This is a cool wine that I am excited to check out, my first offering of an Erbaluce wine, a thick skinned native Northern Piemontese variety that the old timer locals refer to as white Nebbiolo, as Christoph mentioned to me here..:
“Some words about our “White wine project”, which started in 2014 with a first test vinification to explore the way to produce Erbaluce in our cellar. Erbaluce is the only local grape grown all over Northern Piedmont sites and we have some vines in our fields in Boca and also our main supplier Carlone has some in his vineyards. With vintage 2016 after approaching positive results with this grape we made the first official bottling which was very well received. So in 2017 we tried to increase production, which is at the moment only possible with grapes from supplier outside Boca and we could get nice grapes in Ghemme followed now in 2018 by another supplier in the nearby Suno. More and more we realised that Erbaluce could be really an important wine in our portfolio not only in terms of sales but also in line with our general quality of excellence. Le Piane together with our long-term supplier at Boca, Davide Carlone, started in 2015 a planting program for Erbaluce vineyards and the first grapes we could pick this year. The target is to plant at least 3 hectares of Erbaluce vineyards in Boca and produce in future all the grapes for our white wines here. Even the first results with purchased grapes in Ghemme and Suno are very promising we learned that the level of the wines produced from grapes in Boca are even higher, more mineral, more savoury and longer in taste. In line with our strategy that Le Piane makes the best in Boca will finally be extended also to the Erbaluce grapes. My biggest surprise when starting this project was, that the interpretation of what I think should be a wine from Erbaluce gives totally different results than all the Erbaluce actually available on the market. Even more it seems that the lack of interesting and characterful white wines in Italy made that all customers all over Italy were totally thrilled and amazed about our “White”. It would be too long to explain, what makes the difference of our making of white wine, I only tell that the main points are as always in our estate: First of all picking of very ripe grapes, further an artisanal approach of vinification process without any chemicals or technological tricks but very well leaded by our sensibility in tasting. Our Erbaluce wine respects in my view how the grape looks like (golden with even pink reflects) and taste (savoury and crisp as the skins are quite thick) – named by old people “the white Nebbiolo”, means a structured, full bodied wine with length and mineral, salty taste, even if powerful and creamy supported by a good acidity. With all these it’s not just a white wine nice to have in our portfolio but a real very personal interpretation of this grape, which will for sure also will help to re-establish the historical value of this grape in Piedmont and thus again a very important (and expected from our customer and the worldwide press) statement of Le Piane in the Italian wine scenery.”
“This is a new wine presented by Le Piane. The 2017 Bianko is a pure expression of the little-known Erbaluce grape (otherwise known as Greco Novarese) executed in a very unique style. This is not one of those throw-away whites that prizes simple freshness and citrus zest. Instead, the wine shows sappy intensity with fragrant honey, acacia flower and poached pear. It is made in a lightly oxidative style in order to exult the richness, age-worthiness and inner sophistication of the variety. Great job.” 92 Monica Larner of robertparker.com for the 2017, NOT THE 2018 OFFERED HERE.
“The 2016 Bianko is one of the most compelling Erbaluces I have tasted. Ripe, succulent apricot, passion fruit, chamomile and exotic floral notes. I tasted the 2016 from tank just prior to bottling. This is a memorable wine.” 90-92 Antonio Galloni for the 2016, NOT THE 2018 OFFERED HERE