La Prevostura is a new estate in Lessona, in northern Piedmont, started in 2001 by the Bellini brothers. The first vintage bottled was 2009. Their Lessona vineyard was famous for its wine a century ago, when it was owned by the Marquis La Marmora. The winery is in the cellar of their restaurant, which is at the top of that same vineyard in Lessona. They also have vineyards in Bramaterra. The soils in both areas are acidic, whereas the soils of Nebbiolo terroirs like Barolo and Barbaresco are basic and calcareous. Acidic soils seem to give a more mineral impression in the wines grown in them, a more savory palate, and there is more iron taken up by the vines, hence a pronounced ferrous meaty/bloody flavor.
Costa della Sesia Rosso 'Muntacc'
Grown on part of the Prevostura hill, from a typical northern Piedmont blend of varieties Nebbiolo (70%), Vespolina (20%) and Croatina (10%). The soils here are 35% old marine sand, 25% clay and 40% silt, and they are acidic; the grapes are picked typically in early October, and the wine is fermented in stainless steel with a fairly long maceration (18 days after the end of fermentation). The wine is aged in small barrels (not new) for 21 months before bottling. In effect this is declassified Lessona with a little Croatina added, so the flavors tend towards red fruit and spices, especially cinnamon, the Croatina adding a slight tarry note. Great entry level wine from this beautiful little estate.
95% Nebbiolo, 5% Vespolina, grown in soils that are 35% old marine sand, 25% clay and 40% silt, at about 1,300 feet above sea-level. The fruit is from a single hillside vineyard right beneath the winery, usually picked in early October and fermented in stainless steel, with about 40 days of maceration with the skins. The wine is then aged in small oak, not new, for about 30 months. In the glass the wine is medium ruby red; complex, generously flavored (wild strawberry, cinnamon, licorice), warm, very accessible. These wines are indecently drinkable when young but I have had very old examples that aged well, a very useful combination. You can drink this the way you would a big Pinot, with all kinds of red meats, but also salmon or roast chicken. If you love Barbaresco but haven't had a good Lessona you're in for a treat.
Bramaterra is an appellation in northern Piedmont, not far from Lessona. The soils are acidic, and completely different from Lessona, based on a crumbly red-brown volcanic rock called Porphyry; the varietal blend is different too, 70% Nebbiolo, 18% Croatina, and 12% Vespolina. The fruit is from a single site, picked in early October, vinified in stainless steel and macerated with the skins for about 30 days, then aged in small barrels (not new) for about two years. Bramaterra is more wiry, more mineral than Lessona, very savory, not as immediately friendly, but it grows on you. I used to strongly prefer Lessona, now I drink and cellar both appellations equally.