Outstanding Fab Wines

Piedmont’s Langhe superstar Barolo is globally recognised as one of the best and most famous red wines in the world… However Nebbiolo grows and makes good wines under various names throughout Northwestern Italy. Most of these wines may lack the structure of Barolo but they make up for it in perfume, energy, elegance and delicacy. 

Valtellina: In Lombardia and bordering Switzerland, these vineyards reach over 2,400 feet. Nebbiolo (locally called Chiavennasca) can be blended with other grapes (Rossola, Pignola, Prugnolo and Pinot Nero). This is the most “nervous” Nebbiolo, full of flowers and sometimes subtle gamey notes. We often compare a good Valtellina Superiore with the Nebbiolo second super star of Langhe… the “Barbaresco”. The five Crus of Valtellina are Maroggia, Sassella, Grumello, Inferno and Valgella, which may appear on labels. There’s also a tradition of beefing up the region’s elegant wine by drying grapes, the “appassimento” Amarone-style wine making method; they call this Sforzato.

Northern Piedmont: This region includes Gattinara, Ghemme, Bramaterra, Fara, Lessona, Sizzano and, of course, Boca. Nebbiolo (called Spanna here) is often blended with Vespolina and Uva Rara.

Carema: Also in northern Piedmont, but just southwest of those mentioned above. Carema sits in the shadows of Mt. Blanc and is on the border of the Valle d’Aosta region. Nebbiolo (here called Picoutener or Picotendro) grows at high altitudes in fantastically terraced vineyards rooted in poor stony soils. Compared to the wines from Gattinara, Lessona, Boca, etc., the wines of Carema are even more brisk and ethereal.

Donnas and Arnad-Montjovet: From the eastern section of Valle d’Aosta near Carema, these are light and crisp Nebbiolos (called Picoutener or Picotendro).

A “Beyond Barolo … the Italian Nebbiolo” wine Tasting product is available. A Wine Tasting Product consists of a mixed box of wine supported by live/virtual educational sessions  and downloadable testing notes and final quiz. Contact us if you want to fix your session.

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