It can be difficult to find an 'everyday' version of Nebbiolo, even from the Piedmont where it is the most noble of grapes. The problem is part reputation and part genetics; the reputation for greatness tends to have it planted in the best growing sites destined to make the best wines year after year, and its genetics make it a tricky grape to grow, 'needing' an optimum site. Barbera and Dolcetto perform far better in those lesser sites, so their wines make up the large portion of everyday drinkers. The region of Roero in the northern portion of Alba doesn't have the premium reputation for their red wines of Barolo and Barbaresco just South of them across the Tanaro River. In fact their reputation with the white varietal Arneis is more renown, having the DOC designation for the reds coming significantly after the whites. The quality here is sneaky excellent, especially when you consider this is close to the top end of the price point for Roero. Fratelli Rabino is a long standing producer in the region with vineyards in several of the premium districts of Roero. Their Roero DOC wine is built to be more Barbaresco-esque with more aging in new barrels, while this Nebbiolo d'Alba is one of the best 'drink now' versions of Nebbiolo we've come across. Aged and assembled in larger multi-use barrels only, the aromatics are so fresh, almost flowery, covered in dried red fruits and tobacco leaf with notes of almost citrus peel at the finish. It doesn't need decanting much to get rolling, but it does continue to get prettier over several hours. The palate is mostly dry dusty fruit and cedar tones that get redder and fuller over time, which really shows off Nebbiolo's super-fine grit tannins on the finish. An elegant pairing with meaty, mushroomy dishes that don't need the pomp and circumstance of a higher end wine.
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!