Fancy your red wine a pale garnet with red fruit and floral aromas like that of Pinot Noir, but with tannins akin to a Cabernet? Look no further than Nebbiolo, the most noble grape of Italy that produces the famed Barolo and Barbaresco.
One of Italy’s oldest grapes, its name is derived from the word nebbia, meaning fog. This may be related to the white, powdery bloom that covers the berries at harvest, or the fog covering the hills at harvest time.
Like Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo is a challenging grape to grow. Early budding, very late ripening, it will struggle to ripen fully unless planted on well-exposed, south facing hillside slopes. Soilwise, it prefers calcareous marls. It is highly site-sensitive and is distinctively expressive of its terroir.
Sight: Pale ruby garnet, will turn orange with bottle age
Nose: Aromas of red cherry, rose, anise, violet, tar and underbrush.
More mature wines would display aromas of dried red fruit, withered rose petals, sweet spices, leather and truffles.
Palate: Leathery, gripping tannins with high acidity but with cherry and raspberries flavours.
Pairing: Marbled steaks, braised duck, rich risotto, strong cheese like Parmesan and Pecorino.