Travaglini Gattinara 2003
Gattinara is a very hard wine to perfect but the people at Travaglini are surely among the very best producers in Italy. Certainly WineSpectator thought so with the Travaglini Gattinara 2003 making the top 100 this year. This wine has a reputation as the “poor mans Barolo” but over the past 10 years has began to shed its image and step out of the shadows.
I wouldn’t say 2003 was Travaglini’s best ever Gattinara as I personally prefer the 2001 but the wine in the groovy bottle certainly deserves its place on your table. For those of you who have never heard of or tried Gattinara it is a wine from my favourite region, the Piedmont.
From the Nebbiolo grape “Gattinara” is an area to the north of Vercelli and the wines offer distinct differences to other Nebbiolo wines, Barolo, Barbaresco due to a softer texture and a distinctly bitter almond taste on the finish. Gattinara has never reached the popularity levels of a Barolo, Dolcetto or even a Nebbiolo d’Alba but there are a few quality producers including Travaglini, Antoniolo and Luigi Dessilani.
As the wine isn’t famous but still has many producers giving 90+ Nebbiolo wines for under $20, I consider Gattinara fabulous QPR and recommend it as a good Saturday evening “Trivial Pursuit and Walnuts” drinking wine. So, to the review,
Travaglini Gattinara 2003 – BUY – €20
A deep garnet red, the nose immediately hits you even from a foot away. Lots of dried fruits and flowers come forth accompanied with some traditionally Barolo like tobacco notes. A super thick, full bodied and tannic wine the finish goes on a full half minute and the wine has a coating, pleasant mouth-feel. Needs a few years of age, consider opening from 2010.
Where can I buy this wine?
As the Wine Spectator award will have pushed the 03 prices higher, and IMO the 01 is a better wine, cheaper and ready to drink I’m recommending the 2001 to buy and the prices are for the 2001.
Question of the Day
Have you tried Gattinara wines, what did you think of them?