Ellena Giuseppe

Matteo Ellena is one of a new generation of budding star winemakers in Piedmont. With stints as an assistant with legends Elio Altare and Giacomo Bologna, Matteo combines the best of what the "Modernist's" and "Traditionalist's" have taught him. His winery, located in La Morra, has been in production since 1966. The 15 hectare estate has 4 hectares planted with vines and 8 planted to hazelnuts, the balance is woodlands.

Viticulture is traditional with the exception of a strict green harvest, which lowers the yields in all of the vineyards. Vineyard management follows the rule of integrated agriculture, which limits the use of synthetic chemicals, minimizing any environmental impact. Matteo prefers native yeast ferments and restrained use of new barrique. This young winemaker is producing some of the most outstanding values in Piedmont.

Dolcetto d'Alba DOC

The Dolcetto hails from a single vineyard, aptly named ‘Paradiso’, situated at 650 feet in elevation, located in the La Morra area of Piedmont. The vines are cropped relatively low and the grapes see very little time on the skins, thus preserving the freshness and vivacity of Dolcetto. This is certainly a wine meant to consume at nearly any occasion. There’s a pretty tapestry on display here of bright cherry, blackberry and plum followed by warmer accents of crushed black pepper and mild spice. True to the grape, the finish is lively, rich and very smooth.

 

Region: Dolcetto d'Alba DOC

Varietal: 100% Dolcetto

Vintage: 2012

Vineyard: Paradiso (La Morra)

Vine Age: 7 years old

Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Yield: 3.1 tons per acre

Soil Type: Calcerous-Clay

Oak: None - Stainless Steel

Production: 350 cases

Reviews:
Price: Fl $152.00, 2cs $144.00, 5cs $128.00
 
Barolo DOCG

The fruit primarily hails from the younger vines off of the Ascheri block (planted between 1970 and 2002 - averaging 25 years of age) on a southwest facing slope at 1,015 feet in elevation. Two other blocks are used off of the vineyard as well, on the lower elevations contributing to more power.

 

The wine is 100% destemmed and fermented in concrete tanks with 60 days of maceration on skins and frequent punch downs. It is then racked into primarily seasoned barriques and botti for 30 months prior to bottling. This is a serious value for Barolo! This is pretty and a perfumed, floral wine with pressed violets and crushed rose petal at the front of dark tones of spice and pipe tobacco. The wine shows and exotic, almost spicy personality with a good level of heft and density at the back.

 

Region: Barolo DOCG

Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo

 Vineyard: Paradiso - Three Different Blocks (La Morra)

Vine Age: 26 years old (Average)

Yield: 2.2 tons per acre

Soil Type: Calcaire

Oak: 30 months in 50% French barrique (10% new) and 50% neutral Slavonian botti

Production: 225 cases

Reviews:
Price: Fl $320.00, 2cs $296.00
 
Langhe Nascetta DOC

Nascetta, the relatively unknown Langhe white grape. This rare variety was very popular until the end of the 19th century, was abandoned and rediscovered about 10 years and yet still there are less than 20 acres planted throughout the world. Nascetta is known to be a semi-aromatic grape that gains much complexity with many years in the bottle.

 

This hails from a small plot (.87 acre) at roughly 1,100 feet in elevation. The western exposure helps to get this rather difficult grape ripe with the late afternoon sun. The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness and left to cold soak for 24 hours. The juice spends two days on skins and fermentation happens without the use of commercial yeasts and the must was pressed and into racked into tank for eight months on the lees.

 

A must-try for lovers of textural dry whites. Nascetta is a very rare variety native to the Langhe region, only recently saved from extinction and back on the rise. This is leaner than many (let's not really use that term as there are less than ten producers globally), combining floral aromatics with nashi pear notes, lovely volume and texture and a long minerally finish. Simply delicious.

 

Region: Langhe Nascetta DOC
Varietal: 100% Nascetta
Vintage: 2013
Vineyard: Paradiso Vineyard
Vine Age: 6 years old
Yield: 3.5 tons per acre
Soil Type: Calcerous-Clay
Oak: None - Aged Sur-Lie in Stainless Steel for 8 Months
Production: 120 cases

Reviews:
Price: Fl $160.00, 2cs $144.00, 5cs $136.00
 
Langhe Nebbiolo DOC

Nebbiolo, the grape fit for kings. Rarely do we see the feminine side of Nebbiolo, which is one with ripe tannis and lush fruit without being overblown. That is certainly the wine here. The Nebbiolo hails from a .62 acre single vineyard named Ascheri, located in the La Morra area of Piedmont. This is a very pleasant and approachable Nebbiolo. The softer side of this grape is rarely seen. Mint, flowers, tobacco and red cherries emerge from this expressive Nebbiolo. The ripeness and juiciness of the fruit are nicely contrasted by a firm, classic structure. There is no shortage of things to admire in this delicious, immensely pleasing Nebbiolo.

 

Region: Langhe Nebbiolo DOC
Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo
Vintage: 2009
Vineyard: Ascheri
Vine Age: 4 years
Yield: 2.79 tons per acre
Soil Type: Calerous Brown Clay
TA: 5.20 g.l
Alcohol: 14%
Oak: None - Stainless Steel
Production: 250 cases

Reviews:
Price: Fl $180.00, 3cs $168.00