75 Miles from Barolo: 08 Antoniotti Bramaterra

Posted by Joe Salamone

75 Miles from Barolo-
Nebbiolo without Compromise
2008 Antoniotti Bramaterra

We keep on returning to the Northern Piedmont, and we're unapologetic about this. Some of the most fascinating and best priced wines we've tried come from here.

Think wines like Ferrando's Carema and Monsecco's Gattinara.

Today, we turn our attention to Antoniotti's 2008 Bramaterra. Last year, we enthusiastically introduced this new wine from the strong Louis/Dressner portfolio.

The 2008 version offers even more verve, more minerality - in short, a clearer snapshot of what makes this area so distinctive.

Bramaterra is a small appellation - maybe 30 hectares in total - Antoniotti works five of them. This is a region north of Barolo and even north of Carema. Here Nebbiolo and its northern Piedmont cronies Croatina, Vespolina and Uva Rara grow on volcanic porphyry soils at high altitudes. The translation in terms of terroir is compelling, flinty minerality and coursing acidity.

Nebbiolo, like all noble varieties, is incredibly sensitive to where it's grown - as with Burgundy and Germany, this site-specificity is the fun of it. North of Barolo and Barbaresco, the grape is able to achieve a haunting delicacy and lovely energy.

Unsurprisingly, Antoniotti's Bramaterra shows the briskness and the nervy core that's typical in these Northern precincts. Where it really stands out is its savory profile: it offers a vast spectrum of dark crushed rock, leaves, spice, tar, licorice and bruised herbs.

Of course, this being northern climate Nebbiolo the wine is lifted not only by fresh acidity, but also the grape's haunting perfume. Dried cherries, plum and roses jump from the glass.

Much like Burgundy, 2008 in Piedmont is about clarity of terroir and elegance. Minerality is written on the wines in capital letters.

Given the importer, it's not surprising Antoniotti works traditionally. The wines spend 30 months or more in large botti, go into bottle unfined and unfiltered and receive additional bottle age before departing the house cellars.

Antoniotti's 08 Bramaterra is a thrilling, uncompromising rendition of Nebbiolo quivering with mineral and flower, muscle and nervosity. There's a different minerality and different structure than Barolo and that's a huge part of the fascination.

As we ease into fall and cool temperatures, Antoniotti is an ideal wine. However, have no worries about holding on to your bottles for the next three to five years at least and watch the wine mellow and its perfume unlock.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits