The Wines of Vietti

by artfuldiner on March 1, 2019

in Breaking News, Opinion

Vietti WineryLocated in the Langhe Valley of the Piedmont region of Italy, Vietti Winery has been growing grapes and/or producing wine for nearly two hundred years. Founded as a family farm, it produced a number of various crops, including grapes. However, in 1919 patriarch Mario Vietti made the first Vietti wines and transformed the estate into a pure vineyard and winery.

The current Vietti estate owes a great deal of its success to the efforts of Luciana Vietti Currado and her winemaker husband, Alfredo Currado. Beginning in 1952, Alfredo continued to produce high quality wines from their own vineyards as well as from purchased grapes. During his tenure, the Vietti Winery grew to be one of the top-level producers in Piedmont and was one of the first wineries to export its products to markets in the United States.

Alfredo was one of the first to select and vinify grapes from single vineyards. This was a radical concept at the time. Today, however, virtually every vintner making Barolo and Barbaresco wines offers “single Vineyard” or “cru-designated” wines. He is also called the “Father of Arneis” as, in 1967, he invested a great deal of time to rediscover and understand this nearly-lost varietal. Today, Arneis is the most famous white wine from the Roero area of Italy.

Vietti Winery - Luca & Elena CurradoLuciana and Alfredo’s son, Luca, is now the winemaker; and Luca’s wife, Elena, is in charge of the winery’s PR work (pictured). After stints with California’s Simi Winery, Opus One and Long Vineyards and then with Bordeaux’s Mouton-Rothschild, Luca returned to Piedmont to oversee the 1992 harvest, which turned out to be one of the rainiest on record. Despite the bad weather, however, Luca produced an exceptional vintage.

His wines continue to be some of the cleanest and terroir-driven in Piedmont, possessing a rare subtlety and elegance; yet, at the same time, distinguished by a traditional undertone and personal style. His wines are rich due to low grape yields rather than heavy extraction in the winery. And he utilizes traditional large oak casks for aging rather than new French oak barrels.

“A winemaker is like a tailor,” Mr. Currado explains. “You have a vineyard, which is like a person, and you have to fit the winemaking to the vineyard. You have to do the best possible for the vineyard. It is a little like Burgundy. You have micro-realities in Piedmont. Each vineyard is special and the wine should reflect that.” Mr. Currado’s current portfolio consists of 9 different types of wine spread along 17 different offerings.

Fortunately, Vietti’s custom-tailored wines do not result in huge prices. While the extraordinary Barolos and Barbarescos are on the expensive side, the three wines I recently sampled are quite reasonably priced and readily available through Pennsylvania State Stores.

2017 Vietti Roero Arneis, $19.99: Roero Arneis is the white wine that Alfredo Currado almost single handedly rescued from oblivion in 1967. This 100-percent Arneis wine is produced from 25-year-old vines with the grapes fermented in stainless steel tanks. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate bestowed 91+ points, noting: “… The 2017 Roero Arneis is one of the most successful interpretations of this white wine on the market today.” Indeed, this is a well-balanced, elegant wine with excellent complexity and a lingering finish. A great wine to accompany fish dishes or simply prepared veal, pork, chicken.

Vietti Winery - Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne 20162016 Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne, $17.99: Produced from 100-percent Barbera grapes that are blended from three vineyards, the 2016 offers up aromas of ripe cherries and hints of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is dry and medium-bodied with hints of oak and black fruit. Possessing both a pleasing complexity and refreshing acidity, it goes down as smooth as silk, which makes it the perfect companion for a variety of foods. Very, very nice… at a great price point. Highly recommended.

2015 Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo Langhe, $24.99:  The 2015 Perbacco was produced from 100% Nebbiolo parcels all planted in the Barolo region from vines averaging 35-years-of-age. Alcoholic fermentation lasted between three and four weeks with a total ageing of two years. Blending of the parcels took place in steel tanks prior to bottling. This wine offers up flavors of generous fruit and spice with notable intensity for a medium-bodied vintage. At the moment, this wine strikes one as strong and powerful; a few years of ageing gracefully in the cellar, however, and it will become infinitely more approachable, elegant and complex.

As wine writer Antonio Galloni noted in his Vinous Media: “I can’t think of too many estates in Piedmont that have raised the bar higher than Vietti has over the last decade or so. Virtually every wine that emerges from these cellars is outstanding, and many are profound… an unprecedented level of consistency and quality across their entire range.”

*Note: In July 2016, Vietti Winery was purchased by the Krause family of Iowa. Enologist Luca Currado, the current manager of the estate, will remain as CEO, overseeing winemaking. Two great families are coming together,” Currado told the Wine Spectator in an interview following the sale. “It will allow us to take a big step up in quality and it’s a guarantee for the future.” We shall see.



{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: