Learning to love Nebbiolo: Langhe Nebb from Vajra and Massolino

So I’ve been trying quite a few Nebbiolos of late, in a quest to learn to love it more. This has meant tasting a fair few young Barolos, and struggling a bit with their raw, primary tannins, which can be quite fearsome. This is where Langhe Nebbiolo proves useful. These wines are, as you’d expect, [...]

Learning to love Nebbiolo: Mascarello, Giuseppe e Figlio

In my quest for Nebbiolo to love, I came across two rather gorgeous bottles from Giuseppe Mascarello. This is one of those producers with a reputation for making mostly sublime wines, but also one where quality can be up and down. When they are great they are truly great, but greatness is not guaranteed. When [...]

Learning to love Nebbiolo: Ar.Pe.Pe Rosso di Valtellina

So I continue in my noble quest to learn to love Nebbiolo (see my previous posts here and here). This time, I am turning to the Valtellina region, a 70 mile long valley running east to west on the Italian-Swiss border. The vineyards here are terraced, and the primary grape is Nebbiolo, known locally as [...]

Learning to love Nebbiolo (1) Pio Cesare

A while back I posted on ‘Nebbiolo, I’d love to like you more’, which drew some very intelligent responses. I’m sure I lost a few followers – people who realized that if I question the greatness of Nebbiolo, I clearly have no palate and am not a serious person. I understand.

But even if I [...]

Nebbiolo, I'd love to like you more...

Just been discussing Nebbiolo on Twitter. It’s one of those grapes that we in the wine trade are supposed to like.

For sure, it’s a grape I love the idea of, but the reality is that I keep getting disappointed by it. And I like pale-coloured reds with perfume, so I don’t see why there’s a [...]

A remarkable natural Barolo

Now this is interesting. I encountered it at the Oslo tasting I’ve been at for the last couple of days.

It’s a naturally made Barolo from Giovanni Canonica. He makes very little – around 5000 bottles – which all sell out very quickly. Much of the production is sold in Japan.

Canonica farms 1.5 hectares in the [...]

At the Berry Bros press tasting today

It’s always fun at the Berry Bros & Rudd press tastings, because they show such good wines. Today’s tasting, in the cellars below their shop in St James’ St, was no exception.

David Berry Green, pictured above, has revitalized their Italian range, and today he took the unusual step of showing 15 Langhe Nebbiolos, of which [...]

Visiting Constantia (2): Steenberg

The second visit in Constantia was Steenberg. Part of the Graham Beck empire, they are one of South Africa’s most celebrated producers, especially well known for their whites (including Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, Semillon and Magna Carta). We met with general manager John Loubser (above) and winemaker JD Pretorius (below).

After tasting some young wines, we had [...]

Two impressive Aussie Nebbiolos

Nebbiolo is a perplexing but wonderful grape variety. Naturally low in colour and high in tannin, it isn’t very consumer friendly. But it is capable of greatness, as the top examples of Barbaresco and Barolo demonstrate on a regular basis.

Like many Italian red varieties, it doesn’t travel well and attempts to make new world Nebbiolo [...]