La Vecchia Cantina
Located in Albenga (Savona province), midway between Genoa and the French border, the remarkable Vecchia Cantina estate is a jewel in the Ligure Ponente DOC of the Italian Riviera. This extraordinarily beautiful area is where the Alps meets the Mediterranean and the mixed soils types (limestone, sand and clay), along with the moderating influence of the sea makes for crisp, bright, mineral-driven wines of surprising complexity.
La Vecchia Cantina has been making beautiful Pigato, Vermentino and Rossese under their own label since 1982, when the family patriarch, Umberto Calleri updated the ancient buildings and made room for vinification equipment. The process is simple. Using only estate fruit picked from their four hectares of vineyards located at 100 meters above sea level and benefitting from moderating influences of the sea, the family uses temperature-controlled fermentation and a brief battonage for the white wines.
The unique labels were painted by a Ligurian artist called Scanavino for Umberto when he started making wines almost 40 years ago. As Filippo Bertolotto, Umberto’s grandson put it: "when my grandfather asked him (the artist) what they mean he replied, you don't worry about what they mean, you worry about the wine and it is good."
There is a striking delicacy to the range of wines from Vecchia Cantina and surprising complexity despite the light color and texture. We’re very proud to be the first importer in the USA to work with La Vecchia Cantina.
Follow the link for more information Riviera Ligure Di Ponente DOC.
While there is a lot of discussion about whether or not Pigato and Vermentino are the same grape (click here to see a fun Punch article on the subject), ask any winemaker in the area and there is a clear difference in the two grapes.
Vecchia Cantina Pigato Riviera Ligure Di Ponente DOC 2018
Pigato, named for the spots that appear on the ripe grapes, reaches its apogee in the Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC. While genetically identical to Vermentino, the grape’s genetic mutations has led to a different appearance and taste. Vecchia Cantina’s Pigato is fermented in stainless steel, sees no oak, and is noteworthy for its lovely lemon peel, lime and spice notes on the nose. The wine has medium texture and mouthfeel, markedly floral and herbal characteristics, and a refreshingly bitter (in a positive way) note on the finish. Ideal as a pairing with shellfish and fish with simply prepared sauces.
Vecchia Cantina Vermentino Riviera Ligure Di Ponente DOC 2018
La Vecchia Cantina’s Vermentino is fermented entirely in stainless steel. Medium textured and a little lighter than the Pigato above, the Vermentino has a floral and herb note on the nose and a sleek, salty finish. 12.5 Alcohol.
Vecchia Cantina Rossese Riviera Ligure Di Ponente DOC 2018
The obscure yet delicious Rossese grape is genetically identical to the Provencal grape Tibouren. Here in Albenga at Vecchia Cantina, the grape produces a bright, lightly colored red that has a spicy, red-fruited nose, shimmery acidity and an almost electrical tension that allows the wine to pair well with a range of typically difficult dishes. The wine is best with a slight chill on it. Vecchia Cantina’s Rossese is kept on the skins for 4-5 days in stainless steel tanks with frequent pump-overs. Only 700 cases produced.