Tasting notes: Poderi Colla Nebbiolo d’Alba 2017
A fine aromatic nose with layers of redcurrant and ripe red fruit, mingling with spicy, smoky notes. A taut, structured palate with sour cherry, blossom, liquorice and notes of leather. A complex and elegant expression of Nebbiolo combining vibrant acidity, perfectly poised tannins and great depth of spicy
Food Pairing: Poderi Colla Nebbiolo d’Alba 2017
Serve with grilled steak and red meat, or alternatively robust pasta dishes with wild boar or rabbit ragu.
Produced from Nebbiolo grapes cultivated in Poderi Colla’s Cascine Drago estate in the Alba DOC region. The vineyards are around 350m above sea level. The vines in the Pian Bosco vineyard were planted in 1967 and those in the Luino vineyard were planted in 1989. Vine density is around 4,000
plants per hectare and the average annual yield is 5,000 litres per hectare. Harvesting is usually done in early October. The hand-picked Nebbiolo grapes are placed in small baskets and taken to the winery where they are de-stalked and softly pressed. The grapes are then macerated on the skins for 10 to 12 days at a controlled temperature of around 28 to 30 degrees Centigrade. This is followed by a malolactic fermentation which is completed before the winter. The wine is matured in some Slavonian and some French oak casks, partly new, for 8 to 12 months.
Established in 1993 by Tino Colla (brother of the legendry Beppe Colla) and his niece Federica, Poderi Colla is very much a family affair and continues the Colla family’s three centuries of winemaking heritage in northern Italy.Tino and Federica believe in a non-interventionist approach to winemaking, to give each wine a unique expression of site and vintage, and they take sustainability and the environment as seriously as their wines.
They produce wines from three outstanding sites in Alba and cover nearly the entire spectrum of Alba styles – using their own grapes from vineyards in Bricco del Drago, Tenuta Roncaglie (Barbaresco) and Tenuta Dardi le Rose (Barolo). The wines are balanced, rich and complex.
In 1980, Luciano Degiacomi, the original owner of the Cascine Drago vineyard, a pioneer of sustainable viticulture and friend of the Colla family, made this statement about his viticultural practices: “These wines are produced from grapes coming from traditionally farmed vineyards, with no chemical herbicides, defended from animal and vegetable pests using ‘Lotta Guidata’. This method (literally ‘controlled struggle’) allows healthy production, respecting the environment and human health, through the reduced and targeted use of the most appropriate treatments.” This ethos is still in force today.
The aim has always been to make the smallest impact on the environment and the purest possible wines. Since 1995, Colla has taken part in Piemonte’s agricultural environmental programme, modified with a more restrictive internal protocol governing integrated management and environmental sustainability. The use of fertiliser is limited and occasional, mainly organic, using worm compost produced by a small and entirely reliable firm. Only if vines are suffering from specific deficiencies does it use chemical fertilisers permitted for organic farming. Weed control is achieved by mechanical methods, except in rainy years or in steeper vineyards with older and more irregularly shaped vines where mechanical methods cannot be used and which would cause unnecessary air pollution and soil compaction. As for canopy management and green harvesting, all the work is done manually to balance and limit production and to facilitate aeration, thus curbing the formation of moulds that could damage the health of the grapes. Poderi Colla received SNQPI (Sistema di Qualità Nazionale Produzione Integrata) certification in 2019.