The Glories of Piedmont

I love Italian wines.  That’s all there is to it…

Piedmont is a region in NW Italy where some, let me say, FREAKING amazing wines are made.  My fellow wine geek James recently visited there and is to host the next “class” tasting.  The beauty of being host is picking the wines to be tasted.  Choices by the host can range from varietals, to countries, to individual regions. Piedmont was the lucky winner for this one, and we are all pretty familiar with the great wines of Piedmont:  Barolo and Barbaresco, only to name two, and the great Nebbiolo grape.

20140203_194942Monday’s tasting at the store were wines from Piedmont.  Some stellar wines were being poured, and one of the perks of working there, is being able to taste a vast variety of wines. Yum..a prequel of what might be tasted later on this month at James’…

What you see here, are all examples of the Nebbiolo grape. On this evening, we also tasted a Gavi, a Dolcetto and a Barbera d’Alba.  Everything was good, but these?  Were AMAZING!

The Gattinara is a DOCG Nebbiolo sourced from 3 separate vineyards in Northern Piedmont. We had the 2006 vintage, which by the way, is already aging nicely. A steal at $50 on the shelf, this would be a great one to use the rule of three for, as this one can age nicely for 12-15 years, if stored well.  A beautiful expression of the Nebbiolo grape with cherries, menthol, licorice and spice with silky smooth tannins and a long finish.  THIS is the one I’ll be bringing to my wine peeps later on this month!  Can’t wait for them all to try it! (The bottle is an incredibly cool shape too, for those of you that shop based on label or bottle shape) 😉

Pio Cesare boasted three wines for the evening (Gavi, Barbaresco, Barolo), and this Barbaresco, known as the Queen to Barolo’s King was my hands-down favourite wine for the evening. Yes, this is from Piedmont, but more specifically, Alba. Also a 2006, this Queen can age for a LONG time. Opening up in my glass as the night went on, there was cherry nibs, followed by licorice and earthy mushrooms.  As it opened up, I sensed this smoky bacon coming through.  Again, very well-balanced with super smooth tannins.   Put this baby away for a few years and it would be even MORE beautiful. $85, but well worth the price.

We were lucky to try the “Ornato” Barolo, a single vineyard Nebbiolo that will in 35 years, no doubt, be spectacular.  Barolo’s are serious business, not to be trifled with.  Make sure when you buy one of these bad boys, you’ll still be alive to enjoy it!   Seriously!  The ageability on these wines is astounding! This Barolo was only a 2009…very young yet, and at $115, I’d definitely put this one away, and not touch it for at LEAST 15 years.  So to put it in perspective, if I waited the full 35 years, I’ll be 80 when I open this wine!  Yikes!  Dense, tannic and very full, this wine needs time.  So if you’re into Barolo’s, you need to be patient!  All that being said, if I was served a Barolo, I’d never say no…Cheers folks!


From right to left: Gattinera, Barbaresco, Barolo

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