From: Carema, Italy
Blend: Nebbiolo 70%, Barbera and Neretta 30%
Taste: On the nose, the wine displays a bouquet of red berries, cherries (red and black), plum skin, orange peel, and red currant, with hints of spice, leather, rose, and a subtle earthy note of underbrush. As the wine opens up, additional notes of dried herbs and floral nuances emerge, adding depth and complexity to the aroma profile. On the palate, the wine is light to medium-bodied with a linear structure and balanced acidity. The tannins are smooth and well-integrated, adding to a lingering, mineral finish.
Pairing: This elegant and versatile wine, your new “elevated house red” pairs well with a range of dishes, from hearty meat-based meals to vegetarian cuisine. Here are some pairing suggestions to help you get the most out of this exceptional wine; if you want to skip to the detailed pairing, we’re combining a few of these ideas in our recommended recipe for Osso Buco Alla Milanese by Florence Fabricant below.
Grilled or roasted meats such as beef, lamb, or pork
Pasta dishes with mushrooms and/or truffle
Polenta or risotto with mushrooms, peas, and/or pork
Risotto alla Milanese (saffron risotto), a classic dish from the Lombardy region where the Canavese area is located. The wine's high acidity cuts through the richness of the dish, while the fruit flavors complement the saffron and Parmesan cheese.
Brasato al Barolo (beef braised in Barolo wine), a traditional Piemontese dish. The wine's tannins and structure complement the rich beef, while the acidity cuts through the fattiness of the dish.
Polenta with mushroom ragout, a classic dish from the Canavese region. The wine's earthy and spicy notes complement the mushroom flavors, while the acidity cuts through the creaminess of the dish.
Roasted vegetable medley, such as roasted bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant. The wine's fruit flavors complement the sweetness of the roasted vegetables, while the acidity balances the richness of the dish.
Lentil stew with root vegetables, a hearty vegetarian dish that pairs well with the wine's earthy and spicy notes. The wine's acidity also helps cut through the richness of the lentils.
Osso Buco Alla Milanese
By Florence Fabricant
We’re sharing a SommSelect write-up for this particular wine today because frankly, they summed up the essence of this wine and winery in the most poignant fashion. There simply wasn’t a way to re-write a better article about this wine, so we decided to share it. The taste and pairing notes are ours, however.
“An estate as historically great as Ferrando shouldn’t be measured solely by its star-attraction wines. The quality of the supporting cast separates the best from the rest.”
David Lynch, Sommelier & Editorial Director
Located about 45 minutes north of Turin, Carema is well west of what most people consider the heart of the “Alto Piemonte,” but stylistically, it is in step with wines from places such as Gattinara, Boca, and Lessona. Carema wines are more finessed, “Alpine” takes on Nebbiolo compared to Barolo/Barbaresco, but with a similar capacity to age. Carema is the name of both a village and a wine appellation, where a handful of producers tend terraced vineyards in a natural, south-facing amphitheater of glacial moraine and granite. It somewhat resembles another famous Alpine Nebbiolo capital—Lombardy’s Valtellina—with vineyard altitudes ranging from 300 to 600 meters and hand-laid stone walls holding everything in place. Ferrando, as many people are aware, is Carema’s “first family,” with namesake Luigi still in action alongside his two sons, Roberto and Andrea.
The Ferrando family has farmed vines in this remote, rocky area since 1900, and I was shocked to learn that their wines have been sold in the US since 1980—a time when, as their importer puts it, Carema wines “…were unknown to almost anyone who did not live within 50 kilometers of Torino.” In addition to their complex, fine, mineral Nebbiolos, Ferrando is also celebrated for dry and sweet whites from the region’s Erbaluce grape. This is artisanal wine production at its absolute best, another reason I’m so besotted with “La Torrazza”—only about 8,000 bottles of this are produced annually, and it still only costs $29?* Amazing.
*It’s a little more in Seattle, at $31.85 but with any six-bottle purchase the price goes to $28.66/btl.
This 2019, based on 70% Nebbiolo and nearly 30% Barbera (there’s a splash of another local grape called Neretta), is vinified and aged in stainless steel and radiates freshness. In the glass, it’s a deep garnet-red (the orange-leaning Nebbiolo given a boost by the Barbera), with enticing aromas of red and black cherry, raspberry, plum, orange peel, leather, roses, and lots of underbrush. Whereas Carema wines are almost resolutely savory, this one has a perfectly calibrated dose of juicy fruit to complement all its woodsy, earthy notes. It is delicious to drink now, especially after 30 minutes or so in a decanter and a cool (60 degrees) serving temperature in Burgundy stems. It’s perfect for mushroom risotto, a juicy burger, or some spiedini (the Italian take on kebabs). La Torrazza is “house red,” elevated, so do yourself a favor and stock up.
Payment & Security
Your payment information is processed securely. We do not store credit card details nor have access to your credit card information.