La Spinona, A Man’s Best Friend

La Spinona

Spinona Estaate


La Spinona is a company that represents its founder Pietro Berutti, a man of great experience who believed in Barbaresco since the 1940s. Pietro’s son Gualtiero, an experienced veterinary surgeon, brought his expertise not only to the breeding of Piemontese cattle, but also to the cultivation of the vineyards and selection of the best products, while respecting the environment. This is a responsibility he continues to bear along with his son.

La Spinona, a name associated with the land, originates from part of the family’s life history: the still-vivid memory of their dog, Baica, a Spinone Italiano. She was a friend and “sister”, who accompanied Pietro for years along the path that led to the development of the winery in the late 1940s. Baica is a symbol that still has pride of place on the company logo and, throughout the world, represents the history of a winery that makes high-quality wine through meticulous work and attention to nature, to obtain wines that are clean, elegant and traditional.

2012 La Spinona, Bergera Barolo

Spinona Front

Spinona Rear

The Berutti family’s La Spinona winery is located in Barbaresco but they source this Barolo from the Cascina La Bergera vineyard, a south facing hillside, in the town of Novello. Barolo’s from Novello are less known than those from La Mora or Serralunga but they can be exceptional. Producers Elvio Cogno, Le Strette and Vietti are located in Novello. For La Spinona’s Barolo the grapes come from the very high altitude block in the vineyard known as the Sori Gepin. Grapes are hand harvested and cold soaked for 24 hours. Fermentation takes place over 20-25 days. The wine is aged in large oak casks for 30 months.  This Barolo is sourced from the 10 acres Sori Bergera vineyard in Novello, on a hillside with beautiful southern exposure

My Review

Spinona Glass

Don’t let the picture fool you. It looks light and almost transparent in the glass but it is far from a light wine in complexity. It took about a solid 90 minutes of Aeration for me to be able to pick up the nuances of this young single vineyard Nebbiolo. Wine Enthusiast Magazine scored this 2012 Vintage a Whopping 95 Points. Let’s see if I agree? The color although lighter than most Barolos is typical Barolo in color. That almost orange/brownish/reddish tones. Only 13.5% Alcohol, once opened a classic Barolo nose of, purple and blue flowers, new car leather, wild berries and a full blown herb garden. On the medium bodied palate, beautiful acidity on the mid palate pushing through the flavors of, raspberry coulis, bitter cherry, licorice and a very savory herbaceous finish on the back end with grippy but polished integrated tannins. Food pairings I thought of Lamb out of the gate, rustic chicken dishes, veal marsala and earthy mushrooms, and washed rind cheeses like taleggio from the region of the wine. To be fair although the wine is very approachable now, I would like to taste this again in 8-10 years again where I think the tannins will soften and more of that ripe raspberry and licorice will be more in the forefront. The wine was a hint of Savoriness too much for my personal review. It is an extremely delicious handcrafted Barolo from a small hillside vineyard but i will not go at this point as high as Wine Enthusiast. I am scoring this wine 92 Points out of 100 with  a strong recommendation for Nebbiolo Lovers.

The Summary

2012 La Spinona Bergera in Florida is another great pick by ABC’s Fine Wine And Spirits Italian Wine Buyer and Italian Wine Ambassador, Paul Quaglini. It is a much needed expression of Nebbiolo in our Sourced and Certified, Florida Exclusive Piedmont Wine Sections. I think it is a must buy for any Barolo or Barbaresco fan. Drinking it with some salami and taleggio although in Florida and outside it was 86 Degrees, it got me in the Holiday Spirit of wines I want to drink in December and late fall and early winter. This would be perfect as a gift or a dinner wine on your holiday dinner table. This and a Standing Rib Roast… Mama Mia. The winery’s name La Spinona is  in memory of the family dog Baica, who was a Spinone Italiano Breed that accompanied Pietro Berutti  on the paths that finally led to finding the site for this great winery. I don’t own a Spinone Italiano dog, but 2012 La Spinona Bergera Barolo is a Man’s Best Friend. Cin Cin !!

Grape-fully yours, Larry

In Memory Of Baica

Spinona Dog

The Spinone Italiano is an Italian dog breed. It was originally bred as a versatile gun dog. To this day, the breed is still a capable dog for that purpose. The Spinone is a loyal, friendly and alert dog with a close lying, wiry coat. It is an ancient breed that can be traced back to approximately 500 BC

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