Luretta Gutturnio Superiore DOC 2018

Deep ruby color; cherry, blackcurrant, blackberry, pencil shavings on the nose; tart cherry, blackberry, raspberry, dark plum, licorice, herbs, pepper; rustic, earthy notes on the palate.

Luretta Gutturnio Superiore DOC 2018

Dry; very tart and acidic on pop-and-pour, becomes much more domesticated with decanting, which is highly recommended. Blend of 60% barbera and 40% croatina grapes. The grapes are harvested and finished together. Fermented and aged nine months in French oak, 30% new. Medium-plus body. Tame tannins—barbera is not a tannic wine—with sharp acidity—barbera is an acidic wine. Significant earthiness and smoke. Savory palate with balsamic notes on the finish. 14.5% ABV

The Luretta Gutturnio story began in 1878 when a Castelvetro fisherman on the Piacenza side of the Po River found a metal vase in his net. Eventually the inspector of the Monuments of Cremona discovered the object was a silver “aryballos” dating back to Roman times. When its value was discovered, it quickly disappeared.

The winery website notes: “Scholars named it ‘Gutturnium’, explaining how it was originally used at the end of dinners in ancient Rome as a collective chalice, as part of a ritual in which the diners passed the vase from hand to hand, slowly emptying it of the delicious wine. The term ‘Gutturnio’ is therefore still used to define the typical wine of the Colli Piacentini region. Luretta has been producing Gutturnio Superiore since the early 1990s, keeping alive a tradition which has been going on for centuries and respecting its original style.”

Cantina Luretta operates in the ancient Castle of Momeliano. The first documents mentioning the castle date to 1000 CE. The website notes: “Despite the passing of centuries, the medieval architecture of the place where we make our wines has remained intact among the hills of Piacenza. The constant temperature of the castle’s cellars is ideal for the aging of our finest wines, which rest for up to eight years in the basement of this ancient fortress nestled among vineyards. The scent of oak from the barrels envelops everyone who enters this timeless place.”

The Salamini family has operated the winery since 1988. They use organic farming techniques, noting: “Nature is the lens through which we observe the future. By applying production processes that are sustainable in the long term, we work with awareness knowing that good wine is the result, before anything else, of respect for the earth and the life forms that inhabit it.”

Luretta Gutturnio Superiore DOC 2018 is a brawny, rustic flagship of the Colli Paicentini appellation south of Milan and north of Genoa, south of the Po River, in the Emilia Romagna region. Fresh, easy drinker after decanting. Savory palate makes ideal pairing with cured meats and Tuscan fare. Pair with rich, red meats (but avoid smokey flavored cooking); cured meats; charcuterie board; lamb; pasta dishes; duck; wild game—venison, wild boar; quality pizza, especially white pizza. Cheese—rich, fatty cheese; aged cheese; fondita, robiola, cheddar, brie, blue cheese, cacio al tartufo (sheep’s milk cheese studded with truffles). $12-19

Luretta website

The Luretta webpage has no photos; it does have a mysterious video about one of its wines (not this one).