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.
> Converting to Organic
Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga
‘La Palmetta’ Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga
Rossese Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga
Granaccia Colline Savonesi, Albenga
2018 Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga – Tasted April 2019, 12.5% Alc. 2018 was a hot vintage for Mirco, resulting in fresh and slightly lower alcohol wines. This was bottled in March 2019 (available under DIAM). 50/50 wild and selected yeasts. Lots of citrus and wild herbs – thyme, lavender, and bay leaf. Very saline and crisp, with refreshing acidity, and a mineral spine. Sunny and bright, with the cool and salty taste of the sea – would be delicious with fish!
2018 ‘La Palmetta’ Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga – tasted March’19, 13.5%, TA5.20, 0RS, pH3.35, remains a blend of 50% Pigato grapes from the higher, rocky interior (cooler, more minerally) & 50% Pigato from the coastal flat, vinified only in stainless-steel, using 50% wild & 50% selected yeast, cryomacerated for 3 days to release the goodness from the skins. Slightly more intense in colour, the nose is punchier, more impressive, with distinct yellow citrus, coastal macchia & wild thyme notes; to taste it’s got presenza, with crunchy white fruit, pompelmo/grapefruit pith intensity & energy. Needs time in bottle, only 3k bottles produced.
2018 Rossese Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Albenga. Tasted April 2019, 13% abv. Gorgeous pale pinky red in colour, crunchy little red berries, sour red cherry, raspberry, and mandarin. Bright and vivacious, with lots of juicy raspberry and mandarin fruit on the palate, marked clarity and just the right amount of acidity to lift the fruit. Well balanced and with that same coolness of the sea breeze that you find in Mirco’s wines.
2018 Granaccia Colline Savonesi, Albenga – 13.5 %, tasted April 2019. 18HL produced, of which 2HL were fermented in tonneaux for 1 year to add a little complexity and fine tuning to the wine, but just the right amount, completing the puzzle by gently framing the fruit without overpowering it. On the palate there’s an abundance of fresh and juicy strawberry, red cherry, and blood orange, paired with silky fine tannins, and a peppery edge. Very easy going, generous, and delicious.