Nebbiolo is the grape that has made the wine regions of Barolo & Barbaresco in Italy famous for fine wines. Potentially the king of Italian red grapes for the complexity of the wines it produces and their ability to age.
It combines many distinct characters unique to that grape. Light coloured, sometimes almost translucent, due to low pigmented grapes. Naturally high acidity which enables it to age well. A beautiful aroma character that is perfumed with notes of rose and tar as it ages. And tannins that have a bold tea leaf texture that combine well with the soft red cherry fruit of the grape. To taste this wine is a unique experience.
And it is challenging for a winemaker since they need to work carefully with those tannins to extract the best from them without astringency. This is perhaps why the good wines are so expensive. This grape also needs time to reach full ripeness, Piedmont is a region famed for its rolling fogs that keep the mornings cooler and extend the ripening season; hence the secret of that region for producing great versions of this red.
There is a new and old wave of Barolo making. The old fashioned style tended to use more oxidative ageing in large old oak barrels, these styles are more savoury with tar and rosehip flavours. The new wave aim to retain more fruit freshness and can age in smaller barrels giving more structure and flavour from the oak.
Xinomavro, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Trousseau, Poulsard
Italy: Piedmont (Barolo, Barbaresco, Langhe)
Roast turkey, veal, pheasant, boar, meat ragu, mushroom & truffle risotto, polenta