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CHEESE PAIRING:
Robiolla
Fontina
Mozzerella
Asiago
Montasio
Tallegio
Piave
Gorgonzola Dolce
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A stubbornly hard grape to grow, it's no wonder that the only place in the world making great wines from Nebbiolo is it's native region of Piedmonte in Italy. Here it comes to it's fullest expression on the hillsides of the towns Barolo and Barbaresco. These are long-aging wines because they need to be (10+ years). The high tannins make them almost brutal when young, though international palates are beginning to change centuries of tradition even here. It's a late-ripening grape, so each vintage is a tightwire act, with only a few outstanding ones per decade. Barolos and Barbarescos are considered to be Italy's finest wines and though relatively expensive, they are more affordable than many other wines in their class. Most fall in the $40-$100 range, which considering their long lives is quite a bargain. Production is also quite low, which makes them even rarer. The varietal is grown outside Italy sparingly throughout the New World, but no area has yet come close to the quality of Piedmonte.

WHAT TO EXPECT: A full-bodied, aromatic, highly acidic and tannic wine full of alcohol and red fruit flavors with floral (violet) and earthy notes (tar, tobacco, cloves). Over time the ripeness evolves into more dried fruit, vegetal (mushroom) and spicy (cloves, vanilla) flavors. Regardless of age, this is a wine that definitely needs time to breathe in order to help integrate the flavors and soften the tannins. It's also one that's hard to forget.



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spacer.gif2004 Beni di Batasiolo Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmonte, ItalyRATING: **
spacer.gif2004 Caparone Winery Nebbiolo, Paso Robles, CARATING: *
spacer.gif2003 Stolpman Vineyards Nebbiolo, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***


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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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