The white soils of Canelli, home of the first Italian classic method sparkling wine, and the delicate hills that descend to Nizza Monferrato through Moasca, kingdom of Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza. This is the viticultural horizon of Armangia, founded in Canelli by Ignazio Giovine to enhance the extraordinary wine variety of a border territory, among Langhe and Monferrato, between the provinces of Asti and Cuneo.
In the Armangia winery can not miss the Moscato d’Asti Doc Canelli, produced from particular grapes, that allow to delay the harvest until the desired sugar content. Among the great white wines stands out the range of piedmontese Chardonnay, enclosed in the labels Non Pratorotondo and Robi & Robi: fragrant, floral, with evident mineral notes, they are aged in steel and wood for at least 2-3 years. From Sauvignon grapes comes Enne Enne, a very balanced white Monferrato. Absolutely remarkable is brut Lorenzo Maria Sole, a dry and full-bodied sparkling wine, made from Chardonnay and other varieties.
Among the red wines, the Armangia offers Barbera d’Asti Docg Sopra Berruti, a fragrant wine with a nice acid note, inspired by the traditionals Barbera of Asti, and two versions of the Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza, now Nizza Docg: the Titon, long aged in large barrel (it is immediately good but if you leave it in the cellar for some years, even fifteen years if you’re patient, it will become absolutely wonderful), and Vignali, an equally long-lived red wine that is produced only in the best vintages. The Vignali remains in small barrels for a year, then goes into large oak barrels for 10-12 months finally is refined in the bottle for three years.
Armangia winery finally also offers a raisin wine, a Passito and another traditional Piedmontese vine as Albarossa, presented in label as Macchiaferro; from the marcs of this latter then a good grappa is obtained distilled by Beccaris anciemt distillery in Costigliole d’Asti.
The Armagia produces an average of 90,000 bottles per year, coming from almost 11 hectares of vineyards.
«Moscato di Canelli was famous throughout the world because it was the only wine that managed to cross the Ocean in past centuries», says Ignazio Giovine. «My family exported Moscato in bulk. In Genoa the barrels were loaded on ships, immersed in tanks full of water and ice. And so the barrels, through the Atlantic Ocean, arrived in the United States».
Taking the best family vineyards, and by renting and buying some others, Ignazio began producing grapes years ago: «My idea was to produce white wines and of course Moscato. But later, in 1995, I rented a vineyard of Moscato in which there were Barbera grapevines. And since the Barbera has always been my favorite wine, I started vinifying Barbera wine in wood and steel».
The Barbera Superiore Nizza “Titon” (now Nizza Docg) is an assemblage of three vineyards, planted 30 to 80 years ago. «So we did a Nizza, which has a maximum yield of 70 quintals per hectare, so below that of Barolo. The aging is between 12 and 16 months in wood, but despite the long aging in wood it maintains its acidity, its freshness and its perfumes, that is what makes the Barbera an ideal wine to pair with food».
L’Armangia produces its second Nizza Docg, “Vignali”, only in the best years, because it has a different type of aging. It ‘s a very structured wine, because it comes from the oldest vineyard, that of 80 years. It does a year of aging in 300 liters barriques, then is transferred into large barrels, where it rests for another 10 months. Thus, in the first 12 months I do stabilize color, minerals, perfumes, and keep the wine on the lees. After the decanting, the action of the big barrel takes over, which is no longer on the stabilization of the color but is mainly focused on the tannins. And therefore the big barrel cleans this Barbera from the excesses of tannin and the hint of wood, and returns a wine that is protected in the fruit, without having to add many sulfites. Finally, Vignali normally refines from 2 to 4 years in bottle before sale.
«It is the most acidic of our three Barbera, but is constantly perceived as softer», explains Ignazio. «This, because we were able to stabilize the wine very well. So having more structure, more and sweeter tannins, these go to mask the acidity. I think this is the way to get a quality wine. If you remove the acidity, you impoverish the wine. If you balance the acidity, while preserving the other components, you make it richer».
Regione San Giovanni 122
14053 Canelli AT