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This northern Italian red comes in an oddly shaped bottle, the glass distorted in such a way as to suggest it had been melted into a lazy shape by Salvador Dali. I hope it draws attention to itself, because the Gattinara appellation and this wine in particular deserve wider recognition.

It’s based on the nebbiolo grape, which is far better known for yielding the cellar-worthy and expensive wines of two other Piedmontese appellations, Barolo and Barbaresco. Gattinara tends to offer better value, as it does here.

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From the 2013 vintage, it’s in great shape for current enjoyment, the tannins ripe and polished and acidity well-tuned, with none of the sternness of, say, a young Barolo. Notes of juicy cherry, shoe polish and mushroom are carried on a chewy texture. Well-structured, it should continue to improve for up to six or seven years in the cellar.

Available in Quebec at the price below, various prices in Alberta, $33.90 in Manitoba.

  • Year: 2013
  • Region: Piedmont
  • Varietal: Nebbiolo
  • Price: $30.75

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