Nebbiolo: the indigenous Piedmontese grape variety
The name of this grape variety comes from the word “nebbia” which means fog in Italian. Etymologically, its name is linked to the abundant bloom that covers the grapes or, more likely, to its harvest period, during October, when the vines are shrouded in morning mist.
Nebbiolo is certainly the most valuable and difficult grape to cultivate of all the Italian red varieties.
The excellence of Nebbiolo production is concentrated in the historic Langhe region and more precisely in the Barolo and Barbaresco appellation areas.
Barolo and Barbaresco
Barolo is a wine made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes. The appellation area covers 1500 hectares spread over 11 communes, including, of course, Barolo. Barolo wines are aged for at least 38 months, with a minimum of 18 months in barrels or casks. For Barolo Riserva, the minimum ageing period is 5 years, with 18 months in wood.
Barbaresco is also produced from 100% Nebbiolo grapes from four communes: Barbaresco, Neive, Treiso and, to a lesser extent, Alba. The Barbaresco appellation requires two years of ageing, of which 9 months in barrels, and four years of ageing for the Reserve version, of which at least 9 months are in barrels.
These wines are ideal for Piedmontese stewed meat dishes, mature cheeses and truffles.
Nebbiolo is also used to make other wines such as Valtellina Superiore, Roero, Carema, Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d’Alba, as well as wines produced in regions other than Piedmont.
Characteristics of Nebbiolo wine
Young Nebbiolo wines have a medium intense ruby red colour with good transparency, which quickly becomes garnet/brick red.
On the nose, Nebbiolo wine is fine and articulated around floral notes of roses and violets, fruity notes of raspberries, strawberries, cherries in syrup and plums. It can also have balsamic notes reminiscent of eucalyptus, resin, gentian, and medicinal herbs. On the palate, Nebbiolo wine is characterized by powerful, enveloping tannins, with substance, and a marked acidity, well-tempered by its high alcohol content.
With age, the bouquet becomes richer with complex tertiary notes: roasted hazelnuts, Indian ink, truffles, dried figs, spruce resin, black liquorice, carob, wax and tar, which are the most recurrent aromas in a more mature Nebbiolo.
Nebbiolo exports and producers
It is estimated that in recent years, 75% of the bottles produced in a year are destined for the foreign market, making Nebbiolo, and more specifically Barolo and Barbaresco, one of the pillars of Italian viticulture and of “made in Italy”.
Among the producers, some stand out for their excellence.
For Barbaresco :
– Asili Riserva by Bruno Ciacosa
– The Sorì San Lorenzo, Sorì San Tildin and Costa Russi de Gaja range of parcel wines, recognised as a cellar symbol of the local typology
– Barbaresco Rabajà Reserve by Giuseppe Cortese
For Barolo :
– Giacomo Conterno’s Monfortino Reserve, considered by many experts to be one of the best wines in Italy and the world
– Riserva Monprivato Ça’ d’Morissiode from the Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio winery, a historic winery in the Langhe
– Brunate and Ravera from Vietti
Other excellent Langhe Nebbiolo wines can also be tasted at :
– Cascina delle Rose, which produces a deep and intense wine
– Ferdinando Principiano
– Giuseppe Cortese
– Giovanni Rosso.
The Saury Cooperage in Piedmont
Tonnellerie Saury has been present in the Piedmont region for many years and has developed strong partnerships with its customers. To name just a few: Vietti, Poderi Luigi Einaudi, Batasiolo, Francone, Enrico Serafino and Travaglini in the municipality of Gattinara in the Upper Piedmont.
Our aim is to provide these prestigious estates with advice and support in the choice of grapes, pre-toasting or toasting for each new vintage. So that each property can preserve its own identity, while making the most of each harvest and each vintage.
We always try to bring the Saury signature that adds a little touch to the elegance of these superb wines.
Our R&D department is always inspired by the needs of each vineyard and it is notably by exchanging with our customers in Piedmont that we have been able to optimise our work on the development of the Saury Bourgogne range.
This barrel takes into account the characteristics of the Burgundy coopers (selection of wood, drying place, braziers used) which can be combined with all the grape varieties, and more particularly the Burgundy types.
It is therefore a question of constant collaboration with our customers, of an osmosis between the forest, the terroir, the vines and the people, and this is how we like to understand our profession as coopers.