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All about nebbiolo
What is nebbiolo?
Nebbiolo wine originates from a grape variety that comes from the Piedmont and Lombardia regions in Italy and, more specifically, the areas around the Langhe hills and the Valtellina. In the latter region, this rich red wine goes by the name chiavennasca. In the Aosta Valley, instead, people call it picoutener. Most versions of this wine contain a blend of nebbiolo grapes with other varieties, like vespolina and michet. Nebbiolo grapes are also used in other wine types, like barbaresco and barolo. Some of these wine varieties have been compared to cabernet sauvignon. The name "nebbiolo" probably derives from the Italian "nebbia," which means "fog." The reason is most likely that winemakers harvest the grape in late October, when there is a lot of fog in Piedmont. It could also be that the grapes have a lot of blooms on them, which resembles fog.
How does it taste?
Nebbiolo red wine has a complex, elegant scent with notes of raspberries, rose, lily, pine, spices, violets and gentian. Some versions also feature hints of tobacco, mushrooms and dried leaves. The wine has a high tannin content, which characterizes its taste, and a full body. Aged versions may have balsamic flavor notes. This Italian red wine pairs well with pasta and Bolognese sauce.
Types of nebbiolo wines
Barolo DOCG and barbaresco DOCG are the most famous wines made from nebbiolo grapes. Barolo must age for at least three years in wooden barrels, while barbaresco ages for a minimum of two years, of which at least one year must be in wooden barrels. You'll also find good bottles of nebbiolo langhe DOP and nebbiolo d'alba DOP, which are relatively young wines.