Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WBW #54: Produttori del Barbaresco 2006 Langhe Nebbiolo (WN)

The topic for this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday is "A Passion for Piedmont," and this turned out to be pretty convenient since I had recently ordered a bottle of Nebbiolo, the Produttori del Barbaresco 2006 Langhe Nebbiolo. Other than tasting a Barolo and a Nebbiolo d'Alba at a local wine shop a few weeks ago, Nebbiolo is a grape I haven't come across much despite its noble reputation. The Barolo and Nebbiolo d'Alba I tasted both were very tannic and acidic, with the Barolo clearly being the wine built to age due to the overwhelming structure it possessed. Based on price and general drinkability, the Nebbiolo d'Alba, with its kitchen spice bouquet and less punishing tannins, was clearly the one to buy for immediate drinking.

Since I love wines with ample structure in a medium bodied package with more than simple fruit to offer on the nose, I was optimistic this Langhe Nebbiolo would offer a profile similar to the Nebbiolo d'Alba. I was not disappointed. The Produttori del Barbaresco was a translucent red color, much like a Pinot Noir. This perhaps shouldn't be all that surprising since both Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir are "pigmentationally challenged." Acidity and hearty tannins abound in this Nebbiolo, and this is where you realize that you're drinking something vastly different from a Pinot Noir. The body isn't thin, but it certainly isn't heavy, either. The nose is mostly red cherry with high-toned floral accents and just a hint of the kitchen spice that was so intriguing about the Nebbiolo d'Alba. This is what I'd call a muscular, lean wine with no excess fat. It was a bit tough at the start, but rounded out with more time in the decanter. The finish also was quite nice. I think this is a better food wine than a stand alone sipper, but there is such purity and character to it that it can hold its own. Although I'm sure you can do better at higher price points, this one really hit the QPR button for me as it offered quality and character at a very modest price.

Score: 87-89
Price: $15 from Wine Library

1 comment:

Lisa Lorenz said...

I love wines from Piedmonte from Nebbiolo - to Barberas!. Had a chance to visit and it was great!