La Stoppa Ageno 2020


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“The La Stoppa winery and vineyards are located in Piacenza within the Emilia region of Italy where owner, Elena Pantaleoni, and her enologist, Giulio Armani, oversee thirty-six hectares of vineyards interplanted among forest and farm land. They have practiced organic since the early nineties, but it was only in 2008 that certification was in place. However, organics is just the tip of the iceberg at this uber-traditional winery, where spontaneous fermentations, ambient yeasts, little to no sulfur, long macerations and extended aging in neutral vessels rule the day. Here, every task is done with the goal of communicating a pure expression of variety, place and vintage. Barbera, which we often look to Piedmont for, excels here with Emilia’s warm climate and the heavy clay-limestone soils throughout La Stoppa’s vineyards. Other varieties here include Malvasia di Candia, Ortrugo and Trebbiano, which are used to create their flagship white or, should I say, orange wine, Ageno. Keep in mind that with this kind of winemaking and lack of certain controls in the cellar, the wines can be variable from vintage to vintage. This was quite apparent as I tasted the 2016 Ageno next to the 2019, two completely different yet also enjoyable expressions of the same mix of varieties. For an amazing value and introduction to the house style, look to the Vino Rosso Trebbiolo, a blend of 60% Barbera and 40% Bonarda, that is so easy on the palate that you could pair it with breakfast. For a more intense and important expression, the Camporomano, a varietal and single vineyard Barbera, proves the worth of Emilian red wines.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (11/21)