Weekly Feature - Nebbiolo

Perhaps one the greatest and most important grape varieties of Italy, is Nebbiolo. Found in Northern Italy, we know it to be most famous in Piemonte but it also grows with much success in the neighbouring regions of Val D’Aosta, known as Picotener and in Lombardia, known as Chiavennasca. You may also see Spanna on labels from the northern Piemonte regions such as Gattinara, Ghemme, Boca and Lessona. 

Its most famous home, however, is in the surrounding towns of Barolo and Barbaresco. In Barolo, there are 11 communes (or villages) that can put the name “Barolo” on the label and four in Barbaresco, with all using 100% Nebbiolo.

Nebbiolo is a thin skinned grape that is early budding and late ripening; a long growing season with harvest sometimes seen as late as early November. In the glass it is light-coloured, but don’t let that fool you! It’s high tannin and high acid structure make it suitable for long ageing. In fact, some Barolo can age for 35 years or more! In their youth, Nebbiolo can express cherry, raspberry and rose aromas and with age will gain cigar box, tar and more savoury aromas and flavours. 

Soil also plays a key role in this grape variety; the lighter blue soils of La Morra and Barolo along with the sandy soils of Barbaresco, make these wines more approachable and perfume-y in their youth. On the east side of Barolo in the regions of Castiglione-Faletto, Serralunga and Monforte d’Alba, the soil has a rich clay, iron content which gives the wines a high tannic instensity that settles with age.

Whatever style of Nebbiolo you prefer, you can find many different expressions available for purchase at CLS. Order today!