The wines of Matteo Baldin (‘Teo’ to his friends) are storied in legend. The winery is hidden within a remote village based in the outreaches of Alto Piemonte; gaining an audience with the winemaker is a matter of cosmic fortune, and of course, access to the wines is nearly impossible given the microscopic level of production.
Getting to Baldin is the equivalent of deep-space exploration when it comes to sourcing producers in the furthest pockets of Piedmont. Baldin runs a nanoscopic cantina, garagiste-style, based in the village of Lozzolo. The vineyards here are in the Vercelli province, which is due west of the Sesia River in the Coste della Sesia region sitting just north of Gattinara. The significance? Diverse soils, very diverse soils. Here we have a bit of clay, some volcanic rock, and healthy amounts of sand undercut with a vein of limestone. Baldin’s vines are densely planted, Guyot trained, and receive organic treatments only. The geology in Bramaterra is so giving that the wines liberally deliver swell after swell of ethereal terroir while walking the line between rusticity and modernity; fruit and earth; silk and tannins. It is a wine that leaves you with more questions than answers; it is a palate of paradoxes, but we just like to call it balance.
Baldin owns and stewards just 1.5 ha of land that was inherited from his maternal grandparents, and he has been the first to label and produce from the family land. Only a third of his holdings, .56 ha precisely, contributes to the production of his Bramaterra. The rest goes into two house-style blends that play more upon convivial drinking than going deep into the philosophical like the Bramaterra.
The traditional blend of the zone is 70% Neb, 20% Croatina, and 10% Vespolina, to which Baldin steadfastly adheres. Though it’s not 100% Neb, the wine can sternly hold its own against any of its Langhe based cousins. It has the elegance of Castiglione Falletto, the smooth edges and balance of Barolo with the tannic spine of Serralunga. Any fan of the ‘traditional’ or ‘classic’ style of Barolo / Barbaresco will find sublime enjoyment here.
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