I have never seen a Pelaverga in a wine shop, and most wine books don’t mention the indigenous, obscure Italian grape at all. So I was very enthusiastic when a few months back a bottle of Maero Colline Saluzzesi Pelaverga 2009 arrived in my “Explorer” wine club from one of my favourite wine shops in NYC.
More than 1000 years ago the monks of Saint Colombano began cultivating Pelaverga in the Saluzzo region of northwest Italy. The grape was praised by Renaissance sommeliers for its “delicate mouthfeel and mesmerizing aromas. Today it is experiencing something of its own renaissance as a few passionate producers are revitalizing it. This Pelaverga originates from a small, traditional winery and vineyard owned by Natale Fontan-Gole, an independent grape-grower and winemaker. He farms the Vigna Terre Rosse vineyard organically and applies his own personally made homeopathic treatments to the vines.
Transparent brick garnet in colour, after decanting for about 30 minutes aromas of strawberry, cherry and sun on warm bricks radiated from the glass. Dried cherry and bright cranberry flavours joined smooth leather elements and a pleasant astringency in the light to medium body. Dried herbs and earthy, iron minerals carried the finish along. Rustic and unassuming, this is a captivating and uncommon companion with dinner.
Produced & Bottled at the source by Imbottigliato All’Origine da Emidio Maero Azienda Agricola in Castellar