Costa Bassa Nebbiolo Fay 2020

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Costa Bassa Nebbiolo Fay, 100% Nebbiolo, natural fermentation, all low intervention in vineyard and cellar.  Costa Bassa Nebbiolo Fay has a superbly vibrant colour entices you in.  The wine has a complex nose of fruits and flowers; dog rose and raspberries with touches of spice. The palate is smooth and fresh with an abundance of forest fruit flavours and a warm lengthy finish. The Nebbiolo (called Chiavennasca) here gives fresh, elegant wine, dry with medium body, garnet coloured and soft tanins.  One usually associates Nebbiolo with the mighty Barolos of Piedmonte but try this superb wine as an alternative.  Piemonte Nebbiolos are typically more concentrated than Chianvennasca.  However, the Valtellina has many subtlety different terroirs which provide different representations of this noble grape and one that should not be missed.  Try this wine with the local speciality  Pizzoccheri Pasta with Valtellina cheese.

Is Vegan? Yes
Bottle Size 750ml
Production Method Natural
Producer Vini Fay
Country Italy
Region Lombardia, Italy
Vintage 2020
Wine Type Red Wine
Wine Style Medium bodied
Grape Nebbiolo
Terroir Mainly sandy (about 70%), silty (18%), with an acid pH ranging between 4,5 and 5,5, resulting from crumbled granitic formations that vary in thickness from less than one metre to a few metres. Grapes grown on the lower slopes (costa bassa) of the valley
Alcohol 13% abv
Maturation 12 months in large oak botti
Total Sulphur 70 mg/l
Annual Production 5 - 10,000 bottles
Ageing Potential 5-7 years
Food Matching Blue Cheese, Charcuterie, Curries, Red Meat

Vini Fay, the Societa Agricola Fay in the Valtellina, northern Lombardy, was founded in 1973 by Sandro Fay who decided to expand this small family estate's activities.

Since 1998, Sandro has been aided by his children Marco and Elena with Marco now leading the winery and wine making. The estate is 15 hectares on the terraced Valtellina mountains.  Here, surrounded by mystically high peaks, they grow Nebbiolo, locally called Chiavennasca.  The vines are grown between 350 and 900 metres above sea level. The soil in their vineyards is very poor, rocky and sandy, made by crumbled granitic formations.

The Valtellina Valley is split into sub-regions running from East to West.  These sub-regions are known as the Crus of the Valtellina.  They are called, Marrogia, Sassella, Grumello, Inferno and Valgella.  The vineyards of Vini Fay are mainly located in the Sassella and Valgella Crus.

Chiavennasca in Lombardia differs slightly in style from Nebbiolo in Piemonte.  It tends to be a touch softer and less tannic.  The younger wines can be very fresh and feminine with red fruits and intense floral aromas.  The more serious Cru wines are deeper, more savoury and will age very well.  At Vini Fay they also make an Amarone style wine from Nebbiolo called Sforzato or Sfurzat as  it is often called.  It is a traditional wine from the area and is made with dried grapes, like Amarone della Valpolicella.  Generally they dry them for about 90 days rather than 120  in Valpolicella.  These are concentrated,  complex and fabulous wines to drink.

To meet Marco, son of Sandro and current wine maker at Vini Fay, you would never know his wines are served at some of Europe's finest tables. He is the most softly spoken and humble bloke you could ever hope to meet. Still young, he spends considerable time in the vineyard on the steep terraces where the Nebbiolo grows.  Marco and his wines deserve all the plaudits they get.  This is wine hard made, steep slopes, low yields, freezing temperatures make for hard physical graft and Marco does it happily with a big smile and great humility.

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The Natural Wine Lexicon

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Natural Yeast Fermentation
  • Nothing Removed, Nothing Added
  • Hand Harvest
  • Unfined
  • Unfilitered
  • Low Sulphur
  • No Added Sulphur
Natural wine explained. Read more

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