Francesco Brigatti is an exemplary small wine grower in northern Piedmont. He makes small amounts of elegant, expressive wines based on the classic Nebbiolo variety, and he also makes delicious varietal bottlings of the indigenous varieties that are normally blended with Nebbiolo in this area, such as Vespolina and Uva Rara, and a top-class Erbaluce white wine. His cellar is in Suno, not far from the southern end of Lago Maggiore.
Uva Rara is a black-skinned grape found in northern Piedmont and the Oltrepò Pavese; ‘rara’ here means ‘sparse,’ as the grapes are sparsely distributed on the bunches. The soil is morainic clay, acidic and rich in minerals; the grapes are picked in late September, after they are destemmed and crushed the wine is fermented on the skins for about five days. After the primary and secondary fermentation the wine is the aged in stainless steel tanks for six months, before bottling.
Ian d’Agata describes the variety very well: ‘…bright dark-ruby in color…The aroma is … very complex, with hints of red roses, violet, red, almost black cherries, and raspberries and sweet spices.’ Very fresh acidity, mid-weight tannins, a good complement to cured meats, most pasta dishes, roast chicken…