Nebbiolo (nay-bee-oh-lo) might be my favourite red grape, well, along with Pinot Noir. Both grapes have some similarities, they are very fussy about where they grow, they are intensely aromatic and have a distinctive light look but strong and flavourful palate. It also ticks all check boxes you would want in a wine. Nebbiolo can be approachable, can be aged for decades, has a complex palate with with flavours ranging from cherries, truffles, roses to cigars to even tar.
Nebbiolo is the oldest indigenous red grape from the region of Piedmont in Italy, and even there it grows well only in certain areas, of which the most famous is Barolo, near the truffle city of Alba. I travelled to the region recently for an event called Nebbiolo Prima where I tasted about 400 soon to release wines made from Nebbiolo and spent time with some of the most well known wineries in the region.
In a two part series about Nebbiolo, we start with a simple Nebbiolo 101. If you love these wines too, do share your favourite labels with us in the comments below!