Although the focus is on the 2016 Barolo’s these days, I think it’s important to give some attention to the Langhe Nebbiolo’s! Since the 2016 Barolo’s should be bought and then put away for a long time, it’s nice to have a wine to enjoy in the meantime. You get the same characteristics as a Barolo, but you don’t have to wait to long for the wine to be approachable. On my last trip to Langhe I got to taste quite a few Langhe Nebbiolo 2018. Here are my tasting notes in alphabetical order.
Alberto Viberti LogHero 2018
Alberto is the new kid on the block. He works for his family winery Cascina Ballarin in La Morra, but has his own project on the side. His Nebbiolo goes through fermentation in cement tanks. Alberto does not use any oak with his Nebbiolo. The grapes come from Roero, and the soil there gives this wine a little bit of pepper notes. A very good Nebbiolo for a “rookie”. Looking forward to seeing how he evolves!
Andrea Oberto Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
And oldie, but a goodie! I think the world should drink more Andrea Oberto! And why not start with his Nebbiolo. On the nose you’ll find tobacco and roses. The wine is fruity with a long finish. A very good wine made by a wonderful man.
Azelia Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
The focus this year has been on Azelia’s new Barolo Cerretta, but let’s not forget about all the other wines they make! The Nebbiolo is quite structured in 2018. Notes of spices, licorice, leather, cherries and flowers. The tannins are round and the wine fruity, making it very drinkable.
Cascina Fontana Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
Mario uses both cement and Slavonian oak for his Nebbiolo, for a total of 12 months. The 2018 is less concentrated than 2017 with lots of dark fruit and a bouquet of flowers. The wine is elegant with a long finish.
Cavallotto Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
I tasted the 2017 and 2018 side by side. The 2017 was very good, but when tasting it next to the 2018 it almost fell a little short. In the 2018 there is an explosion of floral notes. A very powerful nose. One of the more expressive Nebbiolo’s I’ve tried. The wine is young with big tannins, but they disappear quite quickly and you’re left with beautiful floral notes.
Cristian Boffa Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
This Nebbiolo is made with 16 year old vines from the Santa Maria vineyard. Cristian uses about 20% botte grande and 80% cement for 6 months. On the nose there are notes of strawberry jam, fruits, and flower, and the tannins are very smooth. As a relatively new player in the game, it will be interesting to see the evolution of Cristian Boffa! Stay tuned.
Diego e Damiano Barale Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
A very drinkable Nebbiolo from Monforte, with vines planted by their grandfather in the San Giovanni vineyard about 40-50 years ago. The brothers use 2nd or 3rd passage tonno because they prefer to taste the natural tannins. One interesting aspect of the vinification is that they take out the seeds, a practice they learned from Vaira. A beautiful nose, elegant tannins and a long finish.
Diego Morra Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
Diego ages his Nebbiolo for a long time in the bottle, compared to other winemaker. Before the prolonged aging in bottle, the wine spends about 6 months in tonno, with 10% new oak. This might be one of my favorites. Very approachable, round tannins and a fresh expression.
Gianfranco Alessandria Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
Here’s a wine with a typical Nebbiolo nose: red berries, roses, hint of leather and spices. Aged 6 months in barrique with 10% new oak. The grapes come from San Giovanni, so there’s the Monforte power but the tannins are still elegant and sweet, making it quite approachable.
Giovanni Corino Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
Of all the Corino wines, this might be my favorite. So elegant with fresh fruit and raspberry. Good structure with round tannins.
Released a year later than most of its “peers”, the Langhe Nebbiolo from Pira has spent about 12 months in small and big oak barrels. In addition to the terroir, the oak helps to give the wine its structure and complexity. Aroma of red fruit, leather, spices and tobacco as well as a hint of oak notes. Fruity in the mouth, crisp and complex. Persistent tannins with a long finish.
Mauro Veglio Angelo 2018
At first the Angelo came off a little green, but with some air it disappeared and I was left with licorice and raspberries. Very crisp! The tannins are there but they disappear. A relatively approachable Nebbiolo.