Certain grape varieties are harder to make into an 'everyday' wine than others. The things you do to lower the cost of farming the grapes (yield per vine, care in the vineyard, labor and selection during harvest) are also where flavor flaws develop, and some grapes have flaws that show up more readily than others. Nebbiolo is definitely one of those grapes, as it has a harder or high toned edge that needs time in the bottle to soften, so it is usually planted in the better ripening sites and made into nicer wines. If it appears in a more approachable wine it is usually part of a blend with Barbera and Dolcetto to soften Nebbiolo's edges. The Albino Rocca winery does things a little differently with this wine to tame Nebbiolo into a more serviceable role, extracting the juice and aging it in tank in a manner similar to the way Beaujolais is made, which makes a 'softer' wine than Nebbiolo usually creates. There is also a small percentage of Cabernet Franc blended in, just enough to bring a touch more fruit and savory aromatics.
From the start this will not be a wine anyone will confuse with a Barolo or Barbaresco (the most famous wines made from Nebbiolo) but the earmark characteristics are definitely there with loads of violets and bright red fruit aromas, as well as a savory smoky perfume lingering in the background. The palate is at first soft and generous showing off the darker flavors from the aroma, but the tannins are sneaky and appear the longer the wine is kept in the mouth, light and dusty but persistent and delivering a tart lengthy finish. Extremely food friendly thanks to the absence of oak, and only needing a little bit of time open to really hit it's full stride.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!