Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nebbiolo wine and the confusing issue of buying, aging, and storing them.

  Nebbiolo: If wine was simple everyone would make their own, and though educational and fun to make wine, not many of us can make really good wine, with far fewer of us growing and making really good Nebbiolo.
You are asking: What's this? Well, let me start with Wine Spectator's Dr. Vinny: "What characterizes Nebbiolo and the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco? I find the wines very distinctive, with aromatic tar, rose, licorice and truffle notes. The wines can be a highly tannic and have a reputation for aging well. In general terms, Barolo is the more massive, tannic and rich of the two, while Barbaresco is considered more elegant and approachable."
  So often when buying older wines (older than two or three years listed on the label) we forget that not all Nebbiolo wines are created equal (true of all varietals), and we forget that when buying older wines which have not been cellared properly they will tend to spoil, even wines that are structured to age well.
  Like all wines, buying them can be hit or miss, but when it comes to lesser known or available wines, it helps to ferret-out some recommendations that you can trust, and sadly NH has so few Nebbiolo wines I'll have to recommend outside of NH for those recommendations, or you can just experiment like I do, but remember to ask how a wine has been stored if it has some bottle age and check the cork for protrusion or staining, as these may indicate a problem.
I'm not the expert on the subject (tasting wine is my only method), so, if this varietal interests you, I'll refer you to a previous post and the links provided, as well as a link to Sandra Crittenden's post on the subject of wine storage.

Barolo and Barbaresco the Enigma of the Nebbiolo Grape Produced in Piedmont Italy

Wine Thoughts and wine storage


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