Wines Only from the Source

Original expressions of unique varieties that deserve your attention


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So what brought around these thoughts of the obscure you might ask? It was a visit today to the Valle d'Aosta where I met with Nicco and Jean Louis Merlet, a father and son team trying to preserve the vinous history of the region. The local superstar here in this small valley in Northwestern Italy happens to be a variety of Nebbiolo known locally as Picotendre or Picotendro. Grown on ancient terraces around the town of Donnas, cut from the steep and severe slopes of the local hills, Picotendre historically was blended with a little of the indigenous Gros Vien and the local Freisa to supply the regional market. Today few people choose to farm these slopes; one look will tell you why.

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