This Torrette is what Anthony and I like to refer to as a “border” wine—wines made in regions that are close to international borders and therefore take influence from the country next door as well as their “official” one. If you look at a map of Valle d’Aosta, you’ll see more village names in French than Italian, like Saint-Pierre, where Château Feuillet is located. And, to make a sweeping generalization, this wine even tastes more French than Italian! The dried flowers and peppery nose are reminiscent of Saint-Joseph, and there’s a bright gulpable fruitiness, not unlike that of a young Côte de Brouilly.
—Clark Z. Terry
|Blend:||90% Petit Rouge, 10% Mayolet|
|Vineyard:||10-12 years, 0.5 ha|
|Soil:||Sandy, alluvial topsoil, granite bedrock subsoil|
If Maurizio Fiorano became a vineyard owner by chance, he was lucky in the placement of his plots—he will humbly tell you that it’s not hard to make good wine here. The vines sit in shallow sandy soil, but their feet wriggle into crevices in the solid granite bedrock. The vineyards are planted on an ancient riverbed, where the Dora Baltea River cut through, creating the current river valley and leaving behind mineral deposits that the wines happily lap up. The trump card, however, may be high altitude and diurnal temperature shifts providing long hours of gentle sunlight. This gives the grapes a long, slow ripening season that in turn offers red wines with the heft of a sunny climate that are still refreshing and light.
A good doctor prescribed the wine of Nuits-Saint-Georges to the Sun King, Louis XIV, when he suffered an unknown maladie. When the king’s health was restored the tasty remedy enjoyed a vogue at court. Lord, send me a doctor like that!
Inspiring Thirst, page 117