Gattinara became a DOCG in 1990, but due to its size and historical inaccessibility to the market, it has largely been a region only for those in the know. Examples from superior vintages, like ’61, ’64, ’78 or ’96, which have occasionally been seen here, prove it is a clear rival to the best Langhe Nebbiolo. Roberto Conterno certainly thinks so, with his admiration for the capacity for Nebbiolo to generate thrilling wines from this tiny 65-hectare appellation given dramatic illustration by his recent purchase of the original producer of Gattinara, Nervi.
Roberto has seen it a strength to retain existing local contact and expertise, so he has encouraged previous owners the Astrup family and the winemaker Enrico Fileppo – with his experience of 30 plus Gattinara vintages – to remain. Roberto Conterno has consulted to the winery for a number of years and been consulting and making the wines with Enrico Fileppo since 2011. Fileppo has been at the helm since 1983, what an incredible intellectual property he must have on the vineyards and region.
The interest in the newly branded Nervi Conterno releases across Australia is enormous, whilst the 112-year-old Nervi producer has strong pedigree the transition to the Conterno stable now puts them immediately into the wine gods stratosphere.
Roberto purchased 90% of the winery in April 2018, a clear signal of the great quality he sees in the brand and what they can produce moving forward. Further to Roberto leaving his mark from the outset, he has declassified the single cru releases from the 2015 vintage and made the statement that they were not to the level that he aspires moving forward. What the world is receiving is a brilliant Nebbiolo blend from the highly reviewed 2015 vintage… is Robert flexing his muscle to say watch this space…? – Peter Johns, PrimaveraSelections