From the Wine Shop
Cave Gargantua, Torrette Supérieur “Labié” Valle d’Aosta, Italy 2019 (750mL)
When you encounter wines from the Valle d’Aosta, or Vallée d’Aoste in French, you’re experiencing a (viti)cultural convergence of French, Italian, and Swiss traditions. Laurent Cunéaz’s passion for the vine was triggered by working the high-altitude vineyards of Valle d’Aosta with his grandfather. This desire led him to a winemaking position at the Institut Agricole Régional, an agricultural school that has propelled many local vintners to global recognition. In 2013, Laurent Cunéaz left his position here in order to team up with his brother, André to start a winery in the Aosta Valley subzone of Torette where vineyards often climb to 800+ meters. Vines here occupy terraces and slopes along the Dora Baltea River and are among the highest elevation sites in Europe. Summers up here are drier and warmer than you might expect, although the diurnal swings—daytime heat spikes followed by cool nights—are extreme.
To qualify for the Torrette Supérieur DOC, the Petit Rouge grape must comprise a minimum of 70% of the blend. Laurent, with just five acres of old-vine (40-60 years) parcels, incorporates 75%, rounding out the rest with two other indigenous grapes: Fumin and Vien de Nus. Attaching “Supérieur” to Torrette also means the wine must cross a higher ABV threshold and mature longer before release. We’ve tasted three of Laurent’s six releases, and have been mightily impressed every time. These wines just have the “it” factor. Although they’re deep, hedonistic, and soulful, they’re also brimming with grace and built for longevity. The intoxicating nose is ripe, savory, and energetic, revealing aromas of huckleberry, black raspberry liqueur, mountain berries, wild herbs, crushed stone, lavender, damp rose petal, menthol, exotic spices, and dried Damson plum. You’ll be transfixed by the lush, dark-fruited intensity of each layer, and then the elegant, mineral-flecked finish of each sip. This will dazzle lovers of Syrah, Mondeuse, Dolcetto, Barbera, Mencía, and many more. We expect this to evolve beautifully over the next 5-7+ years.
- RegionVallée d’Aoste
- SoilSandy Glacial
- BlendPetit Rouge 75%, Fumin 20%, Vien de Nus 5%
- OakTronconic Wooden Vat
- Temp.Serve at 60° F
- GlasswareBurgundy Stem
- Decanting15-30 Minutes
- PairingBlack Pepper Braised Lamb Shanks
Through the grapevine
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