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Possibly the greatest of Italian grapes and certainly the longest-lived. Nebbiolo grows almost exclusively in the northwestern reaches of the peninsula, most notably Piedmont, where it thrives in the DOCGs Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo ripens very late (usually mid October) and when fully ripe has abundant amounts of flavor, aroma, acidity and tannins. Traditional examples of Barolo and Barbaresco can take decades to reach maturity. Young and less distinct examples are usually full of fresh red fruit and violets, whereas older and better forms have notes ranging from black fruits to truffles to an ethereal rose quality hard to find in any other wine on earth (source www.winegeeks.com)
There are eleven different communes of Barolo with two different main taste styles (based on the soil type: limestone vs. sandstone). The 2 communes to remember that are lighter in style are La Morra and Barolo with limestone-based soils. The communes of Serralunga d’Alba, Monforte d’Alba, and Castiglione Falletto are usually bolder with sandstone soils. (source www.winefolly.com)
Barolo vs. Babaresco There are two main differences. The soils in Barbaresco are mostly limestone-based soils, which means less tannin (like La Morra and Barolo communes above). The climate has less of a diurnal shift which produces grapes that ripen sooner but have thinner skins. This means Barbaresco tend to have less tannin, color, and phenolics (a.k.a. aroma compounds). Thus, Barbaresco wines are usually lighter tasting and less tannic than Barolo. (source www.winefolly.com)
Despite the light ruby-red color, Barolo typically shows a bold mouth feel with powerful and elegant tannins. Barolo is considered to be the wine of the kings and the king of the wines. Its aristocratic nature is even more evident after aging in bottle. The longer, the better.
Aging Potential: Barolo is born to be aged and get better and better with aging in the bottle. Every month of aging improves the intrinsic quality of this wine.
Food Pairing: Great with lamb, red meat, game and aged cheeses