Nebbiolo is the grape that’s used to make Barbaresco. Round here (where I am now in Northern Italy) you can buy Nebbiolo made from outside the DOCG regions of Barbaresco and Barolo, and it tastes pretty good. But for many reasons, it’s just not the same.
Some of the best wines in the world are made from fussy grapes. Last week’s wine was Cabernet Sauvignon. That’s a fussy grape. Nebbiolo however is one of the fussiest.
It’s low yielding for a start. Not many grapes grow even in good years. In really tough years the crop can be devastatingly small.
It’s also a late harvested fruit, with harvest usually not taking place until Oct/Nov time. This is actually where the name comes from. ‘Nebbia’ is Italian for fog and the name comes from the fogs that hit this region during the Oct/Nov harvest. One major problem of late harvest means that crap weather right up until picking can bugger up a vintage.
Sounds like more trouble than its worth doesn’t it? Well they wouldn’t do it if the results weren’t amazing! Beautifully acidic and tannic (sometimes a bit much if they’re too young), with amazing rose petal smells when they’re young, perfectly suited to barrel ageing, and developing amazing cherry and prune flavours, along with smells of Piemonte’s famous truffles.
It really does make some of Europe’s superstar wines!
Other Posts In #NWTW Week 33