Why Be Curious? Freisa is Nebbiolo’s rustic parent, and in parts of Piemonte was once prized even more highly than its upstart offspring. Scarpa’s version shows that Freisa can improve with age almost as long and as interestingly as Nebbiolo.
Produttore / Producer: Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa has been producing traditional wines in the Monferrato hills of southeast Piemonte since 1854. But it was Mario Pesce, admired by both Giacosa and Gaja, who made Scarpa’s reputation in the second half of the 20th century. Traditional sometimes means ‘rustic’, but that’s not the case here. A very present gusto della casa (house style) produces elegant wines with arrow-like acidity and well-aged tannins. In the 21st century, Scarpa continues to produce each year small quantities of more than a dozen wines from 10 different grape varieties and to release gradually wines from its ample library of bottles going back to the 1960s.
Vigna / Vineyard: Poderi Bricchi is Scarpa’s 50-hectare estate vineyard area in Castel Rocchero, in the heart of the Monferrato. 27 of the 50 hectares are planted with nine grape varieties that produce 11 wines. (Scarpa also sells off some grapes.) The remaining 23 hectares are forests and fields, which Scarpa deliberately leaves unplanted in order to maintain biodiversity and healthy vineyards. Vineyard treatments are copper and sulfur.
Cantina / Cellar: Fermentation and aging for at least a year in stainless steel tanks, followed by a minimum of one year (and usually much longer) in bottle before release. Some vintages see some time in large casks before bottling.
Il Vino / The Wine: A serious, structured Freisa that will delight Nebbiolo lovers. In good vintages, it improves with age for at least a decade after vintage.
A Tavola… / At the Table… Scarpa’s Freisa has the structure of good Nebbiolo, so use it in the same way.
Scarpa Monferrato Freisa Secco ‘La Selva di Moirano’
Vigna / Vineyard
Denominazione / Appellation: Monferrato Rosso DOC
Nome / Name: Poderi Bricchi, in Castel Rocchero (Monferrato).
Ettari / Hectares: 27 hectares (for all Scarpa wines other than the Nebbioli).
Quota / Altitude: 400 m / 1310 ft.
Suoli / Type of soils: Mostly clay.
Vitigni / Varieties: 100% Freisa.
Allevamento / Trellis system: Guyot.
Metodo di vendemmia / Harvest technique: Hand harvested.
Metodo agricolo / Agricultural technique: Lotta integrata (sustainable).
Cantina / Cellar
Fermentazione alcolica / Alcoholic fermentation: In stainless steel.
Élevage: In stainless steel, plus at least one year in bottle before release. (Some vintages also spend time in botti grandi.)
Gradazione alcolica / Alcoholic %: 12.5-13.5%.
Tappo e bottiglia / Closure and bottle: Natural cork, 750 ml Bordeaux bottle embossed with the Scarpa logo.