Recently at Angelini Osteria a group of wine writers were invited to an intimate wine tasting and luncheon hosted by Cinzia Travaglini, owner of Travaglini Winery, and her daughter Alessia Collauto Travaglini. Cinzia and Alessia belong to the third and fourth generation of the Travaglini family – a renowned producer of traditional, limited production wines made in the tiny appellation of Gattinara in northern Italy’s esteemed Piedmont region.
Cinzia and Alessia will share their full U.S. range alongside a carefully designed menu, including current releases of Gattinara and Gattinara Riserva, as well as, Tre Vigne – a blend of Nebbiolo grapes from three historic vineyard sites made only in the best vintages, and Il Sogno – a unique appassimento wine, together with a few special, older vintages.
Wine and Tasting
So excited to taste the portfolio of “one of Italy’s most recognizable wines and the #1 selling Gattinara in the world.” The first thing that struck me, besides meeting the amazing mother-daughter team and before my first taste of anything was the shape of the bottles. Misshapen, like a Chateauneuf Du Pape, but with a slightly rounded front, flat back and sides, except for one notch that holds the thumb perfectly for pouring. We later learned that they designed the bottle in 1958 with the idea of both a decanter shape and one that catches sediment. No other winery has adopted their design.
Cinzia talked about the volcanic soil in the Gattinara area, its proximity to the Alps, “more fresh” weather and how each of these elements contributes to the elegance in the wine. She said it was easy to drink with all foods – which we would soon learn for ourselves.
Alessia explained that her grandfather planted vineyards in the 1920s, with a focus on quality over quantity. They produce 20 thousand cases per year.
Nebole 2013 – aromas and flavors separated by ;
We were greeted with a taste of their sparkling wine that was made from 100% Nebbiolo – as were all of the wines we were to taste – that had been vinified into a white wine. Lemon zest, talcum powder, white flower; bruised yellow apple, sawdust, lively with medium acid.
Nebbiolo Coste Della Sesia DOC 2017
Aged four months in stainless steel followed by 10 months in Slovenian oak. Can be drunk after 2 years or 40. Rose petal, stewed tomatoes, dry earth; dry red fruit, tannic, oak and a long finish.
Gattinara DOCG 2015
After stainless steel fermentation the wine underwent two years on Slovenian oak casks of different sizes. Earth, spice, dried red cherries, tree bark, barnyard; small red berries, dry, tobacco.
Gattinara Tre Vigne DOCG 2013
Three vineyard blend, aged four years in Slovenian oak after initial time in stainless. However, for that last fourth year, 20% is aged in barrique. The wine is later blended together and then rests for an additional 10 months in bottle. Earth, grilled mushroom, incense, crushed red fruit; got that same red fruit and mushroom on the palate, gritty, dry with a long finish.
Gattinara Riserva DOCG 2013
35-60 year old estate vines, aged three years in different sized barrels of Slovenian oak, then rests in bottle for an additional year. Floral, aromatic, milk chocolate; spice, red fruit and bright.
Gattinara Riserva DOCG 2009
These last three wines may have been my favorites of the tasting. This one, a 2009 and the 2006 that follows, definitely surprised me and I commented to Cinzia how remarkably different the aromas and flavors were between the older wines and their younger siblings. I also learned from Cinzia – after I mentioned this – that these two were “considered great vintages.” 35-60 YO vines, three years in Slovenian oak and one year in bottle. Plum, bark, dark chocolate, brown sugar; layered dark fruit, tobacco, dusty and lingering.
Gattinara Tre Vigne DOCG 2006
The second “great vintage” wine came from three different estate vineyards, four years in Slovenian oak, 20% held back in barrique for the final year, then blended back in with the rest of the wine and rests in bottle for 10 months. Blueberry, blackberry, perfumy, toasted wood; plums, slightly sweet with a beautiful balance of dusty fruits and tannins.
Il Sogno 2014
100 days of drying out leaving only 50% of the water in the grapes, 40 months in Slovenian oak, in bottle for 10 months rest. The highest % of alcohol in the line-up with 15.5. Fleshy red fruit, stems, earth, mint; slightly sweet, chocolate covered black cherry, easy to drink with lots of lovely berries and tannin.
There was no specific pairing for the foods and the wine. We had three wines per course, per se, to try. I found that the younger lighter wines were perfect with the tomato and cheese course and the Branzino, while the older reds were outstanding with the lasagna and steak. I had to agree with Cinzia, the wines paired well with all types of foods. This is the full menu:
Insalata Caprese, Market Tomatoes, Fresh Burrata, Aged Balsamic, Basil. (Healthy portion of cheese and we all inhaled this dish.)
Pasta Duo: Bombolotti all Norma, Eggplant, Tomato, Basil, Dried Ricotta.
Lasagna Verde “Omaggio Nonna Elvira”, Beef and Veal Ragu.
(This was truly to die for. As I’m writing this I’ve just finished the leftovers they packed up for me. I will never want plain lasagna again.)
Choice of: Grilled Branzino Filet, Chopped Tomatoes, Sautéed Mixed Vegetables.
Grilled Organic Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Spinach.
Grilled Hanger Steak, Arugula, Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.
(I shared the fish and steak with a couple of other people but missed out on the chicken. The fish was so delicate and so wonderful with the younger reds as I stated earlier, and the steak was delectable with the older reds. I linger over this in my mind now…)
Selection of Cheeses.
(I had to skedaddle on the road so I missed this finale. I saw photos and heard from other writers in attendance that both the cheeses and the desserts were incredible.)
Driven by a passion for exceptional Nebbiolo, the Travaglini family has been producing remarkable, limited- production wines in Gattinara for four generations. The Travaglini family has owned land in Gattinara since the beginning of the 19th century. The family’s winemaking tradition started with Clemente Travaglini, who was succeeded by his son Arturo, however, it was not until 1958 when Arturo’s son, Giancarlo, took the helm that the Travaglini Estate Winery was established as it exists today.
Today, the Travaglini family owns 146 acres of vineyards, 128 of which are dedicated to vines, primarily Nebbiolo, covering roughly 50% of total vineyards within the Gattinara DOCG. This small appellation lies in the rocky foothills of the Monte Rosa range, where ventilating winds blow down from the nearby Alps. Soils are rocky and rich in porphyry, granite and iron. Similar in composition to the Alps, Monte Rosa’s sedimentary rock is highly acidic, due to low levels of calcium carbonate and magnesium, and an absence of calcium. Vines grown in this rare soil produce grapes with a unique flavor profile, high acidity and firm tannins. The finished wines offer refreshing acidity, soft tannins, minerality and complexity.
About Angelini Osteria
Gino Angelini has become known as simply everyone’s favorite Italian chef in Los Angeles, winning over the city with his authentic dishes. The Angelini brand has evolved into three divisions: dining, catering and products.
In 2001, Gino Angelini and his wife Elizabeth opened Angelini Osteria, an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. Since opening, Angelini Osteria has become one of LA’s most celebrated restaurants. The Osteria has blazed the trail for many Italian dishes in Los Angeles, including its famous Linguine Sea Urchin and the sought after Spaghetti Norcina. To this day the Osteria remains family owned and controlled.
The Angelini’s partnered with 17-year veteran employee, Girolamo Rindone, to open a classic Italian bar, Angelini Alimentari. Angelini Alimentari is a gourmet fast-casual dining concept featuring light California-Italian inspired breakfast, lunch and dinner fare with an focus on pickup and delivery.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.