Winecast: Nebbiolo

Winecast: Nebbiolo

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00:00
hello everybody and welcome to the wine cast in anticipation of a cast on the Piedmont region of Italy I decided to take on one of that region's signature grapes Nebbiolo Nebbiolo is an interesting great because while it's not planted widely outside of Italy or even outside of northern Italy for that matter its expression in Italy is both famous and remarkable and it's a grape with a wine culture and style all its own so without further ado here's our grape like I said a second ago the majority of this grapes plantings by a very large margin are in Italy with that
00:31
country being home to around 5,500 hectares or 92 percent of the world's Nebbiolo based on data from 2010 though Nebbiolo still hasn't cracked the top 50 in terms of most planted varietals it's on the grow especially in areas outside of Italy and even though the size of Italian plantings increased by about 800 hectares between 2000 and 2010 Italy's overall share of the world's plantings dropped by 2 percent as an increase in plantings outside of Italy outpaced those inside over the course of that
01:03
decade most hectares under vine for this grape in Italy are located in the north with a very solid majority of those hectares being in the Piedmont with almost all of the remaining vines found in either the neighbouring regions of Lombardy or the Valle d'Aosta outside of Italy you can find small but commercially significant plantings in Australia in a troika of Latin American countries Chile Mexico and Uruguay where the grape made its way along with waves of Italian immigration during the 19th
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century and increasingly in the United States the name of this grape Nebbiolo is probably derived from the Italian word for fog Nebbia which has derived in turn from the Latin word nebula or cloud our grape probably came by this moniker thanks either to the autumn fogs and mists that are common in the Piedmont in the fall when this late ripening grape is finally getting ready for harvest or thanks to the cloudy bloom that it's grape skins are known for or maybe because of both you'll occasionally hear
02:06
someone claimed that the name might come from the Italian word noble a or noble but without casting aspersions on this gray origins or quality that's not very likely speaking of origins research on the genetics of Nebbiolo have established a particularly close relationship between it and another important red grape from Northwest Italy freiza Nebbiolo is actually tied pretty closely to a number of northwest Italian grapes suggesting that it's native to this part of Italy but the grapes it's
02:36
most closely linked to have connections of long-standing to the valtellina region in the northern part of lombardy and it's at least possible that that specific area and not the Piedmont may be nebulos place of origin as we'll see in a minute even in a relatively small area like Northwest Italy there are lots of different ways this grape can express but wherever it's grown some characteristics remain the same first Nebbiolo is a tannic grape and wines made from it will have lots of astringency that can't be moderated to some degree
03:07
depending on how much time on the skins a winemaker elects to give it Nebbiolo also tends to produce wines that are markedly light in color with a particular propensity to develop an orange tint as the wine ages there will be a solid fruit character from the beginning but it needs time to come into its own and to find its way to the front of the palate is the powerful tannins mellow over time and eventually a nebula will usually show red fruit along with savory and floral aromas and flavors like tobacco violet
03:37
earth and dried herbs and mushrooms and a very famous and beautiful pair of descriptors that you'll hear quite a bit is tar and roses because Nebbiolo is by its nature so tannic the relationship between tannin and fruit is key to understanding and enjoying this grape in the upcoming cast on the Piedmont I'll talk about the various winemaking approaches to Nebbiolo that can make it more or less accessible when young but for now just note that it can take years or even decades for some of the wines
04:08
made from Nebbiolo particularly burro lows to work out an optimal relationship between fruit and tannin and what are the wines made from these grapes well the most famous are Barolo and Barbaresco both from the Piedmont and not too far geographically from each other or from the town of all in the south-central part of the region both Barolo and Barbaresco are made entirely of Nebbiolo with Barolo you usually considered the more powerful in tannic expression while barbaresco often gets points for relative lightness as
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well as elegance and sophistication the watch where you say that as Barolo has a lot of fans out there who will brook no suggestion that barbaresco has anything at all on Barolo there's a lot to say about these two styles so look for more in the upcoming Piedmont cast still in the Piedmont the sub-regions of RO arrow and alba both very close to the two previous regions also work with this grape ro aro produces a light bodied and less tannic expression of this grape and does allow for blending up to 5% of
05:11
local grapes including an important local white grape R neighs nebula d'Alba by contrast will tend to be more complex and full-bodied than row arrow and like Barolo and Barbaresco can only contain Nebbiolo in the north of the Piedmont in the sub regions of gamma and Ngati nada where Nebbiolo is known locally as Spana wines driven by this grape will have a light character that emphasizes earthy and savory notes in gam a up to 25 percent of the wine can be made from
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grapes other than Nebbiolo Spana but in ngati Nara no more than 10 percent of the wine can be made from another grape and if you leave the Piedmont and head to the volatile ena region in the northern part of Lombardy that might possibly be where Nebbiolo came into being you'll find our grape going by the name of Giovanna Scott and making wines that can have a somewhat unripe and acidic character because of the difficulty of getting an already late ripening grape like Nebbiolo to mature fully in a very cool subalpine climate
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zone to offset this unripe character the rules for this production zone permit blending in up to 20 percent local grapes a number that gets reduced to 10% for the superiority designation because of the markedly cold climate vintage makes a difference here and you can score some compelling wines from this region if you're careful to be on the lookout for bottles from warm years in what was probably another effort to set the sharpness of a local expression of Nebbiolo a style called for sato that
06:44
means something like intensified or emphasized developed in this region and uses dried grapes to make a wine in a similar style to the Amarone of the Veneto for Sato is a DOCG like volatile ena superiore and it shares the same requirements for blending as superiore these aren't the only Appalachians in italy that work with the script but they are the biggest and the most widely available and should be a good place to start if you're looking to get to know this grape better but how about outside of Italy well to be candid the
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conventional wisdom is that Nebbiolo doesn't travel well even within Italy let alone outside of it but there are more and more parts of the wine world that are making a serious effort to cultivate this grape and to make world-class wines from it so here are a couple of suggestions first even nebulos biggest fans in Australia will admit that there's room for growth there but something that bodes well for the land down under is that it's probably home to the most plantings of Nebbiolo outside of Italy and there are a lot of producers working hard to really make
07:45
something of our grape there so it's probably worth the investment to do a little research and check out some of the bottles coming out of Oz the plantings and bottlings remain small Mexico's Baja Peninsula has been getting some positive reviews for its work with Nebbiolo and if you can find them those would be some wines well worth checking out and comparing to the grape as it expresses in Italy finally though plantings in the u.s. mostly limited to California and to a much smaller degree Washington State are modest there's good buzz circulating about some of these
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wines and they're worth a look as well listen when all is said and done there's pretty good consensus that no current expression of this grape match is what you can find in Italy so your explorations should definitely begin there but given the effort and energy that wine growers and producers are putting into this grape elsewhere there's no reason that it should end there as well thanks for joining me for another wine cast though my plate is pretty full at the moment in terms of various obligations I have apart from this cast I'm still committed to and pretty
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excited about a dedicated Piedmont cast so look for that in the very near future thanks as always for watching and especially for likings scribing and commenting and for otherwise being a supporter and friend of this channel I'm your host the unknown wine caster and I'm out enjoy the grape but always enjoy it responsibly

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