Nervi is a historic, benchmark Gattinara producer with 28.5ha of highly-prized Nebbiolo vineyards across the appellation, in the northern part of Piedmont. The modern Nervi was founded in 1906 by Luigi Nervi. The Gattinara wine is drawn from across the estate, including declassified material from both Molsino and Valferana. The Nervi family ran the estate until the 1990s, and in 2011 it was purchased by investors who brought in the leading Barolo figure Roberto Conterno as a consultant.In May 2018 Conterno purchased the estate. Gattinara was awarded DOC status in 1967, and upgraded to DOCG in 1990. Gravelly clay soils – remnants of an ancient collapsed volcano -- are rich in granite and other minerals including iron, zinc, magnesium and manganese. The terroir gives the wines a distinct minerality which sets them apart from the neighbouring appellations.
Roberto Conterno acquired Nervi in 2018, and this is the first vintage in which the brand name is listed as Conterno Nervi (as opposed to Nervi Conterno, or just Nervi). Fully under his winemaking watch, the 2018 Gattinara comes from a vintage that performed well in this part of Alto Piemonte. Roberto had the confidence to produce his two single-vineyard expressions (Vigne Molsino and Valferana) in 2018, which is not exactly intuitive, as the growing season proved more challenging in other parts of Piedmont. But Roberto interprets each vintage with a keen eye and deft approach that is often contrary to his peers. I think what stands out here is the freshness, the balance of acidity that plays nicely into the minerality of the wine and the brightness of its wild rose and redcurrant flavors. This Gattinara carries a lot of fruit and primary intensity, all backed by subtle touches of balsam herb and soft tarry end notes. This 2018 underlines the elegance in Nebbiolo.
94 points, Wine Advocate (December 2021)