The village of Bionzo can be found in, arguably, Italy’s most well-renowned wine-region: Piemonte. Such a location would necessitate a love of fermented grape juice, but Bionzo seems to take it to another level. Technically one of the several villages that comprise the municipality of Costigliole d’Asti (near Asti, Piemonte), Bionzo has a population ~100 residents, ten of whom are winegrowers. Ten! An aside: while not in the tiny hamlet of Bionzo, one of our other favorite Piemontese producers – Nadia Verrua of Cascina Tavijn – works within this same Monferrato DOC though she does not apply for certification. In any case, Andrea Scovero is a humble and talented winemaker where winemaking is in his blood, having taken over the estate from his father and having learned how to tend to vines and listen to the noises of fermenting juice and must in the cellar from his grandfather. He works with the traditional grapes of the area – Dolcetto, Barbera, and, since 2012, Nebbiolo – in addition to a small planting of Sauvignon Blanc which he does not sell (it’s white wine for the house). He’s worked in a minimal interventionist method his whole career and has now been at it for over three decades, and while such a steady, experienced hand revels in consistency, he is by no means uncurious or static. Evolving still, he’s been experimenting to great success with making grappa and chinato vermouth, in addition to trying out new techniques in the cellar such as extended aging in specialized vessels like amphorae. Honest, humble, delicious wines with a classic flair from the steep hillsides of a wine-crazy village in one of Italy’s most treasured growing regions.
Vinification: 100% organic Dolcetto. Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand, de-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel. The wine spends approximately 8 months in stainless steel tank before bottling. Unfined, unfiltered with minimal sulfur added at bottling. Spent 5 years in bottle!
Tasting: A stunning representation of the terroir of Piemonte. Medium bodied. Vibrant aromas of herbs and cedar, mixed with berries and red fruit. Singing acidity. Dark cherry. Serve just below room temperature. Could think of nothing but Bolognese while tasting this wine, so maybe pair with something rich and tomatoey.