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Ca'D'Gal

Profoundly Delicious Moscato d’Asti from the Dagueneau of his Region

Sandro Boido is Moscato’s answer to grower Burgundy or grower Champagne, setting the level high with zero compromises in the vines and the cellar. He works with the same principles as the best growers anywhere, and as a result the wines he produces redefine what is possible in his region. In short, Boido’s approach delivers wines with the depth of character, class and somewhereness that we have not seen before with Moscato

Boido’s estate is tucked up in the Valdivilla hills, about 15 kilometres west of Barbaresco and in the commune of Santo Stefano Belbo. Surrounding the Ca’ d’Gal farmhouse lies the Estate’s 6.5-hectare amphitheatre of sandy, calcareous slopes. These sand-rich slopes are prized for complexing Moscato’s heady perfume and have become regarded as one of Moscato d’Asti’s blue-ribboned terroirs. It’s no surprise then that this commune is home to the highest concentration of Moscato vines in Piemonte – almost all the vineyards are planted with this variety. In the Ca’ d’Gal vineyards there is also a prized plot of old, pre-clonal, 55-year-old vines where the soil strays into seams of limestone-rich blue tufa. The fruit from these vines is bottled separately. It’s a complex, frothy testament to Moscato, the landscape and the people who make this special place work.

No one does Moscato like the top growers of Piemonte, and few of those can match the intensity, purity and complexity—and certainly the expression of place—of Ca’ d’Gal.

In line with many of Europe’s finest growers, Boido has eliminated herbicides and pesticides in the vineyard, and he also crops Ca’ d’Gal’s Moscato vines at yields that are well below the permitted norm (circa 100 hl/ha). In fact, yields for the Lumine bottling are around the same as a conscientious Champagne grower’s and dip towards 40 hl/ha (i.e., just above Grand Cru Burgundy levels) for the old vines cuvée. Another key to Boido’s game-changing, aromatically complex wines is his no-holds-barred approach to grape ripeness. Against the fashion, Boido crafts his wines from well-ripened grapes picked “yellow like polenta”, like in the old days (as opposed to the half-green fruit that goes to supply much of the commercial Moscato d’Asti for the international market). That he manages to work with super-ripe fruit without loss of acidity and freshness is a testament to the health of his vines, the low yields with which he works, and the fact that he hand harvests. The wines are also vinified using spontaneous ferments (a rarity these days) in closed vats with extended lees contact, and, in another statement of intent, Boido only bottles in full bottles—half bottles compromise quality and so they are refused (no half measures here!)

Having worked for many years with small-batch Moscato from Massolino and Albino Rocca, we don’t need to remind our clients that there is an alternate type of Moscato out there, one with an artisanal quality that delivers the depth of character and sense of place typically missing from their mass-market counterparts. With busy hands and a warm heart, Alessandro Boido is making some of Moscato’s most serious examples. Perhaps ‘serious’ is the wrong word to use, but we think you’ll know what we mean; these are abundantly juicy, aromatically pristine wines full of fruity swells, mouth-watering personality and seldom seen savoury depths.

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Ca' d'Gal Barbera d'Asti 2021

Ca' d'Gal Barbera d'Asti 2021

Sandro Boido’s Barbera is drawn from half a hectare of 50-year-old vines in Cassinasco, about ten klicks from the winery in San Stefano Belbo. The vines sit on a south-facing hillside with limestone-rich soils, gifting bright and lip-smacking blue fruits alongside a smoky savouriness, while the low yields bring a juicy mouthfeel. In terms of the winemaking, the grapes are entirely destemmed and spend 15 days on skins before coming together in inox tank for 12 months to keep the flavours bright. Of course, the domaine is known for its white wines, each of which sits as a benchmark in its appellation, yet, where there is smoke… This is a terrific Barbera with purity and energy to burn. With 2021’s refreshing acidity and plucky tannins folding around a core of creamy blueberry and plum fruit, it will make an excellent accompaniment for salami, Agnolotti del Plin and, if you are feeling big-time, the classic Piemontese dish of Bollito Misto.

Of course, the domaine is known for its white wines, each of which sits as a benchmark in its appellation, yet, where there is smoke… This is a terrific Barbera with purity and energy to burn. With 2021’s refreshing acidity and plucky tannins folding around a core of creamy blueberry and plum fruit, it will make an excellent accompaniment for salami, Agnolotti del Plin and, if you are feeling big-time, the classic Piemontese dish of Bollito Misto.

Ca' d'Gal Barbera d'Asti 2021
Ca' d'Gal Asti Spumante NV

Ca' d'Gal Asti Spumante NV

Sometimes it’s easier to start with what a wine isn’t rather than what it is. In a story similar to that of Beaujolais in the 1980s, Asti Spumante was picked up as the ‘new thing’ by the regional giants, who liberally delved into the marketing budget. How did that famous TV advert go? — “Asti Spumante: bubbling, sparking, exciting, like life itself!”. You know the story: lazy viticulture, massive yields, cheap to produce and margin to be made. This Spumante is not one of those wines. Sandro Boido is Moscato’s answer to grower Champagne, with all this entails. To begin with, Boido’s Spumante is hand-harvested from just 1.5 hectares of Moscato Bianco di Canelli, the Rolls Royce clone of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. Talking of the key differences vis-à-vis Moscato d’Asti; here the wine is bottled with between 4-5 bars of pressure and around 7.5% abv, both considerably higher than the semi-sparking Moscato d’Asti. So, in real terms, the Spumante is closer to traditional sparkling wine and is drier than its close relative.Reminiscent of warm summer days, it’s dizzyingly aromatic, capturing sunny notes of elderflower, mandarin oranges and citrus blossoms, illuminated by buoyant effervescence on the tongue. Flavours of peach skin and pear melt on the palate like candy floss: it’s a perfectly light and balanced wine with a surprising level of complexity. So versatile, it would happily work with a range of flavours, from fresh fruit desserts to charcuterie, spice-heavy Asian dishes, aged cheeses and most crustaceans. Smashing stuff. And stuff for smashing!

Reminiscent of warm summer days, it’s dizzyingly aromatic, capturing sunny notes of elderflower, mandarin oranges and citrus blossoms, illuminated by buoyant effervescence on the tongue. Flavours of peach skin and pear melt on the palate like candy floss: it’s a perfectly light and balanced wine with a surprising level of complexity. So versatile, it would happily work with a range of flavours, from fresh fruit desserts to charcuterie, spice-heavy Asian dishes, aged cheeses and most crustaceans. Smashing stuff. And stuff for smashing!

Ca' d'Gal Asti Spumante NV
Ca' d'Gal Moscato d'Asti Lumine 2022

Ca' d'Gal Moscato d'Asti Lumine 2022

This intensely perfumed, super-fine Moscato is drawn from an amphitheatre of sandy, chalky slopes that circle Sandro Boido’s winery. Boido’s hand-tended, organically managed vines here average around 30 years of age. This area has long been recognised as one of Moscato d'Asti’s most prized terroirs. The steep, chalky vineyards that dominate the Santo Stefano Belbo commune are prized for tempering Moscato’s varietal heady fruits with freshness, mineral energy and perfume. Lumine may be Ca’ d'Gal’s entry Moscato, but it is always a striking, pulpy and mouth-watering wine of wonderful freshness, heady perfume and surprising complexity. The 2022 is no exception, with a lifted, heady perfume of yellow and white flowers, crystalline stone fruits, candied lemon rind, ripe apple and fresh herbal notes. Lumine means ‘to illuminate’, and this exceptional Moscato does just that across the palate with layers of perfumed, silky fruit, a juicy, sorbet-like, chalky freshness and a precise finish. It’s an exceptional Moscato that’s very fairly priced vis-à-vis the quality.

Ca' d'Gal Moscato d'Asti Lumine 2022
Ca' d'Gal Moscato d'Asti Vite Vecchia 2016

Ca' d'Gal Moscato d'Asti Vite Vecchia 2016

This wine completely changed our perception of what was possible regarding Moscato. Sandro Boido is one of the few Moscato growers pushing the envelope to reach for the highest quality, and this wine is his calling card. “It’s a huge debacle,” he told Eric Asimov of the New York Times. “Moscato has exploded in America, but which Moscato? Not Moscato d’Asti. Why are people willing to spend $100 on a bottle of red wine but refuse to spend $40 on a bottle of Moscato?” As the name implies, Boido’s Vite Vecchia is drawn from old vines, a single parcel on just one hectare of the steeper, limestone-rich slopes of the Valdivilla hillside. Sandro's grandfather planted it with the old Moscato cultivar Canelli Moscato some 60 years ago. The wines are stored on cork for later release in large wooden boxes packed with sand. This is a traditional method of bottle maturation once used in the area, moderating temperature and moisture and blocking out all light.This is a unique and compelling version of Piemonte’s famous sweet wine. Thanks to the vine age, south-facing exposure and unique blue tufa (clay/limestone soils), the vines here produce intensely flavoured, golden bunches of grapes that, in turn, gift a gloriously deep yet vibrant Moscato with greater textural depth and vinosity than you could have otherwise imagined possible from the grape. An earthy/smoky/mineral impact and complex development might remind you of a Riesling or even an aged Sancerre. In other words, this is very serious Moscato. Perhaps ‘serious’ is the wrong word, but you know what we’re getting at. Boido’s old-vine bottling is a wildly aromatic, complex, juicy and layered wine that is impossible to stop drinking—making for a great wine by any measure! We’d go as far as to say this is a pioneering wine from the Didier Dagueneau of the region. It’s also brilliant to match with food—cheese, terrine, any pork or white meat dishes, and appropriate desserts (but it should be enjoyed throughout the meal like any top Mosel Auslese). 

Showcasing the dazzling heights that Moscato d’Asti can reach, this is a masterclass in balance, poise and complexity. Dense and layered but still with an airy lightness, there are enticing aromatics of ripe fruits, heady florals, thick lime skin and a distinctive minty lift. The palate is opulent, velvety and complex with custard and cream, zested lime and some savoury, herbaceous tones all working in harmony with a slight phenolic nip and perfectly pitched acidity. All class, all poise.

Ca' d'Gal Moscato d'Asti Vite Vecchia 2016
Ca' d'Gal Moscato Sant'Ilario 2020

Ca' d'Gal Moscato Sant'Ilario 2020

This wine is simply a revelation. It’s drawn from a single hectare of 70-year-old vines, some 10 kilometres from Boido’s winery in Cassinasco, on a south-facing hillside with limestone-rich soils. Cassinasco is one of only 19 villages (out of a total of 52 in the Moscato DOCG) included in the newly ratified Canelli DOCG. Moscato fruit from this subzone surrounding the town of Canelli has been grown since the 13th century and has always been associated with greatness. It is in the heart of the region, where the chalky soils and high altitude are perfect for Moscato.For the fourth year (out of six releases) this 2020 was awarded the coveted Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri—an extraordinary feat for a wine style so often associated with frivolity. Those glasses are well earned here. This is a wine more than capable of expressing itself with complex food. Of course, it can work with the classics—hazelnut-based desserts, fruit and cream tarts etc.—but it also has the intensity and mineral drive to partner with all kinds of savoury foods, much like a good Mosel Spätlese. 

It’s a mould-breaking wine of cut-glass purity and restraint, with a fine chalky texture and mineral zeal. The perfume offers gentle notes of grapefruit and lemon sherbet, while the palate is so fine, buoyant yet restrained, shot through with white peach, nectarine and lemon zest. Everything is in its place. It has salty, crystalline freshness, an intense, chalky finish and a length of flavour that is in class of its own. At the Ca’ d’Gal ristoro they match this with everything from cured meats, cured fish and foie gras, through to Brös—the tangy ricotta and grappa specialty of the region. This can age extremely well, developing deeper lime and aged Riesling notes. If you ever wanted a wine to completely upturn a stereotype, this classy white is it!

Ca' d'Gal Moscato Sant'Ilario 2020
Ca' d'Gal Moscato d'Asti Lumine 2020

Ca' d'Gal Moscato d'Asti Lumine 2020

This super-fine Moscato was drawn from an amphitheatre of sandy, chalky slopes that circle Sandro Boido’s winery in Santo Stefano Belbo. Boido’s hand-tended, organically managed vines here average around 30 years of age. This area has long been recognised as one of Moscato d’Asti’s most prized terroirs, with the steep, chalky vineyards that dominate the commune prized for tempering Moscato’s varietal heady fruits with freshness, mineral energy and perfume. Lumine may be Ca’ d'Gal’s entry Moscato but it’s always a striking, pulpy and mouth-watering wine of wonderful freshness, perfume and surprising complexity. The 2020 is no exception, with lifted white flowers, lime zest, green pear and Vietnamese mint notes. Lumine means ‘to illuminate’, and this does just that across the palate, with layers of aromatic, silky fruit, a juicy, sorbet-like freshness and a chalky, chiselled and precise finish. This is our second shipment of the 2020 vintage and the extra months in bottle have added a new dimension of deliciousness. It’s an exceptional wine that’s tremendously priced for its quality.

Lumine may be Ca’ d'Gal’s entry Moscato but it’s always a striking, pulpy and mouth-watering wine of wonderful freshness, perfume and surprising complexity. The 2020 is no exception, with lifted white flowers, lime zest, green pear and Vietnamese mint notes. Lumine means ‘to illuminate’, and this does just that across the palate, with layers of aromatic, silky fruit, a juicy, sorbet-like freshness and a chalky, chiselled and precise finish. This is our second shipment of the 2020 vintage and the extra months in bottle have added a new dimension of deliciousness. It’s an exceptional wine that’s tremendously priced vis-à-vis the quality.

Ca' d'Gal Moscato d'Asti Lumine 2020
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“The moscato grape variety is the sole focus of this legendary estate, founded 150 years ago and now run by Alessando Boido…The estate’s moscato’s are eminently age worthy and include a Vigne Vecchie [sic] selection released after five years in bottle.”  Gambero Rosso

“…very much ‘terroir’ wines.” Eric Asimov, The New York Times

“… a kind of Rolls Royce of its appellation, the result of the work of Alessandro Boido... And Vite Vecchia is the jewel in the crown of this small, cult winery’s production.” Daniel Cernilli, Doctor Wine

Country

Italy

Primary Region

Piemonte

People

Winemaker: Alessandro Boido

Availability

National

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