What is the Fuss about Langhe Nebbiolo, Barolo and Barbaresco!

Piedmont Nebbiolo Explained:Langhe, Barolo and Barbaresco

If you love red wine and have never sampled a proper nebbiolo grown and made in Piedmont, then you have been much deprived! Do yourself a favour and find a good one to savour! Piedmont is the global capital of nebbiolo and is situated in the north-west of Italy. It possesses soils and microclimates that grow nebbiolo like no other wine region on Earth. Many have tried but nobody can reproduce the magic quite like Piedmont. More specifically, within Piedmont is a place about the size of the ACT, called Langhe that is host to two of the most famous wine villagesin the world,Barolo and Barbaresco.

Nebbiolo wines grown within the Barolo region can be labelled Barolo DOCG if they undergo the numerous rigid regulations which include minimum 18 months oak treatment and minimum aging of 38 months or longer before release. Similarly for nebbiolo wines grown within the Barbaresco region, and they both have become very expensive DOCG appellations in recent years, with Barolo probably slightly in the lead. Both can also producereservelabels (riserva) but that requires wines being held back for more than 5 years before release. Barbaresco mostly comes slightly bolder and fuller bodied than Barolo. By contrast, Barolo often takes on the weight and texture of a heavier style of pinot noir and so is often compared with Burgundy. A well chosen bottle of Barolo or Barbaresco usually abounds with aromas of fruit and earth, is beautifully smooth, has oodles of tannin but they are silky soft and great for food matching. They can often have an incredibly long palate showcasing all the flavours of the farm - earth, dirt, cherries and soured dates often resembling the profile of a xmas cake.

Langhe DOC is also 100% nebbiolo and can be made from grapes grown anywhere in the Langhe region, including those grown in the villages of Barolo and Barbaresco that didn’t get used in the final cut for the DOCG labels. A well chosen Langhe DOC can often out perform a poorly chosen Barolo DOCG or Barbaresco DOCG, but at a much lower price tag. It’s sometimes called the poor man’s Barolo! Even these however are not cheap. Probably best to get in now as the prices are likely to creep up even further!

Popsy and JJ, wine merchants and the leading European wine reviewers in Oz, have 3 beautiful Piedmont nebbiolos on offer – the Elio Filippino Langhe DOC 2016 rated 96 points, the Elio Filippino Barolo DOCG ‘La Morra’ 2015 rated 97 points, and the Elio Filippino Barbaresco Riserva DOCG ‘San Cristoforo’ 2012 rated 98 points - all masterly produced by Elio Filippino. Popsy & JJ refer to Elio as the ‘nebbiolo scientist’!

Check out these rare and very special wines at popsyandjj.com.au. And remember, Piedmont nebbiolos are best matched with rich pastas and meat dishes.