After sampling some of the finest wines the world has to offer David Pike returns with his report on the stunning work being performed by Poderi Colla.

TUCKED away in the north-west of Italy is Piedmont, one of the jewels in the crown of the world’s most exciting wine producing regions.

It is an area that produces some of the world’s greatest wines in the form of Barolo and Barbaresco.

Many of these wines are amongst the most sought after wines in the world. It is a spectacular region that has been formed around roller coaster hills that have created ideal climates for the area’s grape growers.

Within this spectacular region is producer Poderi Colla who is situated in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont. Although it has a history of producing wines that dates back to 1703, Poderi Colla is a relative new wine venture.

The company, or winery, was formed in 1993 when Tino Colla teamed up with his niece Federica after selling the famous Prunotto winery.

Tino’s elder brother is the legendary Beppe Colla who has experienced more than 50 vintages in the Alba region of Piedmont.

Beppe, it is said, knows every wine in every vineyard around Alba and is unquestionably one of the definitive authorities on the area.

The Colla family, with its long association within the Alba region, selected three superior estates (Poderi) to form the new venture Poderi Colla.

The three properties of note are Cascine Drago just outside Alba, Tenuta Roncaglia in Barbaresco and Tenuta Dardi Le Rose, in Barolo’s very prestigious Bussia cru.

When speaking with Tino Colla you very quickly understand there is not only passion for what they are doing but also how young WA’s wine industry really is.

You realise that even though the Poderi winery is not yet 10 years old, the experience that this venture has on its side makes our wine industry seem like it is still in nappies.

There seems no doubt that over time Poderi Colla will establish its self as one of the icon producers of the region.

Tino explained Poderi firmly believes that great wine is made in the vineyard and under Beppe Colla’s direction they spend a great deal of time there employing a number of viticulture practices to ensure that only top quality fruit is produced.

Tino also believes in working with nature rather than against it.

He explained that Poderi became part of a regional innovation program in 1995 that applies a specific EEC regulation dealing with a considerable reduction in the amount of fertilisers and phytochemicals used in the vineyard.

No chemicals are used in the vineyards and organic fertilisers are only used when specific needs arise. Tino says that Poderi are only interested in producing wines from their own estate and crop levels are often well below what the ‘DOC’ regulations state.

From tasting a number of the wines from Poderi Colla portfolio you will find a pedigree that is worthy of the reputation they have already established.

Poderi Colla Barbaresco DOCG ‘Roncaglia’ 1999 rrp $95.00 18.75/20

Barbaresco is quite difficult to distinguish from Barolo in blind tastings, often described as the feminine style.

Barbaresco is a zone or village and specializes in wines that are 100 per cent varietal Nebbiolo.

It is widely acknowledged as one of the best ‘crus’ in the Barbaresco regions, made from 100 per cent Nebbiolo grapes and aged in Slovenian and French new and year-old oak for between 12 and 14 months.

It boasts amazing complex and intense aromas showing fragrant rose petals with brambles, spice and integrated oak nuance’s.

Once you settle into the palate you won’t look back.

Rich and elegant with a succulent structure that has firm tannins, complementing acidity and persistence that can only come with super quality.

Poderi Colla Barbera d’Alba DOC 1999 rrp $38.00 18.50/20

This is a stunning wine that is fantastic value for money. Produced from 100 per cent Barbera grapes that come from low yielding vine averaging 60 years old. Hand-picked bunches are destemmed, pressed and macerated on skins for 10 to 12 days. The wine is aged in Slovenian and French oak for around nine months and racked only once.

Aromas are intense with ripe raspberries and mulberries with some spice, the palate is dynamic with rich fruits combining with raspy tannins and integrated acidity, wild berry fruits standout and flow in harmony across the palate. Masses of structure and unbeatable length.

This wine has nothing to do with Tino and his family, however having knocked down a few glasses while I was in Melbourne the word needs to spread far and wide just how good this sparkling wine is.

Bellavista Cuvee Brut rrp $55 19/20

This is the best Italian sparkling wine I have ever tasted. You could happily put this up against a number of French fizzers and it would easily stack up. A blend of Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, you will find crisp apple and brioche complex aromas, the palate is full of explosive fruit that displays creamy yet fresh zippy flavour, plenty of persistence and great value for money.

p Wines available through T3 Fine Wines 9248 4911.

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