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Nebbiolo and Nebbiolo

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Langhe Nebbiolo 2012, Roccabella, Eugenio Bocchino ($31.50, private import, 12 bottles/case)
100% Nebbiolo from organically and mostly biodynamically farmed vines planted in 2000. Manually harvested. Maceration and fermentation with indigenous yeasts and daily pump-overs take place in concrete and/or stainless steel tanks and last 20 days. Matured 12 months in Slavonian oak barrels and eight months in the bottle. Sulphur addition is minimal. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Bambara Selection.
Cherry, “stewed prune,” sandalwood, dried rose, sweat, “icing sugar,” kirsch. A tad denser than, say, Produttori’s Langhe Nebbiolo but still medium-bodied. The clean, ripe, silky fruit, fine tight tannins and edgy acidity play against a cherry wood and graphite backdrop. The nicely sustained finish has spice and floral overtones. Will be even better in a year or three. (Buy again? Yes.)

Barbaresco 2011, Valgrande, Ca’ del Baio ($41.95, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Nebbiolo from organically farmed vines between 11 and 40 years old. Manually harvested. Destemmed. Macerated and fermented, with indigenous yeasts, in stainless steel, temperature-controlled tanks for one to two weeks. Matured 30 months in large Slavonian oak casks and six months in bottle. No added anything except small amounts of sulphur at bottling. 14.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Bambara Selection.
Here the cherry fruit is scented with dried orange peel, sawed wood, spice, tar and a hint of rose. Tight and structured, though the tannins and acidity are fruit-clad. That fruit, deliciously ripe and shot through with minerals, has a slightly chewy texture. Despite the alcohol flaring a little on the long finish, the wine is impeccably balanced. Beautiful and surprisingly accessible yet, like any high-quality, traditionally styled Barbaresco, able to age and develop for at least 10 years. (Buy again? Yes.)

MWG October 23rd tasting: flight 5 of 6

Written by carswell

November 23, 2015 at 10:34

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