Wine Review: 2008 Nebbiolo by Ca’Nova

Tonight’s occasion: 2008 Nebbiolo by Ca’Nova, Ghemme, Piedmont, Italy.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I am obsessed with Nebbiolo especially from Italy. They are hard to come by in this part of the world and fetch a premium. So while browsing wine.com for this month’s Explore & Taste selection, I decided to try a Nebbiolo off the beaten path.

Big warm aromatic nose permeates the space as soon as you pop the cork. This wine is still swing for the fences after 12 years. Upon closer inspection, nose is full of black berry, subtle sweet cherry notes, marshmallows and tart plum with faint slate rock undertone.

Body has a moderately acidic attack. Slightly chalky, minerality carries through. Tannins are slow to wake up, finally making their presence known towards the back. When they do, they conspire with the chalk to completely rob the palate and lips of all moisture and render dry. Body and finish feel to be one cohesive unit culminating in parched lips with a tingling of spice as you attempt to pry your parched lips apart.

This wine isn’t messing around. I think it is just now becoming approachable. For a 12 year old vintage it is appropriately aged for a Nebbiolo. It will likely drink like this for the next decade. It presents a very compelling value at around $36.

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Ca’Nova wines delivered to your doorstep.

Shop Ca’Nova wines on Wine.com

Wine Review: 2014 Langhe Rosso by GiA

Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Langhe Rosso by GiA, Langhe, Italy.

Nose is restrained overall however the introduction of mineral terroir is clear and unmistakable. This is followed by subtle secondary cherry and tertiary oak caramel upon vigorous swirling. The body is moderately acidic, dry, further restrained. It feels like this wine does not appreciate being disturbed. Minerality carries through the body. I am reminded by what enchanted me about this wine many years ago. Towards the back of the body, clean, crisp tannins begin their relentless rise to dominate the palate and transition into an otherwise smooth finish, overshadowed by powerful dry grip that leaves the palate parched and craving more.

This is the wine that started my obsession with Nebbiolo and more specifically the Langhe region. It is a relatively inexpensive wine. It comes in very manly looking 1 Litre bottles and a case will typically set you back well under $200. Keep in mind that more than a typical case of standard 750ml bottles. It’s a great way to introduce the region to guests and curious wine enthusiasts.

A very understated wine. Molto bene! 🍷😘👌🏽

Reserve: 2015 Langhe Nebbiolo by La Sacrestia

Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Langhe Nebbiolo by La Sacrestia. Langhe, Italy.

I am completely enamored with Nebbiolo from Langhe. This lesser known region offers great value and massively intense wines.

Crisp clean nose. Subtle tart berry with a hint of marshmallow/caramel in the back. Terroir is without a doubt all dusty mineral. Very characteristic of this region. The nose is very tight – even after aerating requires vigorous swirling to unlock the aromas – without doubt this wine has a long journey ahead of it.

Body is all business. First thing you notice is a bit more leather along with the mineral terroir. Mild acity is noticeable but restrained over a firm chassis. Good structure and balance for a Nebbiolo this young. It’s difficult to separate the body from finish as massive tannic grip emerges midway and dominates the entire experience. The more it breathes, the bigger the grip. A subtle spice makes an appearance after the fact, leaving your lips tingling.

It may be lesser known but it is no less of a Nebbiolo than its peers. It is a great bargain at around $16 from Total Wine. It presents a great opportunity. Pick up a bunch now and forget about them. Thank me in 5-10 years. 🍷😁👌🏽

Reserve: 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo by Nada Fiorenzo

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo by Nada Fiorenzo.

Nose of leather and berry. Swirl it a little and out comes oak and cherry. Dry, structured and fairly balanced body features tart plum and a hint of vanilla in the back. Big, dry tannic finish leaves you parched and going for another sip.

This is a definitely Nebbiolo. Unapologetic. Unpretentious. Not unnecessarily complex or complicated. It is a well made quality wine. Although surprisingly mature for a nebbiolo this age, it is also very young and will show very nicely, given ample time. This Nebbiolo is very young but presents a unique value proposition. You can pick up a few bottles at @totalwine fairly inexpensively and forget about them for another 5 to 8 years when it should be showing marvelously. Salute! 🍷😁👌🏽

2015 Nebbiolo by Travaglini Gattinara

Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Nebbiolo by Travaglini Gattinara.

Clear, ruby red color. Unconventional for most Nebbiolo. Crisp nose with slightly earthy mineral terroir. A suggestion of tart plum, and at least another very faint floral aroma I cannot pinpoint. Body is dry, crisp plum, with lots of structure. A noticeable melange of leather and mineral rock emerges towards the back end of the body. An increasingly dominating tannic grip only gets stronger and more intense as it transitions to the finish by the end of which your lips and entire palate are held hostage by its intense, dry, ironclad grip. A spicy heat joins in the bold, forceful, dramatic expression and lingers long after.

This vintage is powerful and shows great potential. While it may be barely approachable now, it is nowhere near ready. I last opened a 2010 last year and reviewed it on here. This wine needs at least another 5 years. TotalWine stopped carrying it in California but I found some in Seattle this weekend. Unfortunately I am unable to continue building a vertical of it in my cellar.

[UPDATE] Wine.com carries this wine so I will resume building my vertical. See links below.

To the folks at Travaglini, I most certainly hope to see you when I visit Italy.

Molto bene! 🍷😁👌🏽

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Travaglini Gattinara wines delivered to your doorstep.

Shop Travaglini Gattinara wines on Wine.com

Reserve: 2012 Aglianico del Vulture by Tenuta Del Portale

Tonight’s occasion: 2012 Aglianico del Vulture by Tenuta Del Portale. Prior to just a few days ago I had no idea this varietal existed. This came as a suggestion from my newest winesnob som friend Nikki. According to Wikipedia, Aglianico is a black grape grown in the southern regions of Italy, mostly Basilicata and Campania. The vine originated in Greece and was brought to the south of Italy by Greek settlers. The name may be a corruption of vitis hellenica, Latin for “Greek vine”.

This one comes with a rich nose full of terrior minerality, leather, dirt and tobacco. It may be a bit much for some but once it opens up (for about an hour) it becomes a good conversation piece with a hint of fruit, balanced body and long lasting finish. I like wines that draw my palate off the beaten

path and prompt me to rethink my perception of what an honest wine truly is. This experience comes as no surprise from an Italian wine. Salute!