The prized nebbiolo grape reaches its full potential in the powerful, complex, intense wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. There are occasions, however, when the humble drinker might prefer a style of nebbiolo that is more approachable (not to mention affordable). At Paul Marcus Wines, we offer several examples of nebbiolo that is lighter on its feet, versatile at the table, and more accessible in its youth.
For starters, check out the bright, supple, aromatic 2020 Paitin Langhe Nebbiolo ‘Starda.’ Located in the western Langhe village of Neive, just outside Barbaresco, Paitin has been producing their Langhe nebbiolo for 130 years. The grapes for this cuvee come from 40-year-old vines planted in sandy, lower-elevation soils. After a relatively long fermentation in stainless steel, the wine rests in old Slavonian barrels for up to a year. With vibrant red fruits and ample acidity, this high-toned nebbiolo will perfectly accompany, say, penne with pancetta and mushrooms in a vermouth cream sauce.
Next we head north to the Alto Piemonte and the 2018 Proprieta Sperino Coste della Sesia ‘Uvaggio.’ Based in Lessona, the Proprieta Sperino project began about 25 years ago, and their ‘Uvaggio’ cuvee is made from 80 percent nebbiolo rounded out by 15 percent vespolina and 5 percent croatina. This wine is a bit softer and more textured than the Paitin; it’s floral and spicy, with dense fruit and a distinct mineral edge. Try this one with pan-roasted pork tenderloin smothered in fresh herbs.
Finally, we return to the Langhe for the outstanding 2019 Cascina delle Rose Langhe Nebbiolo. The fruit for this lively, structured, and balanced bottling is all declassified Barbaresco from the famed Tre Stelle vineyard, and there is no wood used at any point in the production process; fermentation and aging all take place in stainless steel. The resulting wine is pure, elegant, and energetic, with a gorgeous nose and an almost Burgundian mouth feel. Make yourself a pot of orecchiette with sausage, brown butter, and sage, and you’ll be high-stepping into town!
Of course, Paul Marcus Wines also boasts an impressive array of world-class Barolo and Barbaresco if you’re looking for a special-occasion nebbiolo. To learn more about our wide-ranging nebbiolo selection, stop in and say hello. We’d all love to chat with you about one of our favorite grapes in the world.