Wine #13 was a real treat from Pour Wines in NYC. In the METAWINE part of the site, maybe one day I'll ramble a bit about the "mere-exposure" effect: simply having been exposed to something makes you like it MORE than something you have not had as much exposure with previously.
In hindsight, perhaps that is why I was just smitten with this wine... Though I've never had this particular classification before, I'm in love with this grape variety. It turns out, I've been lucky enough to have had this type of grape on *several* occasions.
And. I. Love. It.
Red fruits, slightly baked, but earthy. Some spice.
Acidity: Med +
Tannin: Med +
Just Lovely. Elegant.
2010… Seems a little young, both by the lack of rim variation (if the color near the rim is more clear, that is typically a hint that the wine is older), AND it just seemed youthful & vibrant ~ as if this wine had the potential to age, but wasn't at its peak yet. A difficult thing for me to really describe... Maybe it was that it still had bright red fruit flavors (aroma), but I could tell the bouquet (the other stuff, like spice & vanilla that comes from oak/aging) was there in the background, waiting to develop. Plus, the acidity and tannins were not too harsh, but there was something about them that made me think this was a younger wine.
Torn between Chianti/Brunello di Montalcino (Sangiovese grapes) & Burgundy (Pinot Noir). Definitely has an old word feel.
Whatever it is, I like it.
Langhe, Piemonte, Northwest Italy
Tasting notes from POURWINES:
Is is true that Nebbiolo is more beautiful in the glass than other wines, or is it just that it looks so good because you know how delicious it will be to drinK? However it is, Pace's Langhe is beautiful in the glass and the mouth - and also the nose, where it displays bright cherries wrapped in cedary earthiness. On the palate, the familiar Nebbiolo magic: mouthfilling and airy, bright and earthy, complex cherries and raspberries with caramel notes and silky tannins.
Peter, the awesome buyer at POUR WINES assured me that my two guesses were not TOO far off, as this wine fell right in the middle of a Chianti (From Tuscany, made from SANGIOVESE grapes) and a BURGUNDY (Pinot Noir from the Region of Burgundy, France).
The PIEMONTE region of Italy is known for its stunning Nebbiolo, which is aptly named after the fog (NEBBIA in Italian) that used to settle right around the time of harvest (though now the grapes need to be picked earlier and earlier). I've been lucky enough to visit this part of Italy, and it is JUST like what you would imagine... Amazing. Giving wine a sense of place really helps when trying to remember what it tastes like.
The NEBBIOLO grape, both high in acidity and in tannins, allows for some serious aging, and it is typically a little lighter in body and has more "brick" color tones, especially as it ages. When I think of Nebbiolo, I think of tar, cherries, berries, herbs, some spice, even licorice or tobacco.
Just that rustic "Italian-ness"...
Have you ever heard of BAROLO?
Both of these wines are made from the Nebbiolo grape, though have specific restrictions based on location as well as aging requirements.
Just picture what the wines taste like when made from these hills...
Anyway, I think I loved this wine because I have been lucky enough to taste many Baroli (plural for Barolo?) as it is my father-in-law's favorite. It can be hauntingly beautiful...
That said, it was a pleasure to taste Nebbiolo that was NOT a Barolo, which must be in oak for roughly two years and then aged in bottle another year before being released. BAROLO is typically a bold, powerful red wine, and since that has been my primary experience with Nebbiolo, I was not even expecting such a lovely surprise with this LANGHE Nebbiolo!
Also, I can't mention Nebbiolo and not talk about BARBARESCO. Often, less esteemed than Barolo, Barbaresco is not aged as long in oak and is not from certain hills designated in the BAROLO DOCG. Remember though, Barbaresco is still 100% Nebbiolo! The difference a place makes... It typically considered a "feminine" expression of Nebbiolo, while BAROLO is more masculine. To be honest, I love both, but both of these wines are meant to be aged...
SO, if you want to try a Nebbiolo that is ready to drink now, look for this wine from the LANGHE.
The LANGHE is part of the PIEMONTE region, which is the broader region that encompasses Barolo & Barbaresco. However, since this wine doesn't qualify for the rules of Barolo or Barbaresco, it is lumped into the larger category of LANGHE Nebbiolo.*
*NOTE: This Langhe Nebbiolo from PACE happens to be 100% Nebbiolo (at least, according to the sources I found). However, you CAN actually have a small proportion of other grapes blended in, such as BARBERA and still be called Langhe Nebbiolo. This is why one of the famous GAJA's wines, Costa Russi, is labeled LANGHE Nebbiolo DOCG, NOT Barolo. Tricky, Tricky.
I'm up at the in-laws' for the weekend... and I'll be tasting some wine.
And eating a lot of Chowder (YAY FOR CHOWDERFEST).
Hopefully some Nebbiolo will work its way into the mix! (Maybe not while having chowder...)
On that note, have a great weekend!