Flashcards in Piedmont Deck (210):
Italian grape grower and producer and one of the first to bottle his own Barolo
Dominated by the Alps. Capital of region is Turin. Vineyards are two distinct groups: north-east near Lake Maggiore and south-east in the Langhe and Monferrato hills. Severe climate in winter, but long summer and warm autumns.
Largest vineyard are for production of DOC and DOCG wines. 40 different appellations. Reputation for quality red wine production. Most important are DOCGs Barolo and Barbaresco. IGT classification not recommended in this provence, many wines classified under general Piemonte DOC.
Increasingly important, often style of Barolo or Barbaresco at lower prices. Some international styles aged in new oak.
Nebbiolo grape, premium proces. Long maturation period of two years in large oak casks, one in bottle. Modern wineries now ageing in new oak barriques.
Great concentration and complexity, high tannin, acidity and alcohol. Need further bottle ageing to show full potential. Develop floral (rose/ violet), strawberry, mushroom, leaves, tar and leather.
Nebbiolo grape. Less body and complexity than Barolo but shorter minimum ageing requirements. Similar price range.
Barbera d' Asti and Barbera d'Alba DOCG
Barbera grape. Growing reputation. Two main styles- light, sour cherry fruit to be drunk young or oak aged, higher tannin, complex, needing bottle age to show potential. Medium price.
Dolcetto d' Alba DOC
Dolcetto grape. Soft and fruity, damsons, light tannin and low acidity.
Finest production region of the Dolcetto grape.
Nebbiolo d' Alba DOC
Satellite appellation of Barolo. Softer, less intense and faster maturing Nebbiolo than that produced in Barolo or Barbaresco.
Left bank of the river Tanaro, directly across from Langhe. Significant quantities of Nebbiolo and Arneis produced.
Moscato d' Asti DOCG
Moscato grape, highly perfumed, grapey, to be drunk young and fresh. Moscato d' Asti is slightly sparkling. (Asti DOCG is fully sparkling. Refer to Unit 6)
Cortese grape. Limstone dominant soils, hillside vineyards. Dry white with high acidity and a steely backbone.
Long history of high quality Nebbiolo (known locally as Spanna) production, long- lived wines, with substantial ageing in oak. Vineyards planted on the Vercelli and Novara hills.`
Qualitatively outstanding and highly distinctive wine region in north-west italy whose principal city is Turin (see map under italy). This subalpine part (its name means ‘at the foot of the mountains’) of the former kingdom of Savoy was the driving force behind Italian reunification in the 19th century and led the initial phases of Italy’s industrial revolution. Its geographical position both isolated and protected it during the period of Habsburg, Bourbon, and papal domination which marked Italian life between 1550 and 1860, while its proximity, both geographical and cultural, to France (the kingdom’s court and nobility were Francophone until well into the 19th century) gave it both an openness to the new ideas of the European enlightenment and relative prosperity—in stark contrast to the poverty of much of the rest of the peninsula. In 2010, total annual wine production averaged over 3 million hl/79 million gal, with over 75% doc or docg. In Piemonte vines are planted at elevations, which can vary from about 150 m to above 400 m (490–1,150 ft), with the best, south-facing sites typically devoted to nebbiolo, while the coolest positions are planted with dolcetto (or moscato in the zones in which it is grown). barbera is widely planted in between. Average summer temperatures and rainfall are very similar to those in Bordeaux. Although there are 12 Nebbiolo-based DOCs or DOCGs, only the world-famous barolo and barbaresco supply significant amounts of wine. gattinara, for example, which is the largest of the Nebbiolo DOCs outside the langhe hills, encompasses hardly more than 100 ha/247 acres of vineyard. Very much more common is Barbera, planted virtually everywhere in the provinces of alba, asti, and Alessandria, often with scant attention to its viticultural needs, while the best sites are reserved for the more valuable Nebbiolo. It was therefore considered Piemonte’s workhorse grape, resulting necessarily in modest wine, until the 1980s when high-quality and expensive oak-aged Barberas appeared on the market, showing its real potential and radically changing perceptions. dolcetto , almost as ubiquitous as Barbera and similarly considered modest rather than great, delivers most of Piemonte’s fruity red wine for early drinking. It ripens even earlier than Barbera and is regularly vinified in less than a week to make sure the fermentation tanks are empty before Barbera and Nebbiolo are harvested. White grapes, with the exception of the moscato used extensively for various spumante and frizzante (most notably asti), used to be a virtual afterthought in Piemonte, but the region’s production of white wine grew considerably in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Part of this surge is due to the renewed popularity and commercial success of Asti and moscato d’asti, but wines based on cortese such as gavi and those from the Colli Tortonesi and Alto Monferrato have also become increasingly popular. Native Piemontese varieties such as arneis and favorita (Vermentino), mere curiosities in the early 1980s, were planted on 925 ha and 464 ha respectively in 2010. While the 1980s saw the arrival and a certain acceptance of international varieties, they never established a real foothold here, no doubt due to Piemonte’s many high-quality, unique indigenous varieties. While the plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have helped trigger a budding and promising metodo classico production under the Alta Langa DOC, other white Piemontese varieties, such as erbaluce (dry as well as sweet), timorasso, and nascetta, as yet produced in tiny quantities, are beginning to earn deserved recognition. Piemonte is the only region in Italy that does not allow the production of igt wine. Instead, an overarching DOC Piemonte, the size of the entire region, was created, encompassing more than 60 individual DOCs and DOCGs. The intention was to brand the region’s entire production at the highest quality level in order to obtain greater prestige and success in the international market. But the system failed, because the Piemonte DOC’s production rules had to be as flexible as those of an IGT to allow both international varieties and higher yields. This weakened the significance of the DOC system as well as the notion of origin in high-quality wines, while the expected added prestige for the region did not materialize. The only radical refinement of the Piemontese DOC system has been the creation of recognized smaller subzones or single-vineyard sites, called Menzioni Geografiche, of which especially Barolo and Barbaresco have taken advantage, but other DOCs and DOCGs are bound to follow, Barbera d’Asti being a case in point.
In the dialect of the north west Italian region of piemonte, indicates the highest part of an elevation in the landscape or, in particular, a vineyard with a steep gradient at the top of a hill. The term was first used on a wine label by Luciano de Giacomi in 1969 for his Bricco del Drago, a blend of dolcetto and nebbiolo grapes from Alba, and has been extensively used for the other wines of Piemonte ever since.
Is a piemontese dialect term used for vineyard sites of the highest quality, particularly for those with an exceptional favourable southern exposure. More subtle variations also exist: a ‘morning’ sorì (sorì di mattino) with a south-eastern exposure or an ‘evening’ sorì (sorì di sera) with a south-western exposure. The term was first used on a wine label by Angelo gaja for his Sorì San Lorenzo Barbaresco 1967 and was widely imitated in the subsequent quarter-century.
One of the most renowned producers of high-quality, estate-bottled wines in piemonte, traces its origins to 1856 when the Gaja family opened a tavern in their home town of barbaresco and began serving their own wines to accompany the food. By the end of the 19th century, the wines were already being bottled and supplied to the Italian army in Abyssinia, a highly unusual development in their home district of the Langhe, where a tradition of bottled wine assumed real significance only from the 1960s. The firm became an important force after the Second World War under the direction of Giovanni Gaja, who began an important series of vineyard purchases in what is now the Barbaresco docg zone, a strategy that has given the house a total vineyard area in 2014 of 100 ha/247 acres, dwarfing all other family-owned Barbaresco houses, and an excellent selection of superior vineyard sites. Gaja wines gained worldwide recognition under Giovanni’s son Angelo Gaja, who took over the direction of activities in the late 1960s; trained at the oenological school of Alba and at montpellier, an indefatigable traveller in the world’s major viticultural areas, and a tireless and charismatic champion of his native region and its wines, he gave a new international perspective to the wines, pioneering small barrel maturation of both Barbaresco and barbera, and introducing international grape varieties—cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc—to the vineyards of Piedmont (his Cabernet Sauvignon is called Darmagi, Piemontese for ‘what a shame’, supposedly his father’s reaction). He also acquired land in nearby barolo, with the 1988 Barolo Sperss marking a return to the zone from which the Gaja family made a wine from purchased grapes until 1961. In the 1990s, Gaja expanded his horizons even further, purchasing the Pieve di Santa Restituta estate in Montalcino, where the first brunello di montalcino produced under his supervision was made in 1993, and, more recently, the development of the Ca’ Marcanda estate in bolgheri on the Tuscan coast. In 1999, Gaja announced that he was renouncing the name he had made so famous and selling all the wine previously sold as Barbaresco DOCG, including his fabulously expensive single-vineyard Sorì San Lorenzo, Sorì Tildin, and Costa Russi bottlings, as DOC Langhe Nebbiolo, the catch-all appellation for declassified Barolo and Barbaresco and for wines containing up to 15% ‘foreign’ varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Gaja defended this controversial move by arguing that the estate’s traditional Barbaresco, made by blending grapes from different vineyards (considered historical practice in the zone), had suffered in prestige being considered a ‘basic’ Barbaresco in comparison with single vineyard bottlings, a trend he was striving to counteract.
Industrious and dedicated winemaker based at La Morra in barolo in the north west Italian region of Piemonte. One of a group of so-called modernist Barolo producers seeking a more accessible Barolo (see barolo for more details), he was particularly keen to promulgate the notion of terroir. In 1979 he was one of the first to draw up a map of the best Barolo vineyards, or crus, which, with limitations, is still valid today.
Small but historically important wine region in the hills between the towns of Vercelli and Novara, producing nebbiolo-based red wine in the north west of Piemonte (see spanna for more on its neighbours). It was important enough to have been classified in the 16th and 17th centuries but had only 95 ha/234 acres of vineyards in 2011. In the 19th century, these hills were far more widely planted with Nebbiolo than the langhe, and the wines were more highly prized than either Barolo or Barbaresco. The long decline of viticulture here was halted when Gattinara was awarded docg status in 1990. In 2004 an overarching DOC, Coste della Sesia, including the Lessona and Bramaterra zones, was created in an effort to safeguard its wine production. Although production regulations faithfully reflect the historical practice of blending in the local uva rara and/or vespolina grapes, used in the past to compensate for unripe Nebbiolo grapes in cool vintages, practically all Gattinara is now made of 100% Nebbiolo, a sign of improved viticulture, lower yields, and, possibly, climate change. Gattinara is a seriously ageworthy wine with long mandatory ageing of 35 months (47 months for Riserva), and single-vineyard wines are the rule rather than the exception. The region as whole did not escape the fashion for barrique ageing entirely, although most wines today are aged in large oak casks. Gattinara tends to be lighter and a little more acid than Barolo, yet more perfumed with tangy acidity and a long ageing capacity while still representing excellent value.
Culinary capital of the langhe, famous for its red wines and white truffles, and where in the past, before estate bottling became the norm, producers would sell their grapes to bottlers and négociants on the Piazza Savona immediately after the harvest. Since 2010 it also is the name of a rather irrelevant DOC for Nebbiolo-Barbera blends covering all of Roero, Barolo, Barbaresco, and Dogliani. See also roero and nebbiolo d’alba.
Nebbiolo d' Alba
Is an Italian doc red produced from nebbiolo grapes grown in 2012 on a growing total of 649 ha/1,603 acres of vineyard in 34 communes surrounding the city of alba in piemonte. Seven of the communes are partially inside the Barolo docg zone, although the areas which can produce Nebbiolo d’Alba—the southern sections of Monforte d’Alba and Novello, the north eastern tip of La Morra, all but a western slice of Diano d’Alba, the northern parts of Verduno, Grinzano Cavour, and Roddi—have been excluded from the Barolo zone. Most of the vineyard land is on the northern bank of the river Tanaro in the Roero hills (which, absurdly, does not belong under the administration of Alba as it lies outside the langhe), on sandier soils that yield wines that are softer, less intense, and faster maturing than a Barolo or a Barbaresco, more generically ‘Nebbiolo’ and less pointedly characterful. The demarcation of the DOC Nebbiolo d’Alba comprises the whole of the DOCG roero, and therefore can be used by Roero producers for declassification of their wines, but as such is infrequently used. This may change, as the Roero DOCG is much less famous than Nebbiolo d’Alba.
Plural of Langa, name given to the hills to the north and south of the city of Alba in the province of Cuneo in piemonte on the right bank of the River Tanaro. The soils, composed of clay marls, are the classic ones for the nebbiolo grape, and produce the Langhe’s most famous wines barolo and barbaresco, although they can also yield barbera, dolcetto, and moscato of excellent quality. The hills gradually rise to the south of Monforte d’Alba, creating a climatic limit to the cultivation of Nebbiolo, and to the south of Dogliani up to 600 m/1,970 ft. The area is increasingly important for the production of traditional method sparkling wines based on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir under the docg Alta Langa. Langhe is also the name of a regional doc, overlapping with the DOCG roero on the left bank of the Tanaro (and therefore not part of the Langhe geographically). The Langhe DOC is used for non-traditional grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Arneis, and Nas’cetta, and as a DOC category into which more geographically limited DOC wines can be declassified: Dolcetto d’Alba can become Langhe Dolcetto, for example, or Barbera d’Alba may become Langhe Rosso. Most Barolo and Barbaresco producers who bottle a cheaper Nebbiolo for relatively early drinking label it Langhe Nebbiolo as, perversely, the DOC Nebbiolo d’Alba is almost entirely confined to the left bank of the Tanaro, coinciding with Roero, and includes only tiny parts of the classic Barolo communes.
Increasingly important vineyard area and docg on sandy hills on the left bank of the River Tanaro in the piemonte region of north-west Italy which takes its name from the villages of Montaldo Roero, Monteu Roero, and Santo Stefano Roero to the north west of Alba. Geographically as well as administratively it is not part of the langhe, from which it is separated by the River Tanaro, but it shares its most important red grape variety, nebbiolo, although the wines tend to be softer and earlier-maturing than those from barbaresco and barolo. In spite of ongoing marketing efforts, Roero’s expression of Nebbiolo deserves to be better known. This is perhaps why many Roero producers own vineyards in or buy grapes from the more famous Barbaresco. Significant quantities of red barbera and white arneis are also grown in Roero.
Extensive DOC in the hills to the east of Turin in the provinces of Asti and Alesssandria in Piemonte. Traditionally known for light and often sparkling Barbera del Monferrato, lately the region’s wines have gained in quality resulting in the elevation of Barbera del Monferrato Superiore to docg, entailing 14 months of ageing as well as a higher alcoholic content compared with that of the normal DOC. While Monferrato serves as an overarching DOC, allowing also for the production of international varieties, which, however, cannot be mentioned on labels, the region boasts a handful of interesting smaller denominations dedicated to local varieties. Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC is a pale and tannic red regularly offering more interest than most italian rosés; Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG, a rare, aromatic red wine with classic Piemontese tannic structure; and Strevi, a sweet wine made from dried Moscato grapes, while Monferrato Casalese is a dry white made from Cortese and not unlike Gavi. Although Monferrato is overshadowed by its more illustrious neighbours, notably the Langhe, its highly original wine styles deserve more attention.
Town and province in piemonte in north-west Italy whose name appears in local varietal reds made from Dolcetto, Freisa, and Barbera d’Asti. Unlike its counterpart Barbera d’Alba, made from vines traditionally planted in lesser sites where Nebbiolo will not ripen, Barbera has always been given supreme vineyard sites in Asti. Barbera d’Asti was elevated to docg in 2010, with three superior subzones: Tinella, Colli Astiani or Astiano, and Nizza. However Asti’s name is most commonly associated with playful, aromatic, lightly sparkling wine with modest alcohol levels that is Italy’s biggest-selling wine. In 1993, along with the superior moscato d’asti, Asti Spumante was elevated to docg status and renamed Asti, largely in an effort to distinguish it from the host of frizzante or sparkling wines produced in Italy from a host of grape varieties of very varying quality. Both Asti and Moscato d’Asti are produced from Moscato Bianco (muscat blanc à petits grains) in the provinces of Asti, Cuneo, and Alessandria, where vineyards total 9,490 ha/23,440 acres shared by 4,000 growers spread over 152 communes. Production has increased from 40 million bottles in the 1970s to 107 million bottles (or 800,000 hl/17,597,539 gallons) in 2011, made possible by a vine density of 4,000 vines/ha and a permitted yield of 10 tonnes/ha, although average vineyard size is just 2.45 ha/6 acres. Due to this fragmentation, large bottlers and négociant houses have traditionally dominated production. With the invention of the tank method (see sparkling winemaking) at the end of the 19th century, industrial production of Asti became a reality. The combination of large-volume production and small-scale viticulture has necessarily made Asti a blended wine from many sources, masking geographical differences in sites and zones. However, more and more producers are bottling their own produce, resulting in more artisanal wines, with single-vineyard bottlings becoming increasingly common. Asti comes in several versions, each determined by its alcoholic content, residual sugar, and intensity of sparkle. Asti differs significantly from Moscato d’Asti: it is more alcoholic (6 to 9.5% rather than Moscato d’Asti’s maximum of 6.5%), and it is fizzier (at least 3 bar of pressure in the bottle rather than Moscato d’Asti’s maximum of 2 bar). The best and ripest grapes are normally reserved for Moscato d’Asti. Often scorned for the many mediocre wines released under the Asti name, the wine never lost its popularity. The image and sales of Moscato in general and Asti in particular received a huge boost in the 2000s when several rap artists who had formerly praised the virtues of Champagne switched to mentioning Moscato in their songs. The subsequent boom in the US led to increased demand, and a call from the larger producers to enlarge the vineyard area. The Asti Consorzio has expressed doubts, fearing that expansion may prejudice quality.
Is a renowned Italian dry white docg zone of 1,455 ha/3,595 acres and the most interesting expression of the cortese grape in piemonte. It is produced in 11 communes (Bosio, Carrosio, Capriata d’Orba, Francavilla Bisio, Gavi, Novi Ligure, Pasturana, San Cristoforo, Serravalle Scrivia and Tassarolo) in the south east of the province of Alessandria. Although the name of each commune (and even single vineyards) may appear on labels, stylistic differences are not (yet) evident, and most wines are blends of more than one commune. The red dolcetto grape was also important here until phylloxera devastated the vineyards. At its best, Gavi is fruity and aromatic, occasionally with mineral notes and a tangy, citric finish. In the past the wines tended to be rather neutral, caused by excessively high maximum yields, which have recently been reduced to 9.5 tonnes/ha or 60 hl/ha, and lower yet for single-vineyard wines. For a white wine best known in its still form, Gavi comes in a surprisingly wide range of styles: frizzante, spumante, and metodo classico (with a minimum required lees ageing of 18 months), and méthode ancestrale all allowed. Although there are several barrique-aged examples, most producers stick to the conventional winemaking practice of temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel, leading to a certain sameness in the wines. More interesting Gavi tends to come from producers such as Castello di Tassarolo who focus on organic and biodynamic practices while fermenting the wine with ambient yeast. Thanks partly to the high quality achieved by the pioneering La Scolca estate in Rovereto di Gavi, the wine enjoyed great commercial success in the 1960s and the early 1970s, first in the Italian market and subsequently abroad, before the emergence of friuli as an important source of fresh white wine from international varieties. Increasing competition in its category from trentino and alto adige, as well as from Friuli, has subsequently put Gavi under a certain commercial pressure, but the trend towards indigenous varieties may well work in Gavi’s favour.
Italian white grape variety most closely associated with south east piemonte, in the province of Alessandria where it was first recorded in the early 17th century. No relatives have so far been identified. Total plantings had reached almost 3,000 ha/7,000 acres by 2010 and it is the basis of no fewer than nine docs. Its most highly regarded wine is gavi, produced initially to serve the fish restaurants of Genoa and the Ligurian coast not far to the south. The Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato a few miles west, like the Cortese grown on the Colli Tortonese, rarely achieves the ripeness, or winemaking proficiency, of Gavi. At its best, the wine is clean and fresh. The use of oak is usually misguided.
The dominant and best grape variety of valpolicella and bardolino in north east Italy, producing fruity, red wines with a characteristic sour cherry twist on the finish. Wines from the better Valpolicella producers who reduced yields in the 1980s and 1990s demonstrated that lack of body was not an inherent characteristic of Corvina. Since then, it has enjoyed great success as the best variety for amarone. Producers such as Allegrini have also illustrated that wines made solely or predominantly from Corvina such as La Poja can be serious, barrel-aged reds. Corvina, sometimes called Cruina, has traditionally been confused with corvinone. dna profiling at san michele all’adige in 2005 supported a parent–offspring relationship with rondinella. Presumably fuelled by the popularity of Amarone, Italy’s total plantings of Corvina Veronese increased substantially in the early 21st century to reach nearly 7,500 ha/18,525 acres by 2010.
Ancient, tiny red wine zone high up in the subalpine Novara Hills in the north of the piemonte region of north-west Italy. Its promotion to docg in 1997 was intended to rescue its minuscule vineyard surface, less than 60 ha today. Like gattinara across the River Seisa in the Vercelli Hills with its satellites lessona and bramaterra, Ghemme is made from the nebbiolo grape (with a mandatory minimum of 85%) while the addition of bonarda, uva rara, and/or vespolina. For more details, see spanna, the local name for Nebbiolo.
Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, Diano d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour, Monforte d’Alba, Novello, Cherasco,
La Morra, Roddi and Verduno.
What are Barolo's 11 villages?
Greeks or Etruscans introduced vines in the region
Romans did not value the Piemonte wines -> not featured in Pliny’s list of best Italian wines
13th & 16th: references to a Nibiol and then Nebiolum grapes used for a sweet slightly fizzy wine
19th: first dry Nebbiolo by statesman Camillo Cavour, father of Italy’s re-unification, with the help of
oenologist Louis Oudart. Cavour used his political connections to launch the wines and it became Italy’s most popular by the end of 19th.
Piemonte- Climate and Weather
Continental climate with:
- Cold winters
- Mainly hot dry summers with similar temperature to Bordeaux (avg 20C in July)
- Mild autumns with heavy fog in the southern part (beneficial for late ripener such as Nebbiolo) - Similar rainfall to Bordeaux with 850mm on avg/yr
Much more vintage variation due to weather vs. Central/Southern Italy.
Piemonte- Typography and Saoils
The Alps encircle the area
Limestone, sandstone hills w calcareous clay, sand, marl and silt with top soil of pebbles
Productive & versatile red grape that ripens 2 weeks earlier vs. Nebbiolo but 2 weeks after Dolcetto
Thrives most in less fertile calcareous soils and clay loam
Produces good yields for everyday wines but can also
produce top wines
Deep ruby colour, low tannins, full bodied, hi acidity
More than 50% of all wines in Piemonte (mostly Alba,
Asti & Alessandria)
#3 most planted red grape in Italy
Black grape variety ‘the little sweet one’
Earlier ripener; hi in anthocyanins
Produces tannic wines with medium acidity and soft fruity
flavours of black cherry & licorice. They can have a bitter finish
Name derived from nebbia (fog)
Related to Freisa and Viognier
First Piemonte grape to bud and last to ripen
Best vintages when Summer is warm enough (to tame
acidity and tannins) and Autumn dry
Small thick-skinned black berries that produce both high
tannins & acidity w typical aromas of tar & roses
Best in soils hi in calcareous marl. Ok in sandy soils
Represents only 3% of Piemontese wines
Light red grape with strawberry flavours & hi in alcohol
Piemonte- Other Reds Grown
Freisa (table wine), Grignolino, Vespolina, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Pinot Noir
Muscat blanc a petits grains i.e. finest variety
Ancient, versatile grape ideally suited to coolest sites
Most are low in alcohol, (lightly) sweet
Most famous is the Moscato from Asti that produces sparkling Asti and lightly fizzy low alcohol Moscato d’Asti
#4 Italian white grape
White grape native to Piemonte
A bit difficult to grow
Produces wines that are dry, full bodied,
medium-low acidity w notes of pear, apricots and herbaceous & almond flavours
White grape variety at its best in Gavi and Monferrato
Moderate acidity, medium body, light flavours of limes and greengage. Not very complex
Mainly comes from Alessandria and Asti
Piemonte- Favorita (Vermentino)
White grape from Piemonte
Hi acidity with citrus tang similar to
Piemonte- Other White
Erbaluce, Chardonnay (esp. in Langhe)
and Sauvignon Blanc
55,118ha – largest vineyard area for DOC and DOCG and #5 Italian wine region oVines planted from 150-400m with
Best south-facing sites reserved for Nebbiolo - Coolest areas for Dolcetto & Moscato
Barbera in between
Key hazards: downy mildew, hail and under ripeness
Piemonte- Red Winemaking
Traditionally, fermentation started when weather turned cold -> 20-30 days maceration + very high
temperature fermentation (up to 35-38C) w min 5 years in large old oak barrels. The wines were full bodied,
austere and highly tannic
Nowadays, shorter macerations (7-10 days), cooler fermentations (28-30C) and shorter wood ageing (min 2
years in Barolo) in new oak barriques to produce fruitier wines that are ready to drink sooner
Typically, Barbaresco Nebbiolo spend less time in wood and are more feminine while the Roero Nebbiolos use
new French oak for concentrated fruitier wines.
Long history of blending Nebbiolo w other grapes such as Arneis (to soften tannins) or Barbera (to add colour)
but now Barolo and Barbaresco DOCG require 100% Nebbiolo. Roero DOC Nebbiolo: up to 5% Arneis.
Barbera: New oak to produce rounder, richer plum flavour and spicier tones. Old oak for more cherry flavours
Dolcetto: only short maceration needed as grape naturally high in anthocyanins and to limit tannins.
Piemonte- White Winemaking
Cortese –no oak; Roero some oak for more full bodied wines
Piemonte- Key Appellations
40 different appellations. No IGT recognised but many wines classified under Piemonte DOC.
Piemonte: Barolo DOCG (R)- 1,800 ha
South-east of Alba in the rolling hills & steep slopes of the Langhe; cooler & higher vs. neighbouring Barbaresco
Soils are either compact sandstone (east) or calcareous marl (Barolo and La Morra in west) but both with
clay deposits and enough alkalinity to tame Nebbiolo’s naturally high acidity
Serralunga valley in the east
More sand & limestone for more austere and powerful wines requiring min 12 yrs ageing
Key communes: Castiglione Falletto, Monforte d’Alba & Serralunga d’Alba
Central valley in the west
Soils higher in clay for less tannic full bodied velvety
textured wines that require less ageing
Key communes: La Morra, which represents a 1/3 of the wines labelled as Barolo and Barolo
The 5 key communes in both valleys represent 87% of the production
DOCG requires min 2 years ageing in wood and 1 in bottle
Wines usually develop notes of dried roses, strawberries, plum, tar, liquorice, mushrooms & leather oRecent move towards estate and single vineyard bottling mainly in 1980s
A series of exceptional vintages in the 1990s and 2000s has seen prices and plantings rising.
Piemonte: Barbaresco DOCG (R)- 700ha
Northeast of Alba; smaller area vs. Barolo; 3 towns i.e. Barbaresco, Treiso, Neive equal 95% of vineyards o Soils are mainly calcareous marl (// Serralunga valley)
Nebbiolo ripens earlier thanks to proximity to river Tanaro and there is less vintage variation
Requirements: minimum 1 year ageing in wood & 1 yr in bottle; min 12.5% abv
Wines are usually more feminine i.e. slightly less full bodied, more aromatic, fruity and perfumed but still a lot of tannins and acidity. They are best drunk within 5-10years of age.
Piemonte: Langhe (R/W)
Hilly region north of Alba with clay-marl soils (ideal for Nebbiolo)
Nebbiolo-based wines made in the same style as Barolo/Barbaresco but at lower prices o Some international styles aged in new oak
Langhe Rosso is made from Barbera grape
Langhe Bianco is usually Sauvignon blanc but can also be Chardonnay.
Piemonte: Barbera d' Asti DOCG & Barbera d' Alba DOCG (R)
Barbera d’Asti DOCG since 08 w min 11.5% abv; produced in the hilly areas around town of Asti & Alexandria
Barbera d’Asti Superiore have min 12.5%; 1yr ageing w 6 in oak/chestnut barrels and can age 10-20yrs
In Asti, Barbera is given the best sites while the second best in Alba (best for Nebbiolo)
1984 Methanol scandal: 20 people killed by Barbaresco with added methanol
Traditional style with no oak for a light, sour cherry fruit wine to be drunk young.
Experimentation in the 80s led use of new oak and acid adjustment to produce wines that have higher tannins, more complex and needing some bottle ageing.
Giacomo Bologna’s Brico dell’Uccellone first Barbera produced in this way.
Piemonte: Dolcetto d' Alba DOC (R)
Large area mostly directly to the south of Alba
Used by top estates as an early to market wine to generate income while Nebbiolo and Barbera mature.
The DOC requires 100% Dolcetto, min 11.5% abv and 12.5% abv for the Superiore
Wines are soft & fruity (black cherry, liquorice, prune, damson), light tannins and low acidity
Piemonte: Dogliani DOCG (R)
Around the town of Dogliani, 10miles south west of Alba
DOCG since 2005; finest production region for the Dolcetto grape
100% Dolcetto; min 1 year ageing; DOCG zone strictly limited to hilly areas within DOC
Piemonte: Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC (R)
Satellite appellation of Barolo covering parts of the Langhe (not Barolo) and Monferrato hills
Softer, less intense and faster maturing Nebbiolo vs. Barolo & Barbaresco
Piemonte: Roero DOCG (R/W)- 630ha
Hilly region 5 miles north of Alba and south of Monferrato
Roero is for reds made with 95-98% Nebbiolo (Arneis to complete). Must be aged in cellars for 20mths, 6 of
them in wood. Riserva to be aged for min 32mths include 6mths in wood oRoero Arneis is made from 100% Arneis
Piemonte: Moscato d'Asti DOCG
DOCG since 77; 100% Moscato; highly perfumed, low alcohol to be drunk young; lightly fizzy
Asti DOCG for fully sparkling.
(Cortese di) Gavi DOCG
South-eastern part of Piemonte; 30kms north of Genoa
Relatively small area with 15x5km made from limestone soils on hillside vineyards
DOCG since 98 w only area around certain towns able to use DOCG. Gavi di Gavi DOCG only from Gavi.
Wines are fruity, mineral, steely, very dry and w a tangy citrus finish.
The best can age up to 3 years and get honey aromas
Northern part of Piemonte; a few kms southwest of Lago Maggiore, at the foothills of the Piedmontese Alps
Gravelly volcanic soils produces well-structured wines with floral and fruit notes able to rival Barolo w similar
DOCG authorises 10% Vespolina or Bonarda to soften the wine; min 1yr in wooden casks (Riserva 2yrs)
2001, 2004, 2006 are the best vintages of the decade while 2002 is the by the far the worst
Local name for the nebbiolo grape grown in the north of piemonte in north-west Italy, particularly in a historic wine zone in the hills of Vercelli and Novara provinces.
Five doc wines and two docgs, Gattinara and Ghemme, are made either wholly or in part from Spanna: three in the Vercelli hills (bramaterra, gattinara, lessona) and four in the province of Novara (boca, fara, ghemme, and sizzano). Only Gattinara and Ghemme, responsible for some of the longest-lived Spanna wines, are made in any quantity today but in the 19th century this area had greater plantings, and was more famous for its wines, than the langhe. Spanna wines had an excellent reputation before the Second World War and were quite popular in the major market of nearby Milan, but the post-war period saw a loss of ground to the richer and more professionally made Nebbiolo wines of the Langhe, particularly barolo and barbaresco. The extreme fragmentation of vineyard property and a workforce that moved to the textile factories of nearby Biella accelerated the decline of winemaking in this area, but this group of wine zones is attracting attention once more, not least because of the finesse of its best wines.
Distinctively aromatic light red grape variety found principally round Asti, Roero, and Alessandria, where it is particularly successful, in the piemonte region of Italy. It produces wines, notably Brachetto d’Acqui promoted to docg status in 1996, that are fizzy, light in alcohol (usually under 6%), and have both the colour and flavour of roses or strawberries—the light red equivalent of Moscato d’Asti. Occasional dry versions are made in Piemonte which has 1,459 ha/3,604 acres in total. Some is planted in Victoria, Australia.
White grape variety and dry, scented varietal wine of piemontein north west Italy. Originally from roero, it was traditionally used to soften the red Nebbiolo grape. Perhaps because of this, it is also sometimes called barolo Bianco, or white Barolo, by some of its more fervent admirers. Although the wine has a certain history in Piemonte, it seemed on the verge of disappearing in the early 1970s when only two houses, Vietti and Bruno Giacosa, were bottling Arneis. In the 1980s, however, thanks to growing demand for white wine in Piemonte, particularly from houses more renowned for their Barolo and barbaresco, there was an explosion of interest in Arneis, and plantings totalled 969 ha/2,393 acres by 2010. This low-yielding variety ripens in the second half of September and gives wines with subtle if interesting perfumes. Modern winemaking has, in the best cases, dealt with the variety’s inherently low acidity. The best examples tend to be unoaked and drunk young. It is not planted anywhere else in Italy, but is planted to a very limited extent in California, Oregon, Australia, and New Zealand. The best producers in Piemonte are Malvira, Deltetto, Cascina Chicco, and Bruno Giacosa.
Nebbiolo- Outside Italy
Vine-growers all over the world are experimenting with Nebbiolo. The results often lack the haunting aromas that characterize the variety but isolated examples in regions as far apart as Oregon, Washington state, and Australia’s King Valley in Victoria suggest the quest may not be fruitless. Nebbiolo has so far somewhat reluctantly accompanied Barbera to both North and South America (including Mexico). In California, Sangiovese has proved generally more successful but there were 165 acres/67 ha of Nebbiolo in the ground in 2012. High yields have tended to subsume the variety’s quality in South America. The few hundred hectares planted in Argentina are mainly in San Juan province. But as the special charms of Barolo and Barbaresco are inceasingly appreciated around the world, it is unlikely that growers will give up hope of making great Nebbiolo outside Italy.
Nebbiolo- Genetic Relationship
Through dna profiling, researchers in Anna Schneider’s laboratory at Torino and José Vouillamoz at davis found that Nebbiolo Rosé is not a clone of Nebbiolo but is a distinct variety. Furthermore, Nebbiolo Rosé turned out to have a parent–offspring relationship with Nebbiolo. Several additional parent–offspring relationships were discovered between Nebbiolo and traditional varieties from Piedmont (freisa, vespolina, and Bubbierasco) and Valtellina (Negrera and Rossola). While the complete pedigree of Nebbiolo is still unknown, these relationships indicate that Nebbiolo probably has its roots in Piedmont and/or Lombardia. In addition, a possible parent–offspring relationship was suggested between Freisa and viognier, so that Nebbiolo and Viognier are likely to be cousins.
Nebbiolo- In Italy
Great black grape variety responsible for some of the finest and longest-lived wines in the world. It has been known in the piemonteregion in the north west since at least the 13th century, and is its most distinctive and distinguished vine. The quality of wines such as baroloand barbaresco inspires hopeful planting of the variety all over the world. Documents from the castle of Rivoli dating from 1266 when Conto Umberto de Balma is recorded as obtaining a wine named ‘Nibiol’ provide early evidence of Nebbiolo’s existence. petrus de crescentiis’ Liber ruralium commodorum in 1304 made an unambiguous link between the ‘Nubiola’ grape, which he termed ‘delightful’, and ‘excellent wine’. Some have postulated that the name derives from nobile, or noble, but a more likely derivation is from nebbia, or fog, a frequent phenomenon in Piemonte in October when the grape is harvested. and also possibly a reference to the thick bloom on ripe Nebbiolo berries. Modern Piemonte has shown its respect for Nebbiolo in a more concrete, if less poetic way by restricting its planting to a few selected areas: of the 2012 total of 4,476 ha/11,056 acres, 80% were planted in the province of Cuneo, predominantly in Barolo, Barbaresco, and Roero. Nebbiolo is always the first variety to bud and the last to ripen, with harvests that regularly last well past the middle of October, and the variety is accordingly granted the most favourable hillside exposures, generally south to south west. Perhaps as important as the vineyard site, however, are the soils: Nebbiolo has shown itself to be extremely fussy and has in the past century given best results only in the calcareous marls to the north and south of Alba on the right bank of the Tanaro in the docgzones of barbaresco and barolo respectively. Here Nebbiolo-based wines reach their maximum aromatic complexity, and express a fullness of flavour which balances the relatively high acidity and substantial tanninswhich are invariably present. Historically, much more Nebbiolo was planted in the Novara and Vercelli hills. Total vineyard area declined rapidly during Italy’s industrial revolution in the 1950s but there are signs of a resurgence; see spanna, the local name for Nebbiolo here. nebbiolo d’alba, a tamer, less savage version of the grape, only suggests the heights which the variety can gain in more choice positions. The roero district on the left bank of the Tanaro has predominantly sandy soils which produced better and better wine throughout the 1990s. Roero wines are notably lighter in style and generally age faster than Barbaresco and Barolo. Nebbiolo, often called Picutener, also plays the leading role in the postage stamp-size DOC of carema on the border of the Valle d’Aosta, in the neighbouring and equally Lilliputian DOCs of Donnaz and Arnad-Montjovet in the Valle d’aosta itself. In Lombardia in valtellina nebbiolo is known as Chiavennasca, with more than 800 ha, the only sizeable zone where Nebbiolo is cultivated outside Piemonte. These four areas, subalpine in latitude and definitely cool during the growing season, produce a medium-bodied style of Nebbiolo in which the fruit must frequently struggle against the grape’s tannic asperity and acidic sharpness; the added ripeness of warmer vintages is even more valuable here. Sometimes the ripeness is achieved by drying the grapes, for example Valtellina’s full-bodied, luscious but dry red wine speciality sforzato, or Sfurzat.
These zones apart, Nebbiolo is rarely cultivated elsewhere in Italy, although it is an ingredient in the franciacorta cocktail. The purported 81 ha of the variety on the island of Sardinia are in fact dolcetto.
Three principal clones of Nebbiolo are conventionally identified: Lampia (the most common), Michet, and Bolla. The last of these is declining because of the pale colour of its wines, while Michet is Lampia afflicted with a virus which causes the vine’s canes to fork. More importantly, however, this clone, while producing smaller bunches and yields and particularly intense aromas and flavours, does not adapt itself to all soils, and is slowly being replaced by superior clonal material, which can achieve Lampia’s intensity, but without its viral defects. Most producers, mindful of the relatively embryonic state of clonal research, prefer to rely on a careful mass selection in their vineyards rather than staking their future on a single clone. More systematic clonal research in the 1990s has only confirmed that Nebbiolo has serious problems with viruses, perhaps the result of excessive inbreeding in an ancient variety so concentrated on a relatively small area, a fact which is hampering the multiplication of the better clones which have thus far been identified.
The total area planted with Nebbiolo declined towards the turn of the century but seems to be increasing once more in the Langhe. The 2010 vine census notes over 5,500 ha/12,700.
An early-ripening, deep-coloured, low-acid red grape variety cultivated almost exclusively in the provinces of Cuneo and Alessandria in the north west Italian region of piemonte. The wines produced are soft, round, fruity, and fragrant with flavours of liquorice and almonds. Most are designed to be drunk in their first two or three years, although well-made bottles of Dolcetto d’Alba and Dolcetto d’Ovada can easily last at least five years. Dolcetto therefore plays an important role in the economy of various estates, providing a product which can be marketed early while the wines based on barbera or, particularly, nebbiolo grapes demand extended ageing in cask and bottle. Unlike Barbera, it is rarely blended with other varieties, chiefly because it is so rarely planted outside varietally-minded Piemonte. As a precocious ripener, ripening up to four weeks before the majestic Nebbiolo, Dolcetto also permits growers to exploit either higher or less favourably exposed vineyard sites and thus maximize the return on their holdings. In the precious barolo and barbaresco zones, for example, Dolcetto is rarely planted on a south-facing site unless the vineyard is too high to ripen Nebbiolo reliably. And in the zones of Dogliani, Diano d’Alba, and Ovada, Dolcetto is planted where other varieties may not ripen at all. There is a consensus amongst growers in the Dolcetto d’Alba doc, source of much of the finest Dolcetto, that the variety prefers the characteristic white marls of the right bank of the Tanaro and cannot give maximum results in heavier soils. If the grape is relatively easy to cultivate, apart from its susceptibility to fungal diseases and a tendency to drop its bunches in the cold mornings of late September, it is far from easy to vinify. While low in acidity, relative to Barbera at least, and therefore dolce (sweet) to the Piedmontese palate, Dolcetto (‘little sweet one’) does have significant tannins, which producers have learned to soften with shorter fermentations. So rich are the skins of Dolcetto in anthocyanins that even the shortest fermentation rarely compromises the deep ruby and purple tones of the wine. Like Barbera, it is prone to reduction. Because it is generally vinified early and fast (to make way for Barbera and Nebbiolo in the winery), most Dolcetto is made to be drunk early without ceremony. But a drop in sales in 2008 caused a Dolcetto crisis in Piemonte which unfortunately sullied the reputation of the now relatively obscure Dolcetto d’Ovada DOCG, which has been associated with fine, elegant Dolcettos that are worth ageing, while Dogliani or Dolcetto di Dogliani DOCG produces truly exceptional, ageworthy, and complex wines radically different from the many uninspiring but cheaper Dolcettos.
There are seven Dolcetto DOCs in Piemonte: Acqui, alba, asti (where little is planted, grignolino being the young wine of choice), Diano d’Alba, Dogliani, Langhe Monregalesi, and Ovada. Alba, Ovada, and Dogliani are quantitatively the most significant, while the Langhe Monregalesi is a barely extant curiosity.
Ormeasco is liguria’s version of Dolcetto and is therefore the southernmost extent of Dolcetto territory in Italy. It grows just on the Ligurian side of the mountains that separate Piemonte from Liguria. In total, there were 6,128 ha/15,136 acres of Dolcetto planted in Italy in 2010.
A fashion for Italian wine and food has spread Dolcetto to the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
Powerful red wine based on the nebbiolo grape grown around the village of Barbaresco in the piemonte region in north west Italy. For long considered very much the junior of barolo in terms of its size and the power and prestige of its wines, Barbaresco emerged from Barolo’s shadow in the 1960s to win recognition of its own striking qualities of elegance and aromatic intensity. The wine is, in fact, a younger one than Barolo, its name appearing on labels only from 1894 when Domizio Cavazza, professor at the Oenological School of alba, founded the Barbaresco co-operative (now the much-admired Cantina di Produttori di Barbaresco) in that year. Before that the wines of Barbaresco were often blended with Barolo. Barbaresco did not enjoy Barolo’s connection with the House of Savoy and the nobility of the royal court in Turin, and suffered relative commercial obscurity until the efforts of Giovanni gaja and Bruno Giacosa in the 1960s demonstrated the full potential of the wine. The production zone of Barbaresco is to the north east and east of the city of Alba and is only a third of that of Barolo (1,886 ha/4,660 acres) but, as in Barolo, the area under vine has increased dramatically in recent years, from 484 ha/1,200 acres in the early 1990s to 686 ha/1,695 acres in 2010. The wine is produced in the townships of Barbaresco, Treiso (formerly part of Barbaresco), Neive, and a fragment of Alba, although 95% of the cultivated vineyards lie in the first three. Neive calls itself ‘the township of four wines’ (the others being moscato, barbera, dolcetto), and Nebbiolo only consolidated its position there after the Second World War. Even today Neive has fewer than 100 ha of Nebbiolo, less than that of Barbera or Dolcetto, and half the area planted with Moscato. Although soil differences between Barolo and Barbaresco are regularly advanced as a major factor in the style difference, broadly speaking there are more similarities than differences. Barbaresco’s soils can roughly be divided into two types. The calcareous clay of the Tortonion epoch is very similar to that in the Barolo communes of La Morra and Barolo, resulting in a perfumed, fruit-driven style. The second soil type, more compact and resembling somewhat the soils of the Barolo communes Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba, is the so-called Sant’Agata fossil marl, yielding more tannic wines. Nebbiolo ripens earlier in Barbaresco than in Barolo, probably due to the vineyards’ proximity to the River Tanaro, while the wines tend to be a bit lighter as the region is further east than Barolo. This lighter style of wine is reflected in the minimum ageing requirements, 26 months of which at least 9 months in oak, and 50 months for Barbaresco Riserva, compared with Barolo’s 38 months of which 18 in oak, and 62 months for the Riserva counted from the year of harvest. Winemaking techniques, which had previously favoured prolonged maceration and cask ageing, changed in the 1970s and 1980s, much as in Barolo, towards considerably shorter periods in French barriques in an effort to respond to modern tastes for rounder, fruitier wines. This was scorned by more traditional winemakers who argued that French oak suppressed Nebbiolo’s gentle perfume. Today, a return to long skin maceration and ageing in large oak casks rather than barrique is favoured by an increasing number of Barbaresco producers. If Barbaresco is considered a lighter-bodied wine than Barolo (although these are wines which must have a minimum alcoholic strength of 12.5% and easily reach 13.5%), it is not lacking in the tannins and acidity that mark the Nebbiolo grape; young Barbaresco is by no means an inevitably pleasurable glass of wine. It seems to mature slightly faster than Barolo, and is normally at its best between five and 15 years of age. The work done by the Produttori del Barbaresco, one of Italy’s finest co-operatives, and by individual producers such as Angelo gaja and Bruno Giacosa, has helped to establish Barbaresco as a top-quality wine, while a number of smaller producers have begun tending their vineyards organically and biodynamically and are using traditional winemaking techniques, with long skin maceration, often up to 40 days, to produce highly original, long-lived wines with a muscular structure and perfumes of cherry, violets—and, with age, iron, tar and orange peel—which can easily be overwhelmed by new oak. Single-vineyard bottlings are a relatively recent phenomenon, in Barbaresco as in the rest of Italy. The first efforts date from 1967, and there is a less firmly established written record of cru designation here than in Barolo. Lorenzo Fantini’s monograph on Piedmontese viticulture of the late 19th century indicates very few ‘choice positions’ in Barbaresco (and none whatsoever in Neive). The first attempts to list and rate the finest positions date from the 1960s (Luigi veronelli) and the 1970s (Renato Ratti).
négociants’ willingness to pay higher prices for grapes from certain vineyards, however, has established a certain consensus about which are the best: Asili, Montefico, Montestefano, and Rabajà in Barbaresco; Albesani and Gallina in Neive; and Pajorè in Treiso. A certain number of the most famous vineyards—San Lorenzo, Tildin, and Martinenga in Barbaresco, Santo Stefano in Neive—are, in effect, ‘man-made’ crus which have gained their current prestige from the dedicated work and exacting standards of producers such as Gaja, Giacosa, and Alberto di Gresy. An official list of single vineyards, the so-called Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive, was introduced in 2007, long before Barolo did the same in 2010. This list of single vineyards, also referred to as Crus, has sensibly retained all the historically known vineyards, without reducing their number by absorbing them in more famous vineyard names for commercial reasons, as has been the case with some communes in neighbouring Barolo.
The most powerful and dramatic expression of the nebbiologrape, takes its name from the village of the same name 15 km/9 miles to the south of the town of Alba in the region of piemonte in north west Italy.
Barolo as a name started to appear on labels only in the mid 19th century, coinciding with the introduction of glass bottles in the region around 1844. Before that it had been sold in cask only. Camillo Benzo, Count of Cavour, the architect of Italian unity, played a decisive role in Barolo’s fortunes by modernizing his family’s estate in Grinzane, with the introduction of a monoculture of vines, an idea that may have been inspired by his frequent travels to France. He hired Frenchman Louis Oudart as his oenologist, and he is credited with creating the first modern Barolo by fermenting it fully to dryness, although 10 years before him, Cavour had begun working with Pier Francesco Staglieno who introduced fermentation in closed vats, which greatly reduced premature oxidationand levels of volatile acidity in the wines.
Giulietta Falletti, Marquise of Barolo, also engaged Oudart for her vast estate extending to La Morra, Barolo, and Serralunga. Her wine, which attracted the attention of King Carlo Alberto di Savoia, allegedly inspired him to purchase and develop the estates of the castles of Verduno and Roddi for wine production, while Emanuele, Count of Mirafiori, Vittorio Emanuele II’s son by the royal mistress Rosa Vercellana, developed the vineyards around the hunting lodge of Fontanafredda in Serralunga d’Alba. Due to this association with what was then Italy’s reigning dynasty, Barolo earned the name ‘the wine of kings, the king of wines’.
The core of Barolo has always been the townships of Barolo, La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, and Monforte d’Alba, supplemented by outlying areas in a variety of other townships. The Agricultural Commission of Alba added Grinzano, part of Verduno, and a section of Novello in 1909, confirming the previous delimitation work of the Ministry of Agriculture in 1896. This became the official definition of the zone in 1934, not without protests from Barolo and Castiglione Falletto, which considered themselves the true standard-bearers of authentic Barolo. Parts of Diano d’Alba, Roddi, and Cherasco were added in the doc decree of 1966, an error at least on paper, although growers in the zone have generally been careful to plant Nebbiolo only where it can ripen properly, and the villages of Roddi and Cherasco have respectively a mere 22 and 2.34 ha (54.3 and 5.7 acres) planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo. The majority of the Barolo zone falls within the five core townships mentioned above. This sensible demarcation of the zone, disciplined yields (56 hl/ha (3.2 tons/acre) maximum), and reasonable requirements for ageing (38 months in total with at least 18 months in oak) make this docg one of Italy’s most intelligent). Although Barolo is always powerful and concentrated, with pronounced tannins and acidity, there are significant stylistic differences among the wines of the various zones which tend to reflect the two major soil types conveniently separated by the Alba–Barolo road which runs along the valley floor, dividing La Morra and Barolo to the west from Castiglione Falletto, Monforte d’Alba, and Serralunga d’Alba to the east. The first soil type, calcareous marls of the Tortonian epoch which are relatively compact, fresher, and more fertile, characterize the vineyards of the townships of La Morra and Barolo and, depending on the location of the vineyard, can produce softer, fruitier, aromatic wines which age relatively rapidly for a Barolo. The second soil type, from the Helvetian epoch, with a higher proportion of compressed sandstone, is less compact, poorer, and less fertile, with the result that the townships of Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba yield more intense, structured wines that mature more slowly. The vineyards of Castiglione Falletto are on a spur that divides these two valleys, and produces wines that have some of the elegant and more forward character of the wines from Barolo combined with the structure and backbone of those from Serralunga. All fine Barolo, however, shares certain common traits: colour that is never deep (for Nebbiolo, like Pinot Noir, never produces opaque wines), ruby tending relatively rapidly to garnet or brick; complex and expansive aromas of cherries and plums, evolving with time into dried cherries, rose petals, tar, liquorice, and—according to a few fortunate connoisseurs—the local white truffles. Full flavours are backed by substantial tannins, a dense texture, and lifted but never tart acidity. (Barolo from Helvetian soils may surpass 14% alcohol and 14.5% is by no means rare in hot vintages, although balance is the overriding aim.) One development that has marked contemporary Barolo is estate bottling and the fact that virtually all producers offer at least one single-vineyard wine. Until 1960 the marketing of the wine was dominated by négociant houses, unsurprisingly in a production zone where the average property is 1.9 ha (948 growers divided 1,886 ha/2,875 acres in 2010). Estate bottling represented both an attempt by peasant proprietors to reap greater economic benefits from their vineyards and a desire to put their name, as well as that of their holdings, before the public. Négociant houses, dealing in large quantities, necessarily blended the wines of different provenances into a house Barolo (just like their counterparts in burgundy). When skilfully done, this did—and still does—accomplish the creation of balanced and harmonious wines which exemplify the general characteristics of Barolo. But certain privileged positions have long enjoyed greater prestige and given more distinctive wines in both the written tradition (from Lorenzo Fantini in the late 19th century to modern writers such as Luigi veronelli, Renato Ratti and, more recently, Alessandro Masnaghetti) and in the oral tradition of the zone, opinions made concretely significant by the higher prices paid by négociants for the grapes and wines of certain vineyards. While there is no absolute unanimity, most shortlists of the finest crus include Rocche dell’Annunziata and Cerequio in La Morra, spilling over into Barolo; Cannubi, Sarmazza, and Brunate in Barolo (the latter vineyard shared with La Morra); Rocche di Castiglione, Villero, and Monprivato in Castiglione Falletto; Bussia, Ginestra, and previously Santo Stefano di Perno (now included in the unreasonably enlarged Perno, see below) in Monforte d’Alba; Francia, Lazzarito and Vigna Rionda in Serralunga d’Alba. The multiplicity of single-vineyard bottlings from the 1980s, in the absence of an official classification, has had the paradoxical result of focusing attention on and reinforcing confidence in single producers. The situation has, at least partially, been addressed by the introduction of the Menzioni Geographiche Aggiuntive Ufficiali, an official list of registered single vineyards throughout the Barolo zone. They are not classified but they are identified as ‘Crus’, and Masnaghetti has attempted his own unofficial classification. Although most Barolo communes produced a historically faithful list, some, especially Monforte d’Alba, radically pruned the number of its vineyards by including swathes of them within more famous names. Bussia in particular has been unreasonably enlarged since the authorities failed to question this loss of historic vineyards and detail, important to consumers and professionals. This ruthless capitalization on famous vineyard names recalls the controversial creation of grosslage in Germany.
Like many of the world’s powerful and age-worthy red wines, Barolo had to come to terms in the 1970s and 1980s with market demands for fruitier, less tannic wines that can more easily be drunk while young—not an easy transition for a zone which is devoted solely to Nebbiolo, a variety with high acidity and tannins, and where fermentation and maceration have regularly lasted as long as two months. The leaders of the movement towards a softer style of Barolo were Renato Ratti, Paolo Cordero di Montezemolo, and the house of Ceretto, using rotofermenters, allowing for speedy extraction of colour and a swift alcoholic fermentation (generally 7–14 days), and shorter ageing periods, resulting in less tannic, paler wines. The proponents of this new approach were termed ‘modernists’, while those who retained faith in the old methods were called ‘traditionalists’. This rather facile distinction fascinated the wine world in the 1970s and 1980s, but in retrospect it can be seen as nothing more than the continuing evolution of winemaking in this small zone. Traditional Barolo, a product of long maceration on the skins, from relatively high-yielding grapes in which the tannins had yet to polymerize fully, needed extended ageing in cask in order to soften the hard tannins the wine displayed in youth. In truth, this softening of the tannins was often brought about by oxidation, something that also oxidized the fruit. This resulted in wines that were garnet or brick in colour, with oxidation and the hard tannins still evident on the palate. As the world of wine opened up in the 1960s, and as some of the producers in Barolo travelled further than Turin or Rome, they decided that their wines were badly in need of modernizing, triggering a move to temperature control during fermentation, a reduction in the length of maceration, a move to pumping over rather than submerged cap in the belief that a lower tannin level and shorter time in barrel were steps in this direction. Instead of a protracted length of time in large old oak, some producers started to introduce small oak barriques to the cellars in the late 1970s, in the belief that the sweeter oak tannins would help to moderate the aggressive grape tannins of the Nebbiolo. It was the same wish, to create more approachable if less typical wines, that favoured the plantings of international varieties such as Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon in the Barolo zone, not only to augment the colour but also to add impact and ripe berry notes to the more delicate character of Nebbiolo. Indeed, a proposal in the mid 1990s to reduce the minimum Nebbiolo content from 100 to 90% was defeated only after intense debate in the region. At the beginning of the 21st century the differences between the modernists and traditionalists have come full circle. Some of the modernist versions aged in small French oak developed poorly in bottle, sometimes accompanied by premature oxidation, while the opulence of new oak aromas tended to obliterate Nebbiolo’s fine perfume. The two camps have converged. Barriques are still in use, but a significant number of producers has returned to ageing in much larger casks, while increasing the total maceration on the skins to between 30 and even 60 days in some cases, crucially without resulting in harsh tannins or bitter wines. No doubt, better clonal material, lower yields, and higher plant density, combined with increasingly sophisticated knowledge of viticulture on even the smallest estates has led to this increase of quality, and with that, an increase in the expression of variety and terroir. An unparalleled series of exceptional vintages in the late 1990s and 2000s such as 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001 saw demand in the US and German-speaking markets, and prices escalate. This led to an increase in plantings. In 2004, for example, there were 1,714 ha/4,285 acres under vine, almost half as much again as had been planted in 1990. This saw Nebbiolo planted in sites that were traditionally reserved for such lesser varieties as dolcetto and barbera. so there was grim pessimism among some producers that quality, just when it should be improving in order to justify the higher prices, would in fact decrease as these new plantings came to be used in the production of Barolo. climate change may have helped, but new plantings have slowed so that by 2010 the total Barolo vineyard was 1,886 ha/4,660 acres, and a string of excellent vintages such as 2006, 2008, and 2010 triggered demand for what, with just 13.2 million bottles produced in 2012, is increasingly recognized around the world as a fine wine in decidedly limited quantities.
Rare but historically important red wine doc in the Novara Hills in the north of piemonte, comprising 12 ha/30 acres divided among six producers. Nebbiolo grapes, called spanna here, should comprise 70 to 90% of these intriguing reds. Although marginal in size, Boca produces such good wines, notably Le Piane’s, that they are attracting international attention.
Tiny doc in the Alto Piemonte of which unfortunately only 28ha remained in 2014. Wines should contain 50 to 80% Nebbiolo with croatina, uva rara , and vespolina. The Bramaterra of Odilio Antoniotti aptly demonstrates the excellence of the terroir. See spanna for more detail.
Town in northern, pre-alpine piemonte most famous for a dried-grape wine made of erbaluce grapes although dry versions, often from single vineyard sites, can be just as impressive.
Almost alpine red wine zone of piemonte in north-west Italy, bordering on the Valle d’aosta, is the northernmost zone of Piemonte in which the great nebbiolo is cultivated (although see also valtellina). Viticulture is not an easy task in this mountainous region, and the tendone-trained vineyards have been wrested from steep gradients by means of terraces at 350 to 700 m (1,150 to 2,300 ft). The wine itself has a recognizably Nebbiolo character, with higher acidityand less body than the wines of the Langhe or than the group described in spanna. Although chaptalization has often been allowed, interesting, perfumed, and surprisingly long-lived wines are regularly made in the warmer vintages, which are becoming more frequent thanks to climate change. Improved viticultural practices and lower yields have also helped to produce wines with more extract. Carema’s total vineyard area was just 16 ha/40 acres in 2014, supplying a tiny handful of producers. Ferrando, founded in 1890, saved the doc from obscurity thanks to its legendary Carema Etichetta Nera, a 100% Nebbiolo aged for three years in cask and produced in only the best vintages. The estate still possesses vintages going back to the 1950s as proof of Carema’s longevity. Newcomer Dazero is one to watch. The minimum ageing period has been reduced from four to two years, oak or chestnut
Rouchet, or occasionally Roche, very rare but distinctive red grape variety of the piemonte region in north west Italy with its own varietal doc around Castagnole Monferrato, occasionally labelled Rouchet. Like nebbiolo, the wine is headily scented and its tanninsimbue it with an almost bitter aftertaste. The Italian vine census of 2010 found about about 100 ha/247 acres.
Characterful white grape variety producing distinctively flavoured varietal wines in the north west Italian region of liguria. dna profiling showed that Pigato and vermentino, both long-established in Liguria, and favorita cultivated in Piemonte, are all genetically identical. The Italian vine census of 2010 distinguishes between them and found 264 ha/652 acres of Pigato Bianco.
Very localized, curiosity of a grape variety of the piemonteregion in north-west Italy sold almost invariably as a pale red varietalwine with an almost alpine scent and a tangy acidity. Grignolino is a native of the monferrato hills between Asti and Casale and serves the same function as dolcetto in the province of Cuneo: that of providing a wine that can be drunk young with pleasure while the brawnier wines of the zone are shedding their youthful asperity—although Grignolino is more difficult to match with food than the fuller Dolcetto. The light colour and relatively low alcohol (11 to 12%) can be deceptive; the wine draws significant tannins from the abundant pips of the Grignolino grape and takes its name from grignole, the dialect name for pips in the province of Asti. The wine remains an unquestionably local taste and, with its unusual combination of pale colour, perceptible acidity, and tannins, somewhat sui generis. In recent years, its popularity has declined rapidly, with a number of producers grubbing up vineyards as even local markets turn away from this variety. It has its own DOC areas, Grignolino Monferrato Casalese (195 ha) and Grignolino d’Asti (209 ha), the latter only minimally overlaps with DOCG asti. Total plantings in Italy in 2010 were 1,314 ha/3,246 acres, practically all in Piemonte.
Is a distinctive, wild strawberry-flavoured red grape variety indigenous to the piemonte region of north west Italy and, more specifically, to the provinces of Asti, Alessandria, and Cuneo in scattered vineyards which reach almost to the gates of the city of Turin. The vine has been known in Piemonte for centuries. dna profiling has shown that Freisa has a parent–offspring relationship with nebbiolo and may be closely related to viognier. Freisa musts can be quite high in both acidity and tannins like Nebbiolo, although its wines are coarser in terms of the tannins and flavours.
The wine exists as a varietal in a range of styles, but traditionally as a slightly frothy wine from a second fermentation, which retains some unfermented residual sugar to balance the slight bitterness from the lees. The frizzante or sparkling version of Freisa with its decisively purple colour and aromas of raspberries and violets is reminiscent of good lambrusco, if much more tannic and tart. It is doc in both dry and sweet (amabile) styles in the following areas: the larger Freisa d’asti and the minuscule Freisa di Chieri, the langhe, the monferrato, and the rare Pinerolese. Its popularity has declined rapidly in recent years in its native Piemonte. Modern technology, in the form of pressurized tanks, now permits producers better control of both the residual sugar level and the amount of carbon dioxide in the wine, and this type of Freisa, which does not undergo a second fermentation in the bottle, tends to be distinctively drier and almost imperceptibly fizzy. Today producers such as Aldo Vajra, Coppo, and Ascheri make a more ageworthy, completely dry, and completely still type of Freisa aged in barrique and a handful make a Freisa Nebbiolata, in which the wine is refermented on the skins of Nebbiolo used for barolo. Tannins abound in this style. By 2010, total Italian plantings had fallen to just over 1,000 ha/2,500 acres. It is also known in California
Local synonym for the vermentino cultivated near alba, both on the left bank of the Tanaro in the roero zone, and slightly less successfully on the right bank in the langhe Hills. Gagliardo has championed the variety in Roero. The 2010 vine census lists Favorita, Vermentino, and pigato separately, the first totalling 219 ha.
Independent DOC for a sweet white wine made from late-harvested or dried moscato Bianco grapes made in the hills around Strevi in the east of the asti zone. As it is usually riper in flavour than most moscato d’asti thanks to Strevi’s warmer mesoclimate and steep vineyards, it has also been granted subzone status within the Moscato d’Asti docg zone.
Tiny (3 ha/ 7 acre) doc for seriously ageworthy reds in the Novara hills in the subalpine north of the piemonte region of north west Italy. For more details, see spanna, the local name for Nebbiolo
Tiny but historically important red wine district in the Vercelli Hills in the subalpine north of the piemonte region of north-west Italy. On just 6.45 ha/16 acres three producers produce a wine from Nebbiolo grapes, optionally softened with some Bonarda or Vespolina. Sella and Massimo Clerico were joined in 1999 by Paolo De Marchi of Isole e Olena in Chianti Classico, who has revitalized his family estate, Villa Sperino, attracting international attention, and undoubtedly helped to save Lessona from extinction
An exceptional vintage thanks to healthy grapes and exceptionally regular bunches. A very cold winter with plenty of snow and a protracted cool and rainy spring replenished the water tables, much needed during a July that was the hottest ever on record. The vintage shows great promise, even if some grapes were relatively low in acidity.
The second year in a row when a wet, cool spring followed a very wet winter. Mid May saw temperatures soar, resulting in a regular and quick fruit set that seemed to promise an early harvest and generous yield. But the weather changed to cool and very wet from early July with some violent hailstorms, notably in the commune of Barolo, dashing all hopes of a great vintage. Quality is expected to be irregular, but those who dared to delay harvest were rewarded with a sound, if notably small, crop of Nebbiolo. Likely to be a light year with limited cellaring potential.
Incessant rain during winter and spring delayed budbreak and opened the door to fungal diseases, although many vineyards were too waterlogged for tractors. From mid July temperatures shot up and remained high during August, albeit with cooler nights. September was very sunny and dry, but the growing cycle was still two weeks late, necessitating a delayed harvest. The prognosis is for a vintage similar in quality to the already legendary 2010s.
An unusually hot summer unexpectedly resulted in Nebbiolos with low alcohol levels and high acidity. A very cold February with an abundance of snow helped to replenish water tables. Prolonged cool weather, well into April, protracted budbreak by two weeks. The weather became more regular, with a warm July, only to be interrupted by several hailstorms destroying the crop in several vineyards in Novello. August turned out to be exceptionally hot with temperatures rising well above 40 ºC, causing vines to shut down and halting the growing cycle. Rain at the end of August cooled things down and restarted (slow) ripening. A dry autumn allowed a delayed harvest. The best wines show acidic nerve, balance and freshness. Overall a light vintage but with several excellent wines on the top level.
A very hot year which has nevertheless resulted in some very good, supple, ripe but not stewed wines, even if at times the higher alcohol (15% and sometimes more) make some of them unbalanced. A very warm April set expectations for a harvest a full four weeks earlier than usual. A distinctly cool June and July slowed the growing cycle down considerably, but August was so hot that Dolcetto raisined on the vine. Rain at the beginning of September accelerated ripening again. Cool nights saved Nebbiolo from overripeness, yet harvest was still a full two weeks earlier than the norm.
A wet spring caused irregular fruit set and was followed by an early summer with lots of rain. While Dolcetto suffered most from the short, cool growing season, Nebbiolo proved resilient thanks to its small berries and thick skins. August proved hot, but cool nights helped retain acidity. Some cooling rain in early September ensured a slow but steady development in the berries. Irregular fruit set meant that some producers had to do a severe selection during harvest, but the overall result is considered outstanding: a classic vintage with plenty of acidity, firm but ripe tannins and near-perfect balance in many wines.
A cold winter with lots of rain and snow delayed the start of the growing cycle. An unusually warm spring, however, encouraged a rapid budbreak and regular fruit set. It was still warm in June but a wet July increased fungal pressure in the vineyards and reduced yields in some cases. August was extremely hot and dry and the weather remained like this until mid September. The lack of rain caused water stress and vines to shut down. All this let to wildly irregular weather patterns throughout the region with some Barbera being picked before the early-ripening Dolcetto. Malic acid levels were overall below average, while the tannins did not always ripen fully. Quality is irregular, with excellence next to mediocrity, but hardly any of the wines show the stewed and dried-fruit flavours of the equally torrid 2003 vintage.
Overshadowed by the plush 2007 wines from a hot vintage, 2008’s austerity was not immediately recognised as the stuff great vintages are made of. Although not without challenges to the growers, a long and cool growing cycle resulted in healthy, thick-skinned Nebbiolo grapes full of extract and high sugar levels, balanced by great acidity. Although in most cases the tannins are still unyielding, these powerful wines have all the ingredients for a significant gain in complexity and depth over years to come.
Hail and arid conditions resulted in a low-yielding year, but of good quality fruit.
A coolish summer was followed by an Indian summer punctuated by two bouts of rain but the grapes were healthy enough to withstand them. Promising.
Reduced crop of decent but unremarkable wines for medium term drinking.
Very promising with few extremes of weather and well balanced wines.
As elsewhere, the heatwave shrivelled grapes and resulted in some unbalanced musts although the oldest vines in Barolo and Barbaresco managed to withstand the weather and yield some exceptional wines.
Piemonte's run of good to great vintages was finally broken with disastrous hail in parts of Barolo, rot, unripeness and unusually cool weather. The thin-skinned Barbera suffered most in this small vintage.
Excellent quality (and quantity) from an early vintage slightly more in the voluptuous mould of 1999 and 1997 than particularly long-term. No shortage of ripeness or structure, but an occasional shortage of acidity.
Very good, partly thanks to a prolonged heatwave from mid-August to mid-September. Dolcettos were relatively simple but both Barbera and, especially, Nebbiolo were exceptional with excellent acidity as well as ripeness and great definition of flavour. For the long term.
Very good quality yet again for Nebbiolo-based wines, and Dolcetto which was much more successful than the later-ripening Barbera. Voluptuous Barolo and Barbaresco recalls 1997.
More structure and potential than 1997 and some very fine, elegant wines.
A hot growing season resulted in record ripeness levels but some worryingly low acidities.
Superb Barolo and Barbaresco for keeping.
Hail-reduced crop of deep-coloured wines made from grapes which benefited from a sunny autumn. Probably a notch below 1989 and 1990.
Sugar and acid levels reasonable despite prolonged September rains. Not up to Tuscany’s performance.
Nebbiolo and Barbera didn't really ripen before it rained. May be similar to 1988.
A large harvest, generally low on weight and power.
A smallish crop of light to mid-weight early-drinking wines.
With colossal power and big aromas these are very exciting wines which have repaid extended bottle age.
A superb, healthy crop. Top Barolos are thrilling and repay the wait.
Initially over-rated, these are attractive, soft, full renditions.
A few remain impressive, but excessive yields caused some to fade early.
Oddly similar to Bordeaux: gorgeous young, they have shown they have had the weight and balance to last.
Formidable, even aggressive wines that have developed at a snail's pace.
Classic Barolos: rare but worth seeking out the big names.
Giacomo Conterno- Region of Production:
Giacomo Conterno- Commune (winery location):
Giacomo Conterno- Year Established:
The estate was founded by Giacomo’s father, Giovanni Conterno, in 1908.
Giacomo Conterno- Summary
Giacomo Conterno began his career with a vision to make Barolo with exceptional aging potential. In the 1920’s he achieved acclaim with his first bottling of Monfortino, a wine that lived up to his vision and was made with what today is considered traditional techniques, though at the time were avant garde. He prolonged the maceration period and aged the wine in large, old wooden botti. The estate made wine exclusively with purchased fruit until they acquired the Francia vineyard in 1974. From 1978, this vineyard has supplied both the Monfortino and the Cascina Francia bottlings. For the second time ever, in 2008, the estate purchased new vineyard—the Ceretta cru, also in Serralunga d’Alba. Currently, the estate is operated by Giacomo’s grandson, Roberto, who continues the tradition of making superb, powerful, long-lived wines.
Giacomo Conterno- Principal Vineyard Holdings:
Approximately 9 total hectares; 6 ha in Francia (a monopole) and 3 ha in Ceretta. In addition, Giacomo Conterno recently purchased the nine-hectare Arione vineyard south of Serralunga.
Giacomo Conterno- Top Wines Produced / Blends:
Barolo Cascina Francia
Barbera d’Alba Cascina Francia
Nebbiolo d’Alba Ceretta
Giacomo Conterno- Inaugural Vintage (for top wines):
1920 for Monfortino, 1978 for Cascina Francia
Giacomo Conterno- Brief Description of Style / Vinification Techniques:
Considered the father of the classic Barolo style: grapes have extended maceration periods and are aged in large, old Slavonian oak botti. The Monfortino bottling sees hotter fermentations, longer macerations, and longer ageing than Cascina Francia. Wines are organic
Produttori del Barbaresco- Region of Production:
Produttori del Barbaresco- Commune (winery location)
Produttori del Barbaresco- Year Established:
Produttori del Barbaresco- Summary:
Produttori del Barbaresco is a cooperative that was founded by the town’s priest when he saw the economic need for small producers in the area to band together. The coop has always been committed to enhancing the reputation of Barbaresco wine. The dedication of the producers has paid off, as Produttori is not only known as one of the greatest coops in the world, but one of the greatest producers of wine in the world. Currently, there are 56 members of Produttori who collectively farm 100 ha. In great vintages, they produce single cru wines from any of the nine single crus in their holdings: Asili, Rabajà, Pora, Montestefano, Ovello, Pajé, Montefico, Moccagatta, & Rio Sordo. They also produce a general Barbaresco as well as a Langhe Nebbiolo.
Produttori del Barbaresco- Principal Vineyard Holdings:
Approximately 100 ha
Produttori del Barbaresco- Average Total Production:
Approximately 35,000 cases
Produttori del Barbaresco- Top Wines Produced / Blends
Produttori del Barbaresco- Inaugural Vintage (for top wines):
1967 for Barbaresco Rabajà, 1967 for Barbaresco Pora, 1970 for Barbaresco Ovello
Produttori del Barbaresco- Brief Description of Style / Vinification Techniques:
They employ very traditional techniques, including a three week fermentation with maceration, followed by ageing in old oak Botti for up to three years.
What can Barbera d'Alba also be called?
Vietti- Region of Production:
Vietti- Commune (winery location):
Vietti- Year Established:
Vietti was one of the pioneers in single vineyard bottlings in Barolo, selecting fruit from specific vineyards and making selective site wines as early as the 1950’s. In the late 1960’s, Alfredo Currato, husband of Luciana Vietti, spent a lot of time researching and rediscovering the nearly lost Arneis grape variety. He is credited as the “father of Arneis”. Their style of winemaking varies from wine to wine—some are very traditional while others have more modern influences.
Vietti- Principal Vineyard Holdings:
Approximately 35 ha
Vietti- Top Wines Produced / Blends
Barolo Riserva Villero
Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne
Vietti- Brief Description of Style / Vinification Techniques:
Depending on the wine, vinification techniques may veer more traditional or more modern. The Barolo Lazzarito is considered their most modern in style, and is fermented in stainless steel and aged in French Barrique. The Barolo Rocche, on the other hand, sees a slow and long fermentation followed by ageing for 31 months in Slavonian oak botti.
Who really improved Barolo in the 19th Century?
Cavour, he bought in winemakers from France to increase the standards.
Piedmont- DOCG (17)
- Alta Langa DOCG
- Asti DOCG
- Barbera d'Asti DOCG
- Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG
- Brachetto d'Acqui (Acqui) DOCG
- Dogliani DOCG
- Dolcetto di Diano d'Alba/ Diano d'Alba DOCG
- Dolcetto di Ovida Superiore (Ovada) DOCG
- Erbaluce di Calcuso/ Calcuso DOCG
- Gattinara DOCG
- Gavi (Cortese di Gavi) DOCG
- Ghemme DOCG
- Nizza DOCG
- Roero DOCG
- Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG
- Barolo DOCG
- Barbaresco DOCG
Asti DOCG- Subzones:
Santa Vittoria d'Alba
Barbera d'Asti DOCG- Subzones
Colli Astiani (Astiano)
Piedmont- DOC (42)
- Alba DOC
- Albuganano DOC
- Barbera d'Alba DOC
- Barbera del Monferrato DOC
- Boca DOC
- Brameterra DOC
- Calosso DOC
- Canavese DOC
- Carema DOC
- Casorzo/ Malvasia di Casorzo d'Asti DOC
- Cisterna d'Asti DOC
- Colli Tortonesi DOC
- Collina Torinese DOC
- Colline Novaresi DOC
- Colline Saluzzesi DOC
- Cortese dell'Alto Monferrato DOC
- Coste della Sesia DOC
- Dolcetto d'Acqui DOC
- Dolcetto d'Alba DOC
- Dolcetto d'Asti DOC
- Dolcetto di Ovada DOC
- Fara DOC
- Freisa d'Asti DOC
- Freisa di Chieri DOC
- Gabiano DOC
- Grignolino d'Asti DOC
- Gringolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC
- Langhe DOC
- Lessona DOC
- Loazzolo DOC
- Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco DOC
- Monferrato DOC
- Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC
- Piemonte DOC
- Pinerolese DOC
- Rubino di Cantavenna DOC
- Sizzano DOC
- Strevi DOC
- Terre Alfieri DOC
- Valli Ossolane DOC
- Valsusa DOC
- Verduno Pelaverga/ Verduno DOC
Colli Tortonesi DOC- Subzones:
Terre di Libarna
Langhe DOC- Subzones:
Monferrato DOC- Subzones:
What river divides Roero and Barolo?
What does clay do to Barolo?
Makes it more grippy
What helped to drive the modernist movement in Barolo?
The power of people the more people involved the faster the change
What is becoming more popular than oak in Italy?
Why is Barolo and Brunello unfiltered?
Because they are scared of oxidation
What does Piedmont mean?
The foot of the Mountain. It is cradled on three sides by the Apennines and the Alps
What is the river that cuts through Piedmont?
The Po River. But viticulture doesn’t place on its plains due to the rich alluvial soils. This it occurs on the foothills south of the Po Valley.
What are the provinces of Piedmont?
Asti, Alessandria and Cuneo
What creates the mesoclimates of Piedmont?
Thinner, calcareous marl and sandstone soils with varying percentages of clay and sand
What is the climate of Piedmont?
Continental. The alps helps to provide a rain shadow effect
What is Nebbiolo named after?
The morning fog (la nebbia). This fog helps to prolong the grape’s ripening process in the fall, produces wines of high acid, alcohol and extreme tannin
In 1431 a statute of La Morra was placed in Piedmont regarding what?
It meant that punishment (the cutting off of one’s right hand) was in place in regards to extraction of the vine
What are the trio of red grapes of Piedmont?
Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera
Dolcetto in Piedmont?
“little sweet one”, earliest to ripen and provides tannic, fruity wines are lower in tannin and designed for youthful consumption
Barbera in Piedmont?
Most planted red grape, demonstrates high acidity, but low tannin and is now subject to stylistic differences
What has diminished the stylistic differences between Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto?
Modern winemaking techniques
What are the other indigenous red grapes of Piedmont?
Brachetto, Grignolino, Ruche, Croatian, Vespolina and Freisa
What is the most planted white grape in Piedmont?
Moscato Bianco (Muscat a Petit Grains). It is used a lot in Asti for sparkling wines.
What are the other white grapes of Piedmont?
Cortese, Arneis, Erbaluce and Favorita (Vermentino)
Which international grapes are planted in Piedmont?
Cab Sauv, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, etc, have been growing in significance since the 1980s, but are only currently grown in small lesser regarded DOCs
Piedmont is home to more DOC zones than any other regions in Italy. True or False?
True. 17 DOCGs and 42 DOCs
What are the two most famous DOCGs in Piedmont?
Barolo and Barbaresco, they are located along the Tanaro River in the Cuneo Provence. This area is encapsulated by the larger Langhe DOC.
What are the typical characters of Barolo and Barbaresco?
Barolo- Long lived, more powerful
Barbaresco- Is more feminine and softer
But this is becoming less true.
The aromas of tar, truffle, rose petals, and dried fruits are classically attributed to both wines, and their color is characteristically moderate in concentration and orange-tinged even in youth.
How many communes make up Barolo?
11, the five communes of La Morra, Barolo, Serralunga d’Alba, Monforte d’Alba and Castiglone Falletto
What sites in Piedmont produce ripe Nebbiolo?
Sites with appropriate aspect, a division between soil types marks subtle difference in each commune’s wines.
What are the soils of La Morra and Barolo?
Tortonian soils. They contain a higher percentage of calcareous marl and provide a softer style of wine.
What is the known soil types of Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba?
Serravallian (Helvetian) sandstone soils. They supply more structure to the wine.
What did regulations for Barolo call for prior to 2010?
They called for a minimum of 3 years of aging prior to release two of which were in oak, or rarely in chestnut casks
Must be aged for 38 months from the 1st of November of the harvest year, but only 18 months need to be in oak.
Barolo Reserva today?
Needs 62 months prior to release.
What has helped to prevent the need for extended periods of aging of Barolo for consumers?
The 1980s split between modernists and traditionalists
What was the modernists in Barolo responsible for?
Barriques, shorter macerations, and a rounder style of wine
Who were some of the traditionalists of Barolo?
Giacomo Conterno, Bartolo Mascarello, Giuseppe Rinaldi
Who were some of the modernists of Barolo?
Paolo Scavino, Luciano Sandrone, Elio Altare
What are the three main regions of Barbaresco?
Barbaresco, Neive, Treiso
What are the aging characters of Barbaresco?
Must be aged for a minimum of 26 months from November 1 of the harvest year (including 9 months in cask) prior to release, or for a minimum of 50 months of labelled reserva.
Who bought Barbaresco to fame in the 20th Century?
Angelo Gaja, who prefers to label his wines Langhe DOC instead of Barbaresco DOCG.
Bruno Giacosa, a traditonalist of Barbaresco is also famous. As is the Produttori del Barbaresco which provides great value and exemplifies the terroir of the region.
What are similarities between Barolo/ Barbaresco and Burgundy?
Aromatic release, similar climate, importance of single vineyards, modern emphasis on domaine bottling
What used to be the focus of Barolo trade?
Commerciant (or Negotiant) trading. Now it is focused more on domaines and Estate bottling in the 1960s.
What took place in 2007 regarding Barolo and Barbaresco crus?
The Barolo/ Barbaresco/ Langhe Consorzio finally voted to enshrine the crus of Barbaresco as legal menzioni geografiche aggiuntive (geographic areas) of the DOCG; in early 2010 Barolo followed suit
What is Barolo Chinato?
A DOCG aromatised wine that is flavoured with quinine. It has become very popular with Somms. Cappellano is most popular
When did Roero DOCG elevated from DOC?
Where is Roero located?
On the northwest bank of the Tanaro River, opposite of Barolo and Barbaresco
What are the grapes of Roero?
Nebbiolo and Arneis
What sort of soils are in Roero?
Sandy. They provide a lighter fresher style of Nebbiolo than Barolo and Barbaresco
Where are Gattinara and Ghemme DOCGs located?
North of the Po River. They straddle the Sesia River. They only offer Nebbiolo based reds. However some wines are blended with Vespolina and Bondara
What is Nebbiolo known as in Gattinara and Ghemme?
What are the other regions near Piedmont that are known for Nebbiolo styles but are not as reknowned?
Lessona and Sizzano DOC. The more isolated DOC of Carema is also reknowned
In 2008 two DOCGs became famous for Barbera, what are they?
Barbera D’Asti and Barbera del Monferrato Superiore. In the Monferrato hills east of Langhe.
What are the aging regimes of Barbera d’ Asti and Barbera Del Monferrato?
Barbera d’Asti- may be released as normale after a short 4 month aging period
Barbera del Monferrato- must be superiore and spends 14 months aging prior to release, including 6 months in cask
Does modern Barbera see much oak?
No it doesn’t see any much new oak
What was the 3rd DOCG of the Monferrato Hills, granted in late 2010?
Ruche Di Castagnole Monferrato. It is an aromatic wine produced from the local Ruche grape. The grape is either named after a local viral disease (roncet) or after French monks who visited the Saint Rocco monastery.
What was the 4th DOCG of the Monferrato hills?
Nizza, in 2014. It is approved for 100% Barbera wines. It used to be a subzone of Barbera d’Asti. It was the first DOCG awarded in 3 years.
What are the 3 DOCGs that are made up of 100% Dolcetto?
Dogliani, Dolcetto Di Ovada Superiore (Ovada) and Dolcetto Di Diano D’Alba (Diano D’Alba)
What are the requirements for release of Ovada, Dolcetto Di Diano D’Alba and Dogliani?
Ovada wines must be superiore to qualify for DOCG status. Whilst Dolcetto Di Diano D’Alba and Dogliani may be released in both normale and superiore versions, the later has a heightened level of alcohol
What name is associated with Dogliani?
Luigi Einaudi who was elected the second president of the Italian Republic in 1948
What was the first white wine DOCG of Piedmont?
Gavi (Cortese Di Gavi). It is located in the extreme southern portion of Alessandria province and it shares its western border with Ovada.
What style of white wine is produced in Gavi?
Mineral tinged whites produced from the Cortese grape. Most of the wines are still (tranquillo). But Spumante and frizzante versions are encountered.
What appellation south of Carema went from DOC to DOCG in 2010?
Erbaluce di Caluso. The white wines produced here are from the high acid Erbaluce grape, they may be still, Spumante, or Passito in style
What are the most important sparkling wines of Asti?
Moscato Di Asti. It’s nearly 650,000 hl (or more) is produced each year. It’s the largest DOCG producer in Italy. They lost their “Asti Spumante” label when it was bought up from DOC to DOCG Level. But wines are still Spumante in style.
How is Asti produced?
It is comprised of the Moscato Blanco grape, blended from all of the vineyards in southern provinces of Piedmont. It undergoes a secondary fermentation, via the Charmat method.
How is Moscato D’Asti produced?
It is a more artisinal product. Produced from Moscato Bianco. It’s pressure was raised from 1.7 to 2 atmospheres in 2011. It’s only slightly sparkling (frizzante) rather than Spumante. It’s alcohol is between 4.5% and 6.5%.
What is the serious sparking wine appellation of Piedmont?
Alta Langa DOCG. It is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. It is made in a style of Champagne or Franciacorta. Straight spumante styles are released after 30 months of aging after harvest. Riserva may not be released until after a full 3 years.
When did Alta Langa receive it’s DOCG?
Not until 2011, even though Pinot Noir and Chardonnay was planted there since the 1800s.