How Does Nebbiolo Taste
Nebbiolo has a distinct color that sets it apart from other red wines, with a pale garnet;hue that takes on a brick orange tinge;at the edges of the glass.; Nebbiolo is well-known for picking up characteristics of the soil, expressing wildly different terroir depending on where it was grown. High in tannins and acids, the;palate offers notes of tar, roses, leather, and cherries. However, each expression of Nebbiolo offers subtle differences we can only recommend tasting them all!
What’s The Difference Between Nebbiolo Barolo And Barbaresco
Hello there! I’m Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don’t worry, I’m no wine snobyou can also ask me those “dumb questions” you’re too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don’t forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What is the difference between a Nebbiolo and a Barolo and Barbaresco? I know the two Bs are made from the Nebbiolo grape, but what characterizes a Nebbiolo wine?
Kathryn, Los Angeles
Youre correct that Nebbiolo is the name of the grape that Barolos and Barbarescos are made from. Though small amounts of Nebbiolo are grown all over the world, its mostly found in northern Italy, in the Piedmont region. Within Piedmont are two wine-producing zones called Barolo and Barbaresco, whose namesake wines are both made from the Nebbiolo grape. A wine may be labeled as a Nebbiolo if it’s made in a region outside Barolo and Barbaresco that permits varietal labeling.
Differences Between Barolo And Barbaresco
The most sought-after and famous wines made using Nebbiolo are from the Barolo and Barbaresco zones, in the north-west corner of Italy. The region is home to hilly terrain, with some vineyards growing at altitudes as high as 2,000 feet above sea level. While the high altitudes can sometimes hinder ripening, in a good vintage they help produce remarkably perfumed, age-worthy wines with high acidity.;
Barbaresco DOCG is the smaller of the two regions and has less stringent regulations. Barbaresco wines must age in oak for at least nine months with a total age time of two years before release. Riserva wines must age for at least four years before release. High-quality versions can age five to ten years, sometimes longer.;
Barolo DOCG is nearly three times the size of Barbaresco yet still only five miles wide at its broadest point. Barolo wines must age in oak for at least 18 months with a total age time of three years before release. Riserva Barolo must age five years before being released, with high-quality versions suitable for drinking sometimes up to 20 years later.;
Recommended Reading: Stella Rosa Moscato Nutrition Facts
What Food To Pair With Nebbiolo
After some time in a , the high acidity and complex tannins make Nebbiolo a beautiful choice for pairing with food. For more successful combinations, look for foods that feature fat, butter, and olive oil to help balance the tannins. Avoid dishes that are too lean this wine needs hearty and decadent foods to shine.;
Given Nebbiolos heritage in northern Italy, start with rustic, Italian fare. Rich meat dishes, cheese-ridden pasta, or a creamy risotto are all great choices as the tannins bind to the food proteins and come across softer. Nebbiolo also goes surprisingly well with savory Chinese dishes and spice-driven Asian cuisines.
Core Grapes & Wines
Best Nebbiolo Wines To Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts About Nebbiolo
Youll find my;Top 10Nebbiolo reviews and ratings here.
5 Surprising Facts about Nebbiolo:
1. Compared to other Italian grapes, Nebbiolo buds early and ripens late with harvesting taking place mid to late October.
2. The Nebbiolo grape produces lighter style red wines that can be highly tannic in youth with aromas of tar and roses. Prolonged aging is essential to mellow this wine and soften tannins. Aromas such as violets, wild herbs, cherries, raspberries, truffles, prunes, and tobacco emerge with aging, but this can take decades.
3. Nebbiolo has a history of blending with other red or white grapes in order to give more depth of colour and to soften the harsh tannins. Blending with white grapes led to the name Barolo Blanco.
Today, DOCG regulations for Barolo and Barbaresco call for 100% Nebbiolo. However, there are whispers in wine circles that many Barolo producers blend with Barbera, Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon to bring arolos signature blackish hue and ripe flavours. This has not been proven.4. Barolo and Barbaresco are the most well known wines made from Nebbiolo. Barbaresco is the lighter of the two classic styles with fewer DOCG restrictions.
Barbaresco requires only 9 months in oak, 21 months of total aging and 45 months for Riserva designation.
Barolo, however, requires 1 year in oak, 3 years total aging and 57 months total aging to receive Riserva status. Both Barolo and Barbaresco must have minimum 12.5% alcohol.
Read Also: How To Make Glasses Out Of Wine Bottles
Du Toitskloof Nebbiolo 2014
The Du Toitskloof Nebbiolo has a pale to medium garnet colour.
There are definite notes of red fruits , fig, plum and violet on the nose. You will also smell cured meat and sweet tobacco on this wine.
The first sip reveals that the wine is dry, has softer tannins, medium to high acidity and lots of fruit flavours on the palate. The wine is well-balanced and has a complexity of flavours . This Nebbiolo has a medium to long finish with a pleasant tarty taste.
This is a medium- to full-bodied wine.
Where Does Nebbiolo Come From
Nebbiolo is grown primarily in Northern Italy, where it reaches its peak of quality. Though some excellent examples are also produced in Arizona, Southern Pennsylvania, and Mexico, the vast majority of Nebbiolo is from Piedmont, Italy. Piedmont’s two greatest expressions are Barolo and Barbaresco, both of which are 100% Nebbiolo, though the terroir in each results in wines that taste quite different. There are also great Nebbiolo-based wines from the Roero appellation in Piedmont, and ones labeled Langhe Nebbiolo can also be wonderful.
Don’t Miss: How Many Carbs In Stella Rosa Wine
What Is The Difference Between Barolo And Barbaresco
Both Barolo and Barbaresco are made from Nebbiolo, though in general, Barolo is the more powerful of the two. Barolo has historically been called “the king of wines and the wine of kings.” Both of them, however, have excellent aging potential depending on the producer and vintage. They evolve in absolutely gorgeous ways, often developing notes of truffles, tar, and dried rose petals alongside their classic spicy and bramby berries.
Nebbiolo Red Wine Guide
Nebbiolo is an Italian red grape variety grown mainly in the mountainous region of Piedmont. The northern region is famous for DOCG wines like Barolo and Barbaresco, which are composed solely of Nebbiolo. The grape is sometimes compared to Pinot Noir because of the challenges it presents in the vineyard. It buds early yet struggles to ripen without the right amount of heat. Quality levels are also differentiated by a system similar to Burgundys Cru classifications.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Red Wine Out Of Tablecloth
Available : 00 Pm : 00 Pm 19+
Rosehall Run Pet Nat +Cider 2020, Prince Edward County, Canada 750ml
A unique blend containing Estate-Grown Muscat Ottonel and locally-grown apples . This Unique unfiltered fizzy blend of wine and cider is quite charming on the nosemandarin, ginger, yellow apple and floral notes. Light-bodied and slightly foamy, it tingles the tongue with flavours of apple, pithy citrus, a note of lychee and mouth-watering minerality.$32.00
Rosehall Run Pixie Sparkling NV , Ontario 750 ml
Easy drinking and fruity with a hint of sweetness on the finish that is balanced out by the tonic like bubbles.$33.00
Nebbiolo In 60 Seconds:
- Nebbiolo is a red grape variety that is native to Piedmont, Italy.;;
- Nebbiolo wines are often lightly-colored, yet full-bodied and highly tannic.;
- Nebbiolos high tannin levels make it an ideal wine to age, sometimes for decades.;
- In Italy, Nebbiolo is labeled by the region in which it is grown, like Barolo or Barbaresco.;
Recommended Reading: Gout And Red Wine
Blind Tasting Nebbiolo Wines
Vintage Wine Taster Bruce selected a dozen Nebbiolo wines to try before he chose the final six wines for our blind tasting. Only one of the six Nebbiolo wines was from outside the Piedmonte wine region. Here are the wines we tasted and the order in which we ranked them.
- 2015 Harrington Luna Matta Vineyard Paso Robles $29.95 KL Wines
- 2016 Gallino Nebbiolo Langhe DOC $12.99 Weimax
- 2016 Traves Nebbiolo Canavese DOC $17.99 KL Wines
- 2016 Rocca Felice Nebbiolo Alba DOC $17.99 Total Wines
- 2015 Botonero IGT Sondrio, Lombardy $17.99 Weimax
- 2015 Carema Classico Carema DOC $25.99 Weimax
The number one Nebbiolo was a shocker. The Paso Robles Nebbiolo was just about everyones favorite in the tasting. The wine was bolder than the others, along with a beautiful finish. Could it be the calcareous soils of west Paso Robles and the cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean make for fantastic Nebbiolo wine?
The second place wine, the 2016 Gallino Nebbiolo, is truly a Best Buy Wine. It has all the wonderful characteristics of a Nebbiolo at a terrific price. It is $13 at Weimax Wines in Burlingame.
Nebbiolo characteristics have many traits: rose fragrance, red fruit, dark fruit, acidity, as well as tannic components. Nebbiolo is a beautiful wine and one that improves with the right food combination.
A Little Bit Of History
Nebbiolo is an Italian black grape varietal, originally from the Piedmont region in northwest Italy. It is thought that the name Nebbiolo is derived from the Italian word nebula meaning fog or mist; either because of the white, misty bloom that covers the grapes when the berries are ripe or because it is harvested late in the season, during early morning autumnal fogs.
It is thought that the Roman author Pliney made reference to wine made from Nebbiolo as early as 1 AD. Pliney noted the exceptional quality of wine made in the Pollenzo region, located northwest of what is now the Barolo DOCG zone, and although he does not explicitly reference Nebbiolo, the characteristics that he described bears a striking resemblance to Nebbiolo wines.
1268 marks the year in which the first explicit reference to Nebbiolo was made. The next reference to the wine was made in 1303, by a wine producer in the Roero district. The following year, 1304, saw the wine being described as one of excellent quality in the Liber Ruralium Commodorum treatise. Then, during the 15th Century, Nebbiolo was so popular in the Barola villages, known as La Morra back then, that damage to, or the cutting down of, one of these vines could be punished by cutting off a persons right hand or even hanging.
Today a small number of wine farms produce single varietal Nebbiolo wines.
Don’t Miss: What Wine Has The Lowest Calories
Affordable Nebbiolo Wines To Try
Spirits columnist Jason Wilson, whos filling in for Dave McIntyre this week, recommends the following widely available nebbiolos. They are listed in order of preference.
Piemonte, Italy, $25
If you want to understand what nebbiolo is all about, try this beautiful wine. Its really a baby Barolo at about a third of the price. Aromas of rose and berry, with silky tannins and lovely fruit on the finish.
Dalla Terra: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cork Market. Available in Maryland at FineWine.com in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Ceciles Wine Cellar in McLean, Balduccis in McLean and Alexandria, the Italian Store in Arlington, Whole Foods Market locations in Old Town and Tysons Corner.
Lombardy, Italy, $45
This is Alpine nebbiolo, notably different from Piemonte. Its a cool customer: full-bodied, suave and elegant, with nice minerality on the finish.
Siema Wines: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Maryland at Cork & Fork in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at the Italian Store in Arlington, the Wine Cabinet in Reston.
Piedmont, Italy, $23
Deep and satisfying, it has gripping tannins and complex flavors of tart cherry, licorice and raspberry. Lots of fruit on the finish.
Rosenthal Wine Merchant: Available in the District at Ace Beverage. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Au Domaine in Alexandria.
Piemonte, Italy $17
Piedmont, Italy, $18
Piedmont, Italy, $16
Nebbiolo: The Smartest Italian Wine To Buy Now
Nebbiolo is to Italophiles what pinot noir is to most other wine-heads, so I wasnt surprised to bump into a River Café sommelier in a square in Pimlico last week and see his eyes gleaming like a fox that has just caught sight of a fat chicken. We were standing at the door of the Royal Horticultural Halls where, inside, there were over 500 wines made by 92 producers in 18 different denominations in northern Italy from only one grape – Nebbiolo.;
The greatest Nebbiolo show on earth, as Walter Speller, Italian wine expert and show founder, called it. And it was quite an event.;
The grape behind the two Piedmont greats of Barolo and Barbaresco has never been as highly prized among fine wine lovers and collectors as it deserves, though its status is slowly changing.;;
The fine wine trading platform Liv-Ex tracks just one nebbiolo in its Fine Wine 100 index. However,;Liv-Ex Director and Co-Founder Justin Gibbs discerns a subtle shift in interest over the past few years. He says, Italy has been gaining market share . The country accounted for just 1% of trade in 2010, whereas today it accounts for just over 8%. While Tuscany accounts for the greater market share , Piedmont has been the bigger driver of the regions price performance: in 2018, prices for Piedmont rose 8%, while Tuscanys prices were up 5.5%.
Sign up for the;Telegraph;Luxury;newsletter;for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.
You May Like: What Wine Has The Lowest Calories
Giovanni Rosso 2018 Ester Canale Rosso Nebbiolo
You now have FREE access to nearly 300,000 wine, beer and spirit reviews. Cheers!
Made with vines planted in 2012 in the celebrated Vigna Rionda cru in Serralunga d’Alba, this gorgeous, fragrant red boasts enticing scents of red forest berries, camphor, rose and potpourri. All about finesse, the vibrant, elegantly structured palate delivers juicy raspberry, red cherry, licorice and iron. It’s impeccably balanced by taut, refined tannins and bright acidity. Drink through 2028. Kerin OKeefe
All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5-8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide contextvintage, variety or appellationbut never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.
Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a products special characteristics.
Sommelier Secrets For Nebbiolo
If you cant afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d’Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety in Ghemme and Gattinara.
Recommended Reading: Where To Buy Troublemaker Wine
What Nebbiolo Tastes Like
The full-bodied character of Nebbiolo often comes as a surprise to drinkers given the wines light color. As a young wine, Nebbiolo appears pale with garnet tones. It expresses red fruit aromas and flavors such as cranberry and cherry, and also has a distinct floral character with notes of rose and violet. Due to Nebbiolos natural high tannin levels, it can take years of bottle aging for the fruit character, acidity, and tannins of the wine to become balanced. With age, the wine develops a brick-orange hue, and reveals secondary and tertiary notes of prunes, truffle, and leather.
Other Areas That Grow Nebbiolo
Nebbiolo isnt confined to just Barbaresco and Barolo. The grape grows in more than 50 sub-regions across Piedmont. Many sub-regions, like Gattinara DOCG and Langhe Nebbiolo DOC, are home to vineyards located on less steep slopes. In these zones, Nebbiolo can be blended with other grapes, if needed. Many producers opt to make varietal Nebbiolo when possible, but also incorporate grapes such as Bonarda, Croatina, and Vespolina. Elsewhere in northern Italy, Nebbiolo is grown in the Lombardy regions of Valtellina as well as Franciacorta.;;
Outside of Italy, Nebbiolo can be found in parts of Californias Central Coast. While slightly less tannic, the structure and unique floral character are still evident. Producers in Australia are also gaining recognition for varietal Nebbiolo, particularly in warmer pockets like Victoria where sun and heat help the grape thrive.;;
Read Also: How To Make A Pallet Wine Rack
Your Next Lesson: Langhe Nebbiolo
By Eric Asimov
Heres a Wine School problem for you: Barolo and Barbaresco are among the worlds most beautiful wines, made from the nebbiolo grape, which is known partly for a tannic austerity that can take years of aging to soften. The young Barolos and Barbarescos available in most wine shops wont be ready to drink for several more years, while older examples are expensive and hard to find. How should we approach these wines?
The solution is to examine a close relative, Langhe nebbiolo, a wine from the same general area as Barolo and Barbaresco, but one that is usually softer and more accessible. Sometimes the grapes used for Langhe nebbiolo come from outside the limits of the more exalted appellations. Other times, they may come from the same vineyards as Barolo and Barbaresco but are taken from young vines or, for some other reason, do not make the cut to go into the grander wines.
Even if they lack the intensity, dimensionality and age-worthiness of the more expensive wines, they will convey the essential characteristics of the nebbiolo, a wonderful grape that seems to prosper only in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy and in Lombardy, a neighboring region to the east. We could have tried wines from Ghemme, Carema, Gattinara or Valtellina, other areas that offer distinctive variations of nebbiolo, but the Langhe, the region of Barolo and Barbaresco, is the best place to start.
The three bottles I recommend are:
G. D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo 2012 $24