Located in the Ligurian Riviera at Albenga, between the hills and the Mediterranean sea, Cascina Feipu dei Massaretti is a producer of classic Pigato, along with local reds Rossese and Granaccia. The cantina was founded by Agostino and Bice Parodi, originally from Genova, who first planted Pigato in 1965. Pigato is the local white grape, a relative of Vermentino but more aromatic and with darker skins.
They own 5.2 hectares plus rent a further 0.8 hectares. The Pigato is planted both on the alluvial sandy flats in Albenga, within a radius of 1km of the cantina, and on the schistous slopes of the hills 13 km inland.
They started bottling during the 1970s. Their son-in-law Mirco Mastroianni joined the cantina in 1997, along with a new winemaker. In 1996 and 1997 they tried ageing the wines in barriques but soon found this compromised the purity of the Pigato, which is now vinified only in stainless steel. They avoid malolactic conversion to retain fresh acidity. In 2016 Mirco took the seminal step of vinifying 33% of his Pigato fruit using wild yeast cultures that had been developed by a quadra of five Pigato producers in the area; the results are fantastic! Two Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente wines are made by Massaretti: one, a fleshy Pigato from the alluvial soils close to the cantina, the other a more focused, minerally example called ‘La Palmetta’ compromised, almost exclusively, of fruit from the more demanding stony soils of the coastal hills behind Albenga. ‘La Palmetta’ was first made in the 2006 vintage.
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Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga
‘La Palmetta’ Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga
Rossese Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga
Granaccia Colline Savonesi, Albenga
2017 Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga – 13.3%abv, bottled in March 2018. Tasted early April 2018. Bottled under DIAM from 2017 vintage. 50/50 wild and selected yeasts. Lots of citrus, apple core and mandarin notes, green olives and wild herbs (thyme, oregano, lavender, basilico…pesto!), very saline with the ‘frescezza’ of the salty sea air (vineyards at at km proximity to the Mediterranean). Mineral and delicious….tasted May 2018: lovely translucent, watery lemon colour, citrus spremuta & soft Med sea breeze aromas; citrus pulp, sea salt, delicate, agrumi, fresh, perhaps from a 15 day earlier harvest, of what was a very healthy vintage…lots of sale minerale. From the vineyards in front of the cantina, or former river bed soils a kilometre from the sea. Yields down 20% due to April cold snap. Bottled with 74mg of total sulphur, 21 mg free. TA 5, pH 3.50. Perfect with pesto sauces!
2017 ‘La Palmetta’ Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga – 13.5%, a blend of 40% Pigato from the interior hills, & 60% from the alluvial coastal flat; a more intense detailed citrus lemon colour, helped by 3 days of cryomaceration perhaps; the nose is finer, more precise & detailed, with less of the pulpy soft citrus fruit of the classico Pigato, more nettle, yellow grapefruit skin fruit, more buccia, slightly aspro even. A more complex, demanding wine. Great with gamberoni, oratta, branzino….
2016 ‘La Palmetta’ Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga – 13.5%, c.3k bts from 0.3ha planted on the rocky Ligurian hills 13 km at altitude from the sea, vinified using selected yeast, tasted from tank, herbal, greengage, smoky closed, presence; in bocca taut, intense, tight mandarin skins, salmastro (saline), weighty but fine, grapefruit pith, always finer than the normal Pigato, with more acidity, more energy, Needs bottle & time…& wild yeasts!!
2017 Rossese Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga – tasted tank sample early April. Pretty blush pink and perfumed with delicate wild strawberries, arancia, rosa di bosco. From vines planted in the ’80s in sight of the sea. To taste: delightful red grapefruit skin, rose, salato, delicato, one senses the sea breeze, the Riviera’s light, zero tannins, juicy and lively….Tasted May 2018 post bottling: refreshingly clear bottle shows off Rossese pretty red colour perfectly; sealed with DIAM5; yields down 20%, production 6k bts, bello rosso-ese red, the nose bright & Mediterranean, uncannily with corbezzolo fruit colouring & aromas! Also rosa canina & riper strawberry notes. Originally Rossese comes from the mountainous Dolceacqua region, that gives brooding dark, Dolcetto like wines..but here on the coast at Albenga, it’s transformed into a pretty wine that’s easy on the eye. Vinification requires lots of rackings & air, during a brief 10/15 day maceration; to taste it’s agrumato, pulpy, with Campari-esque bitter orange fruit, dried rose fragrance, salty…that cries out to be chilled to 15 degrees & served with octopus!
2017 Granaccia Colline Savonesi, Albenga – 13.3%abv, only 18HL produced due to April’17 cold snap that dropped 50% of the flowers; the first to harvest on 30 Agosto; fine, perfumed with mulberry, lots of extract, but fleshy, silky, good acidity, no tannins to speak of, blood orange fruit, to be bottled Sept’18
2016 Granaccia Colline Savonesi, Albenga – 13.5%, to be bottled end Aug’17, 11 days on the skins in s/s, this Grenache shows plum skin purity, juicy, soft, forest fruit, fresh, it flows, svelte, harvested a bit earlier to keep the acidity…