In a nutshell: A top quality Nebbiolo from the Gattinara region in northern Piedmont.
The lowdown: In the north of Piedmont lies Gattinara DOCG where Nebbiolo, known locally as Spanna, has been grown for centuries, and some argue pre-dating more well known Barolo and Barbaresco to the south. Travaglini helped put Gattinara 'on the map' in the C20th and this, their Tre Vigne, is a special wine only made in very good vintages from grapes grown in three historical vineyards. Matured for 40 months before release, 80% 30 months in Slovenian oak casks, 20% 10 months in French oak barriques, and then resting the remainder of the time in bottle. Deep pomegranate in the glass, delicate and pure red fruit aromas with almost floral notes. Full bodied, smooth with silky tannins, pure, concentrated red fruit flavours with touches of earthy and savoury notes finished with a long length.
When to drink: A match for Barolo or Barbaresco and perfect with red meat, game or seasoned cheese.
During the last 40 years and in the absence of any other significant producers Giancarlo Travaglini has successfully managed put Gattinara, the historically important wine of his part of Piedmont, firmly on the map. Northern Piedmont has a long tradition in the production of outstanding red wines based mainly on the Nebbiolo grape, from which the best Gattinara wines are made. Since the estate passed to his daughter Cinzia and her husband Massimo Collauto, the chief winemaker, they've continued to put these superlative wines at centre stage.
Unlike the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, the cooler mountainous vineyards of Gattinara and the hills around Novara and Vercelli in the north-east section of Piedmont produce some of the most lithe, refined and perfumed Nebbiolo wines of all. And ones that also age remarkably well.
Travaglini cultivates roughly 48 hectares out of a total of only 100 hectares for the whole Gattinara DOCG and has always made richer wines than most in the area; indeed, his wines often had an uncanny resemblance to those of Barbaresco in decades past. The wines are traditionally crafted with medium to long maceration times and are aged in large Slavonian oak casks. The Nebbiolo is complex and refined with classic full body and palate. The three Gattinara versions made at Travaglini are simply outstanding examples of Old World, traditionally crafted, red wines that age gracefully while gaining complexity with the passage of time.