine estate in the tiny Gattinara appellation within north Italy's renowned Piedmont region. Established in the 1920s by Clemente Travaglini, the winery is Gattinara's most esteemed producer of traditional, limited-production wines from the Nebbiolo grape (known locally as "Spanna").

The family's passion for winemaking has not diminished through the generations; Cristina and Cinzia Travaglini, great-granddaughters of Clemente, manage day-to-day operations at winery. Cinzia's husband Massimo Collauto is chief winemaker, a role he inherited from his late father-in-law and beloved mentor, Giancarlo Travaglini (winemaker at Travaglini for 45 years). Giancarlo's wife, Lilliana, oversees vineyard operations.

Travaglini wines are easily recognized by their distinctive bottle shape, featuring a unique curve that fits naturally in the palm of the hand and serves to catch sediment during decanting. Designed by a glassmaker to celebrate the excellent 1952 vintage, the bottle was so well received that family decided to keep it as their trademark.

The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hilltops, is one full of history and romance of the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.

There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.

On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soils types.

The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape and needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

SWS387059_2009 Item# 146039