Platinetti lies in the Ghemme region of Piedmont in the province of Novara. The Ghemme region is on the eastern side of the Sesia River about halfway between Torino to the southwest and Milan to the southeast. AndreaFontana makes Platinetti today and has been making wine for over 25 years. He carries on a family tradition that began at the beginning of the 20th century by his grandfather.
Platinetti is a small farm of only five hectares, with Nebbiolo Ghemme DOCG comprising almost 80% of what is grown. The remainder is Nebbiolo, Vespolina, and Barbera from Colline Novaresi DOC. The Ghemme DOCG vineyards boast excellent South and Southwest exposures optimizing the chance at bringing in perfectly ripe fruit in a climate that is generally cooler thanks to the influence of the Monte Rosa, the second highest peak in the Alps. The soils are a mix of granite, quartz and iron based on moranic deposits from Monte Rosa glaciers and alluvial deposits from the Sesia River. These soils in Ghemme are also naturally high in acid. This soild character shines through in Andrea’s wines lending complexity, elegance, finesse and authenticity to his Nebbiolo.
Ghemme has long been know for the quality of its Nebbiolo, although today Ghemme and the other regions in the Alto Piemonte known for their Nebbiolo (Gattinara, Boca, Lessona) are less household names than their close relatives from Barolo and Barbaresco. The Northern Piedmont region has a rich history and at one point was considered a key wine-producing region in Italy. However, mid last century industrialization and the success of, and steady paycheck from, the textile industry (Ermenegildo Zegna, Cerruti, Loro Piana . . .) resulted in a movement away from farming. Today we are seeing a reawakening and reintroduction to the wines of the Alto Piemonte.
In recent years through the efforts of a number of smaller, passionate winemakers like Andrea, the wines of Northern Piedmont are starting to have their day in the sun. Both literally, as a result of consistently warmer temperatures, and figuratively as smart, savvy Nebbiolo drinkers are looking for these beauties on store shelves and well curated restaurant wine lists. Andrea’s goal is to make honest, real wine and over the last decade has taken bold moves to eliminate herbicides and insecticides and to greatly reduce the use of fungicides. These are the genuine, pure expressions of Nebbiolo.
In the words of David Schildknecht from Vinous, “Austria’s 2013 Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners display exceptionally bright acidity, clear flavor definition and uncanny complexity.” 2013 has given us the stunning combination of healthy, ripe grapes that remain light on their feet as the alcohol levels stayed in check, married with focused, tense acidity.
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