The Marengo Mauro Nas-Cetta 2020 is a White wine from the Langhe district near the town of Novello in the Piedmont area of northwest Italy. Marengo Mauro is a family-owned and operated winery, every member of the family has a duty. One manages the vineyards, another does the graphics and packaging, another oversees the winemaking, this is a family business.
The Nas-Cetta grape has been around for at least 130 years, but was forgotten and almost extinct until it was rediscovered in the 1990s. In the past Nas-Cetta had been produced as a sweet wine, but the rebirth of this grape is of a dry, very modern wine.
I learned about these wines at a Zoom podcast with a wine consortium from the region. The Marengo Mauro Nas-Cetta 2020 was one of the featured wines. These wines are from smaller family wineries with limited production capabilities. They cannot produce enough wine to make this an inexpensive White wine, expect to find it in the $15 to $25 range.
If you have not heard of Nas-Cetta wines remember that few people in the US drank Pinot Grigio wines until Santa Margherita and broke Pinot Grigio in America. It was not that long ago that Robert Mondavi could not give away his Sauvignon Blanc wines. He changed the name to Fume Blanc and the wine took off. Most producers in California have reverted to the Sauvignon Blanc name, but you can still find a wine with the Fume Blanc name.
There are 100s of unique Italian White wine grapes, each town has its own varietal that is the pride of the people and they pay little attention to the different wine folks in the next town drink. Most people are familiar with a small fraction of the White wine available in Italy. You can spend decades exploring White wines.
The Marengo Mauro Nas-Cetta 2020 was fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged for five months, on fine lees, in stainless tanks. On lees is when the dead spent yeast is left in the tank with the wine, fine lees is where some of the larger pieces are filtered out. The lees give the wine a nutty/salty taste and can add a creamy flavor and/or texture when the lees are stirred.
This region of Piedmont is famous for Barolo wine, which uses the Nebbiolo grape and is the king of Italian Red wine. Barolo is a staple of high-end restaurants and I think the Nas-Cetts wineries think their White wines work well in the same restaurants.
The Marengo Mauro Nas-Cetta 2020 Tasting Notes
The color is golden honey yellow. The nose is ripe apple, Anjou Pear, melon, lemon, peach, with a floral edge. The Marengo Mauro Nas-Cetta 2020 is both familiar and different, the flavors are all easily identifiable, but in unique combinations.
This Nas-Cetta tastes like lemon, melon, lime, peach (not juicy), apple, and nectarine. The mid-palate shows that nutty/salty on-lees thing, dried pear, guava, and savory honey (not sweet). The acidity is an interesting component of this wine. I was at a supermarket today and saw one of those cold shrimp rings with the shrimp sauce in the middle and the Marengo Mauro Nas-Cetta 2020 would turn that simple appetizer into a feast.
- Exploring new wines is fun.
- If you ever find yourself in a wine rut the White wines of Italy are a surefire way of waking up your palate and remembering what you love about wine.
- The Marengo Mauro Nas-Cetta 2020 is a delicious wine and a nice departure from the large production wines that most value-priced wine drinkers have in their price range.