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  Wine Producers Issue 24, November 2004   
Castello di SpessaCastello di Spessa Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
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Castello di Spessa

In a romantic castle dated back to 1200's, located on the top of a hill at the center of a park, the headquarter of the renowned winery of Gorizia dominates from the top the vineyards from which are being produced its wines

 When you talk about Castello di Spessa's wines it is impossible not to mention the rich and ancient history of the places in which they are produced. Located in a hill at Capriva del Friuli in the province of Gorizia - one of the most representative places of the Collio DOC area - Castello di Spessa is not only an interesting place which produces wine. Here it is also produced an excellent grappa reserve aged for many years in cask, moreover the castle is a place where every corner tells stories as ancient as Roman times. Today in the historical building is found one of the most interesting wineries of Gorizia's Collio - as well as of Friuli Venezia Giulia - and in a little more than twenty years it was capable of becoming successful in the enological scene for its excellent wines.


Castello di Spessa
Castello di Spessa

 The origins of Castello di Spessa are lost between mystery and legend and, despite the fact there is no reliable witness, it seems it was built during Roman times and its towers were used for defensive purposes. The few documents about Castello di Spessa tell it was built at the end of 1200's and from that moment on it seems it had a pretty lively fate. The property passed to many noble families and here stayed many illustrious people of the many eras, of whom the most illustrious one was Giacomo Casanova. During the winter of 1773 Count Luigi della Torre Valvassina invited Giacomo Casanova to spend a relaxation time in his castle: a visit which is still today remembered in the long history of this place and that the winery wanted to commemorate by dedicating one of its wines to this illustrious figure.

 The current look of Castello di Spessa is the result of a rebuilding done in 1881 by architect Ruggero Berlam from Trieste, pupil of Camillo Boito. It was not a restoration but a proper rebuilding done according to the architectural and artistic concepts of nineteenth century. Today Castello di Spessa - besides making excellent wines - is also involved in an interesting cultural and receptive activity. The winery has dedicated to its most illustrious guest a literary prize “Giacomo Casanova Castello di Spessa” which is awarded to authors whose works are inspired by values of intellectual freedom, tolerance and cultural openness. In the “Casanova” conference hall are also held many artistic and cultural events and in the castle is also found a museum dedicated to the illustrious venetian figure of the eighteenth century. In the castle there is also a restaurant - Tavernetta del Castello - a hotel and apartments for guests who wishes to have a stay in complete freedom.


The wines aging cellar
The wines aging cellar

 Castello di Spessa is also a place in which are being produced wines, an activity whose notoriety was also witnessed by Giacomo Casanova: «Count Torriani had vineyards with white grapes and the wine was excellent: it gave him a profit of one thousand sequins». It is the aging cellar of the twelfth century to represent the heart of Castello di Spessa, the most ancient in Gorizia's Collio. The development of viticulture was because of the work of French Count Theodore de la Tour, however the cellars, the only witness of the ancient and original structure, are dated back to the 1200's. These cellars are structured in two levels: the first and the most ancient, makes an excellent aging cellar in which are also held wine tasting events, under it, at the end of a staircase of about seventy steps and at depth of 15 meters (about 50 feet), is found the second level in a bunker built by Italians in 1930's during the war. The structure built with reinforced concrete ensures a constant temperature of 14°C (57°F) all year long and in this optimal conditions patiently age Castello di Spessa's wines.

 The territory of Collio is renowned for the production of excellent wines and it is right here Castello di Spessa's vineyards are found. The estate is located in hillsides near the Slovenian borders and covers a surface of 30 hectares (73 acres). Here vines benefit from a soil made of marl and sandstone of eocene origin, a favorable climate thanks to the shielding offered by Giulie Prealps to the north as well as to the influence of Adriatic sea which mitigates thermal excursions. At Castello di Spessa every wine is the result of a passionate and constant research on quality. This process begins in the vineyard, to which is payed particular care and attention, proceeds with harvest, strictly done by hand by scrupulously selecting grapes. Grapes are then processed: a soft pressing at a controlled temperature in order to ensure an optimal composition of aromas, structure and balance, with the clear goal of making wines capable of remarkable longevity.


 

 A scrupulous selection of grapes and care for production details, give origin to Castello di Spessa's crus, the reds Conte di Spessa, Casanova and Torriani aged in Allier, Tronçais and Nevers barriques in the undergrounds of the castle; whites Di Santarosa and Segrè obtained by cold maceration in order to extract the delicate and elegant aromas from skins which will give wines elegance. The range of Castello di Spessa's wines certainly are convincing: a very good quality which can be found in every wine therefore confirming the production efforts and the seriousness of this Gorizia's winery. Even base wines - all being produced with white berried grapes - are convincing, as well as “cru” wines: elegant and refined aromas with a fresh and pleasing taste. The range of Castello di Spessa's products is completed by the wonderful “Grappa Riserva del Conte 1987”, distilled in discontinuous alembic still made of copper and steam operated, aged for 15 years in the barriques used for the aging of Pinot Blanc di Santarosa.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Collio Pinot Grigio 2003, Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Collio Pinot Grigio 2003
Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Grapes: Pinot Gris
Price: € 14,50 Score:
This wine shows a pale golden yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of hawthorn, apple and plum followed by aromas of pineapple, acacia, broom, grapefruit and pear. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and pleasing roundness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum and apple. This wine ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Broiled fish, Mushroom soups, Stuffed pasta with vegetables, Risotto with crustaceans



Collio Pinot Nero Casanova 2001, Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Collio Pinot Nero Casanova 2001
Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Price: € 21,00 Score:
This wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of toasted wood, cherry and strawberry followed by aromas of cyclamen, raspberry, vanilla, pink pepper, licorice, cocoa and menthol. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack, good crispness and pleasing roundness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. This Pinot Noir ages in barrique for 24 months.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Sauteed meat with mushrooms, Stuffed pasta



Collio Sauvignon Segrč 2003, Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Collio Sauvignon Segrè 2003
Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Price: € 20,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows a brilliant greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of peach, box, pineapple and banana followed by aromas of broom, lemon, apple, litchi, bell pepper, pear, grapefruit and elder. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of peach, pear and pineapple. A well made wine. This Sauvignon Blanc ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Vegetables and mushroom soups, Pasta and risotto with crustaceans, Roasted fish



Collio Pinot Bianco di Santarosa 2001, Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Collio Pinot Bianco di Santarosa 2001
Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Grapes: Pinot Blanc
Price: € 18,50 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows a pale golden yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of banana, plum and toasted wood followed by aromas of pineapple, apple, hazelnut, pear, grapefruit, hawthorn and hints of lavender. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however well balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum, pear, banana and hazelnut. A well made wine. This Pinot Blanc ages for 9-12 months in barrique.
Food Match: Roasted fish, Fish soups, Roasted white meat, Stewed fish with mushrooms



Collio Merlot Torriani 2001, Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Collio Merlot Torriani 2001
Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Grapes: Merlot
Price: € 20,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of plum, dried violet and vanilla followed by good aromas of black cherry, black currant, blueberry, tobacco, licorice and hints of eucalyptus and cinnamon. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however well balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, good tannins, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry. A well made wine. Torriani ages for 18 months in barrique.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Collio Rosso Conte di Spessa 2000, Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Collio Rosso Conte di Spessa 2000
Castello di Spessa (Italy)
Grapes: Merlot (75%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%),
Cabernet Franc (5%)
Price: € 23,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry, vanilla and plum followed by aromas of blueberry, dried violet, licorice, tobacco, cocoa, blackberry and menthol. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and pleasing roundness, however well balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, good tannins. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum, black cherry and blackberry. A well made wine. Rosso Conte di Spessa ages for 24 months in barrique.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Castello di Spessa - Via Spessa, 1 - 34070 Capriva del Friuli, Gorizia - Italy - Tel. +39 481 639914 Fax. +39 481 630161 - Winemaker: Domenico Lovat with the help of Gianni Menotti - Established: 1981 - Production: 100.000 bottles - E-Mail: info@castellospessa.com - WEB: www.castellospessa.com


 Wine Tasting  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 24, November 2004   
Castello di SpessaCastello di Spessa Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
Issue 23, October 2004 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 25, December 2004

Cellar Journal


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 Wine Tasting  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 24, November 2004   
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