Stars of Northern Italy
One well known, the other not so.
“The haunting Nebbiolo has no rival as the first red grape of Northern Italy,” says the current World Atlas of Wine. But, you do have to wait for it, according to the authors of Vino Italiano: “Nebbiolo is more about complexities revealed over time”. Difficult to grow too and often late.
Both wines below come from Piedmont, famous not just for its wines but for its mountains, its football (Juventus), its Nutella! Red wines are mainly produced but the Roero area is the home of the little known Arneis, a fragrant pear scented old local white.
Bosio’s Boschi dei Signora, Nebbiolo D’Alba 2009, 14%, €16.99 Curious Wines
The fruit of 40 year vines is used for this wine. Vineyard practice encourages a low yield and a final thinning means that only the best grapes make it through. The wine-making uses a mix of modern and traditional methods and the product is refined in Slovenian and French oak barrels before a wine that befits the noblest Piedmontese vine is released.
Colour is ruby and there are aromas of red fruits, even blackberries and indeed some floral elements. It is full bodied, velvety with some spice but generally mellow with a very pleasant mouthfeel, and is further enhanced by a long dry finish. This one would be a good sub for a more expensive Barolo and is Very Highly Recommended.
Fontanafredda Pradalupo, Roero Arneis 2010 (Piedmont, Italy), 12.5%, €18.36 Karwig Wines
I don’t come across the Arneis variety very often but, going by this bottle, it is well worth looking out for.
Colour is that of a light honey, invitingly clean and bright. It has beautiful aromas, both floral and fruity. On the palate it is vibrant and full of flavour with an almost creamy mouthfeel, yet it possesses a lively acidity that gives a beautiful balance and a very pleasant clean finish. Very Highly Recommended.