Villa Guelpa. Sizzano
Immaculate forward, ripe black cherry fruit, marked spice, probably thanks to the Vespolina making itself noticed. Such a luscious wine, this is nuanced and rich, with sweet accessible tannins. Whilst young, it’s a pleasure to drink and it promises to mature over a great many years.
Sizzano is a historic and largely unknown Alto-Piemontese DOC. In 2015 the vineyard area was a modest 7 hectares and the whole production was just over 1000 cases - which explains its nonentity. The DOC was established in 1969 and allows for 50-70% Nebbiolo (known locally as Spanna) and the balance to be made up of Uva Rara and Vespolina. It lies in the province of Novara which puts it into the larger Colline Novaresi DOC, where it sits alongside the appellations of Fara, Ghemme and Boca.
The soils in Daniele’s vineyard are 3 metres of sand, dark loams and small pebbles, facing from south to southwest. The vines are now 35 years old, Guyot trained at a density of 4500 plants per hectare. He has just under a hectare of land here and, until the 2016 vintage, the grapes were used for the Longitudine wines.
The harvest is done by hand in the middle of October. The bunches are de-stemmed and gently pressed before a spontaneous fermentation on the skins for 15 days. It is then aged for 24 months in 20hl oak botti after which it is bottled without fining or filtration.
The resulting wine defies a number of expectations: the colour is deep and bright (Sizzano has a reputation for pale, nervy wines) and, though the process sounds staid, is an expressive and contemporary wine.