Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo, pronounced NEH-bee-oh-low, is such a unique variety. The name is derived from the Italian word Nebbia meaning fog.

Two theories for the name exist. The first that it refers to the fog that the vineyards of the Langhe are often immersed in. Second that the natural bloom that covers the grapes gives them a foggy appearance. Given the latter applies to most red grapes I prefer the former! There are 4 main clones of which Nebbiolo Lampia dominates over  Nebbiolo Michet, Rosé (now proven to be a different variety), and, Bolla.

Where is it grown?

Southern central and north Piemonte. The two big guns here are Barolo and Barbaresco. It is grown throughout the Langhe including the Roero, Asti, Carema, Biella, Novara and Vercelli. In Alto Piedmonte, it is known as Spanna, and, is often blended with Croatina and Vespolina. We have seen Giacomo Conterno buy Nervi in the Commune of Gattinara to produce wines in the region. It is also grown in the lower parts of the Valle d’Aosta where it is known as Picotendroi, and, Valtellina in Lombardy where it is called Chiavennasca among others.

What does it taste like?

The ultimate case of not judging a book by its cover, Nebbiolo, at first appears pale in colour, old wines can have the appearance of rusty tap water.

Then you smell it! The aroma of most red wines is dominated by fruit characters. In contrast, Nebbiolo’s aroma is typically a mix of complex secondary aromas, earthy, tarry, spice, rose, citrus peel, woody herbs like rosemary, liquorice, phenol, dark chocolate, tobacco, truffles, leather, and, dark cherry fruit, often more evident on the palate. You’ll see this difference immediately by comparing it two the other two main Piedmontese varieties Barbera and Dolcetto.

Good Nebbiolo has a core of fruit running the length of your tongue, along with layers of those same secondary characters. Nebbiolo’s grape tannins give it a distinct texture, that for those who have not tried it before can seem hard, and, unyielding. Look for the quality and depth of tannin.

Achieving well balance tannin, alcohol, and, acidity makes for great Nebbiolo.

More than most other Italian wines, Nebbiolo, demands food to be at its best. A little fat and salt, enhance the texture and bring out the flavours.

Check out all the articles in the Wine Bites Mag exploring Nebbiolo.

The 2016 Nebbiolo Mega Festa!

2016 has come at just the right time. We have a number of winemakers with incredible experience and wine wisdom. The vineyards in Barolo are in the best condition they’ve been in with incredible detail going into their care.

Combined we have a situation where vignerons are in the best possible position to make the most of the great fruit yielded by the 2016 harvest!

When you compare the 2015 & 2016 vintages you see the difference between a warmer vintage with a shorter ripening period and a cooler one with the longest ripening period in memory.

Nebbiolo responds beautifully to a cooler longer ripening. Once it reaches sugar level high enough to make a wine around 14-14.5% alcohol the sugar levels stop increasing, it tends to hold its acid and the tannins so important to the insane mouthfeel of Nebbiolo ripen and increase in depth.

Such vintages tend to offer wines with more perfume, energy, and, vitality.

Paul Kaan – Wine Decocded

Listed by Winery A-Z

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Albino Rocca


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Cascina Fontana


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Cascina Pugnane


Cogno



Colombera & Garella


Figli Luigi Oddero



Francesco explores the 2016 vintage in Barbaresco. I know it’s not Barolo! Worth a look, you start to get a feel for the maker, his wisdom levels, and, vineyard approach.


Giovanni Rosso



Giovanni Sordo







Watch 🎥full length 4 part series covering the 2016 wines & get the full experience with flyover maps of the communes and more. Listen 🎧 if the NBN is annoying you!


Luigi Baudana


Marcarini


Massolino


Nervi-Conterno



Paolo Conterno


Poderi Aldo Conterno


Poderi Colla


If you enjoy Levi’s work please “>shout him a coffee here!


Podero Oddero


The podcast from Levi Dalton with Isabella Oddero from 2009 and one with Giacomo Oddero that just dropped is well worth a listen. If you enjoy Levi’s work please “>shout him a coffee here!


Produttori del Barbaresco


Sandro Fay


Serafino Rivella


Sottimano


Vajra

2019 Langhe Nebbiolo Wine Bite

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