The NOAH project comprises vineyard sites in three distinct terroirs: Costa della Sesia, Lessona and Bramaterra, with a major emphasis on the latter appellation, a little known zone with a capacity to produce formidable wines. The name Bramaterra is believed to originate from the Italian words “bramare” which means “to long for” and “terra” meaning “the land”. A tiny appellation of approximately 28 hectares that are spread throughout several communes (Brusnengo, Masserano, Curino, Roasio, Villa del Bosco, Sostengo and Lozzolo), there are no more than a handful of producers of Bramaterra. The landscape is distinguished from that of its closest neighbor, Lessona, by its red volcanic soil known as porphyry. Like Lessona and the other exalted appellations of the Alto Piemonte, the dominant grape of Bramaterra is Nebbiolo which is leavened with a dose of Croatina and/or Vespolina, both of which can add brightness and nuance to broaden the palate. Bramaterra has a characteristic wildness and freshness with accompanying tannins that provide structure for long aging. Its neighbor, Lessona, has a markedly different profile, one of greater elegance and less brooding tannins, a difference explained by the transition to a more sandy soil composition in the Lessona district.
The NOAH estate is split between 3.5 hectares in Brusnengo which produce Bramaterra and Costa della Sesia and 1.2 hectares in Lessona. In Brusnengo, the vineyards are in two sectors: Mesola and Forte. Within Mesola there the separate lieux-dits of Diana, Mussa Alto, Mussa Basso and Nuovo Impianto which is a new planting dating from 2013, effectively re-establishing an ancient vineyard site. From these sites, the grapes harvested are used to make the Bramaterra wine. Then, there the Aina, Vallone and Carazzo parcels the grapes from which produce the Costa della Sesia wine. The latter three sites as well as the Forte lieu-dit are planted to an ancient trellising system known as “maggiorino”, wherein multiple vines are planted to the same hole and then the vines are trained high with multiple arms that produce a large canopy effect. This restrains the vigor of the vine and optimizes the light penetration.
In Lessona, the vines are planted to the Vigna del Monte site. The vines are now approximately twenty years old and the first wine to be produced as Lessona by NOAH will be from the 2014 vintage.
Andrea and Giovanna are cultivating their vineyards in a holistic manner with a firm organic bias. The first releases of NOAH wines are from the 2011 vintage – a Bramaterra and a Costa della Sesia – both of which are proudly part of our portfolio.
|Costa della Sesia: This wine is produced from the oldest vines on the estate, all with an average age of seventy years. The vines are in the village of Brusnengo and, more specifically, are planted in the Aina, Vallone and Carazzo parcels found within the Mesola and Forte sectors. These are steeply-sloped vineyards and the vines are trained according to the ancient Maggiorino trellising system. The four parcels total one hectare in surface, with the dominant grape being Croatina (90%) supplemented in minor percentages by touches of Nebbiolo and Vespolina. This trellising system demands that all vineyard work must be done by hand. After fermentation in steel vats, the wine spends 18 months in large oak barrels before being bottled without filtration.|
Bramaterra: Vineyard holdings destined to be bottled as Bramaterra are located within the commune of Brusnengo, specifically within the sector known as Mesola, a site that has been praised for its quality in local viticultural guides date back to 1839. Within Mesola, the NOAH vines are found in four separate lieux-dits: Diana, Mussa Alto, Mussa Basso and Nuovo Impianto. Vineyard management is manual across the 2.5 hectares of holdings. Average age of the vines at this point is approximately 25 years. The grape composition is 80% Nebbiolo, 10% Croatina, 5% Vespolina and 5% Uva Rara. Fermentation takes place in large 80hl barrels, where the wine rests for a year before being racked into 27hl barrels for an additional 12 months before being bottled without filtration.
NOAH Coste della Sesia Croatina 2011
a brief note about one of our newest wines…
To our delight, this wine from young Andrea Mosca’s cellars in Brusnengo in the Alto Piemonte is developing nicely and shows, with a considerably higher degree than I anticipated, a true sense of terroir. In fact, this wine from Croatina is much more fine than it almost should be … a “minor” grape displaying an elegance and finish that is rare at this level. It is not at all fruity but rather quite linear with a muted but clear spice to its flavors; the tannins are strict but subtle leading to a refreshing “finale” … all in all a lovely way to further engage with the wide range of appellations and terroirs in the Alto Piemonte.