For connoisseurs, collectors and drinkers alike, Piemonte is a happy hunting ground. Its unique climate, geography and history has conspired to create a vinous and gastronomic Valhalla. The majority of Piemonte wines concentrate on single varieties, which makes things a little easier to understand, then again there were 16 DOCGs and 42 DOCs last time I looked (probably more now) and some are ‘Village Wines’ and some ‘Varietal’. The most famous village wines are Barolo, Barbaresco and Gavi, waiting in the wings are the Alto-Piemonte village wines, which I am convinced will be the greats of the future. For now though, the rule of thumb is that Nebbiolo is fantastic and the best wines are from the villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Barbera is wonderful and is best from Nizza or when planted in prime Barolo sites; Dolcetto can be rather lovely so long as it is not over-extracted. Gavi is making a real resurgence in qualitative terms though it is Arneis and Erbaluce, which will be responsible for the great wines of the future. Finally, Moscato is being taken seriously and there are some superb wines to try, there are also a good many to avoid.
All bramble and raspberry, joyous and vibrant, it is remarkably flexible in that the full forest fruit is the perfect partner to linguine and wild boar ragù, alternatively it can be chilled (there is very little tannin) and works well with spiced seafood.
A fresh vintage which was un-tampered with, the tannins were mature and allow violet and tar to emerge through berry and strawberry. A lithe and handsome example of nebbiolo, ready to drink and It will develop over the next few years (to 2017).
Subtle strawberry, clove and camomile with dried rose and unrolled tobacco. Bright, fresh and vigorous fruit, lemon and orange peel lift the fine floral berry fruit, the tannins are fully mature have an attractive sweetness, a beautifully presented traditional wine which will develop over many, many years.