WHAT IS LESSONA?
Lessona is a town in the province of Biella in Northern Piemonte known also for its DOC appellation Lessona DOC. This DOC includes only the red wine primarily based on Nebbiolo which they call Spanna. It is a geographically stunning area with a view of the Valle d’Aosta and the imposing Monte Rosa (the second highest mountain in Europe!). It is this very mountain that protects Lessona and its vineyards from the cold windy Nordic weather, giving it a protected and mild micro-climate. It is also quite close to Lago d’Orta and Lago Maggiore which is why we stopped here on way to our summer destination.
Not all minor Nebbiolo based wines from Northern Piemonte denominations can be 100% Nebbiolo but Lessona has this possibility with the minimum amount being 85%.
The remaining percentage can be Vespolina a/o Uva Rara which softens the tannic and acidic wine. In particular, the Vespolina adds color with fruity and spicy notes while the Uva Rara can add body.
Aging must be at least 22 months of which 12 must be in oak barrels.
SOILS OF LESSONA
Soils in general in the Alto Piemonte can be volcanic and tend to be some of the most acidic soils in Italy.
In Lessona the soils are sandier with marine sediment from when the area was covered by the sea.
The soil is especially high in manganese and iron which may be why Lessona is known for its minerally and savory flavors.
Tenuta Sella is the oldest winery dating back to the 17th century in Lessona. We were so lucky to be shown the estate and the vineyard by the winemaker Riccardo who was so kind to answer all our questions and have us taste these wonderful wines.
We chose 4 different wines from their range for our Barolo Wine Club Fall 2022 selection including :
OMAGGIO A QUINTINO SELLA LESSONA RISERVA 2011!
Quintino was a prominant figure in Italian history as he was one of the politicians and served as different Minister positions during the Risorgimento period of Italy in the mid-1800s.
This wine definitely portrays those classic savory and salty characteristics of Lessona but is fresh and youthful still despite its age!
LESSONA DOC 2015
You would never guess this was 2015 for its brightness and energy. The red berries and spice jump out at you with the characteristics of Nebbiolo but in a very easy drinkable and lean way.
PIANDORO PIEMONTE DOC
Lessona’s DOC only inclues red grapes but it is somewhat close to the area known for Erbaluce.
Tenute Lessona purchased vineyards where there were already Erbaluce and Riesling and decided to make an aromatic long living blend from these two fascinating grapes. The result was superb!
SPUMANTE INSUBRICO METODO CLASSICO PAS DOSE’ 2014
The 100% of Nebbiolo grapes for this traditional method sparkling wine are coming from Tenute Sella’s other vineyard in Bramaterra where the soil is more volcanic and reddish colored.
The high acidity makes it a perfect sparkler but yet having stucture at the same time thanks to its 30+ months on the lees. The bottles are super limited to about 1,000 bottles total! Delizioso!
If you like learning about wines like these and would be interested in joining our Barolo Wine Club you can click here.