Light Nebbiolo

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Alex Lake, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. I've been enjoying a bottle of Rosso di Valtellina DOC “Umo” 2015 - Boffalora as recommended by Louise at Prohibition Wines. It's not exactly cheap at £23ish, but I loved its lightness.

    Very pale in appearance and light on the nose. Elegant slightly smokey raspberry with some cherry juice. Has the weightless feel of a mountain wine (if that makes sense). Guile more than power. Possibly some rose petals - maybe subtle hints of turkish delight? Fresh acidity - could almost be a rosé! Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 14.03.12.png

    However, I was wondering what other wines are similar to this at a more attractive price point?

    It could be that quality costs, but I'm sure that there's a chance that entry level offerings from other wineries within 100 miles of Nebbiolo's traditional home could provide value?

    BTW, I did find that this is available from an Italian shipper that has pretentions of being UK-based (from Wine-Searcher's POV) called Tannico. Maybe they're the new CallMeWine, but put in a modest order for a few bottles of this and some other similar stuff.
  2. Carema from Val d'Aosta maybe? I think the problem is that production in these Alpine outposts of Nebbiolo is tiny, though.

    Maybe better to look at Etna Rosso and/or younger-vine Xinomavro?
    johnny Shek and Alex Lake like this.
  3. Etna rosso - I've had some good ones, but they seem to be pretty expensive too. Any particular recommendations, Mark? (or, indeed, other Mark!)

    Also, it's the low alcohol and weightlessness that I loved about this, and suspect the Etna wine would be a bit more gravitionally challenged?
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  4. This reminds me of a simply incredible Gattinara I was recommended at dinnner at Brunswick House recently: 2008 Gattinara Molsino from Nervi. It’s imported by Raeburn.
  5. Yep, you're right, the entry level ones do often have QPR issues.:( I've enjoyed Felsina's, and Pietradolce. Mark P would be your man on this, I think, as he has a lot more on-the-ground knowledge. I often find there's better value in surrounding areas, esp the Monti Pelouritani above Messina - Le Casematte's Peloro (their 2nd wine) is a great bargain, but not available here, I don't think. Also Hauner's Hiera, from a vineyard on the island of Vulcano (this one is not just the Nerellos).

    Alcohol isn't normally very high on these wines, and they do tend to have that lightness (they always seem very fresh even if the alcohol is 13.5 or even 14). I drink them mostly in summer - they make great garden lunch wines when you fancy a red, in fact the best around IMO!

    I guess you know Thymiopoulos' young-vine Xinomavro, often to be found at TWS? Their Kalecik Karasi might be another one to look at.
    Alex Lake likes this.
  6. Alex - if you are looking for value, something from the generic Colline Novaresi DOC which covers about half of Alto Piemonte should fit the bill (incl Gattinara, Boca, Lessona, etc). If you look out for examples of CN from top producers from these DOCs like Nervi (brought in to UK by Raeburn), Le Piane (lea & sandman) and Sperino (liberty but TWS has one of his CNs just now for c.£20) you should get something good for something in the mid-teens. The best example I tried recently was a brilliant 2015 Spanna CN by Nervi which was about £15 from Raeburn. These are typically Nebbiolo blends with a little vespolina.
    Alex Lake likes this.
  7. I'd second looking at Gattinara. Once the crowned king of Nebbiolo now a forgotten cousin. There are some fantastic wines around the £20-30 mark that have the lightness in style you seem to describe, though I don't think any could be mistaken for rose!
  8. Sorry Alex that Sperino wine I mentioned is actually a coste Della sesia which is the next door DOC to CN but same style of wines
  9. Thanks all!

    Gareth, I don't know if I'd mistake that wine for a rosé in reality (maybe if served chiled?!) but it was my way of saying it's at that non-tannic end of reds...

    I'm wondering if prices have gone up recently (exchange rates kicking in) as most of these things seem to have gone up a good 20% or so since prices that people are remembering paying ;-)
  10. Good recs here. Carema is actually East of the Valle d’Aoste, but the Nebbiolo variety does thrive at the eastern end of the Aosta Valley in the usually inexpensive form of Donnas/Donnaz.

    Definitely agree that many a lighter Xinomavro fits the bill.

    I think it is too easy to forget that the exchange rate plunged. Unless you are a poor wine merchant. I for one will cough up, understanding that to enjoy choice these people need to maintain margins under pressure from sterling rates and landlords wanting more rent.
  11. I'm quite a fan of xinomavro but don't think I've ever had a "lighter" version. The least expensive one available here is a Boutari Naoussa and the last one I had was rather big, enough so I thought of aging a couple of bottles.
  12. Have you tried Naoussa?
  13. Mahmoud, the Thymiopoulos Young Vines which Mark mentioned is exactly what I meant.

    Simon’s suggestions are also very apt, such as that Sperino (also at TWS).

    The only Spanna I’ve had was the one with the old grey label, damn, can’t think of the producer. They usually come with lots of age and used to be fascinating. I used to buy them at Majestic in the 1990s, but actually had one at a lunch last year IIRC.
  14. Vallana, David?
  15. naoussa boutari is about a tenner. Can be delicious.
  16. Here in Edmonton we don't have the luxury of a Rosso di Valtellina, and neither any Spanna nor Thymiopoulos. Meanwhile the least expensive Sperino, the Uvvagio, is about £30 a bottle. The Valtellina we get are from Nino Negri and Triacca.

    And yes, the Boutari Naoussa is a brilliant wine. It could also do with a spell in the cellar, as can their reserva.
  17. That be the one!
  18. No Sandro Fay (Valtellina) in Canada Mahmoud? Very good range of wines if you are able to track them down
  19. Gattinaras can be terrific but the ones I've had have all been quite full on and definitely not light. Are there some lighter examples? ArPePe make some lighter Nebbiolo in Valtellina and a few Langhe Nebbiolo can be quite rose like. Value can be lacking though. Giuseppe Mascarello's 2011 was very light weight but delicious.
  20. Some great suggestions already made.

    Rather than Nebbiolo Alex why not seek something out like say Pelaverga (Piedmont) or Petite Rouge (Aosta); both varieties more in red fruited spectrum and you are still getting the high acid bite from these styles of wines. Also attractive for the wallet!
    Chris Davies likes this.
  21. Not in Alberta unfortunately and, according to wine searcher, none in Canada. I will have to make do with a couple of older bottles of Negri and Rainaldi's Inferno Valtellina.
  22. Am I right in seeing that this was bottle number 1 of 4799? A collector's item, surely? :p
  23. I'm not sure if I saw it mentioned, but I would have thought that a lot of Langhe Nebbiolo would fit the bill? The Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo is always a lovely, light and fragrant Nebbiolo for early-drinking and costs around 15 euros here; similar for Vajra.
  24. Alex,

    Since you mention Rosso di Valtellina (and Mahmoud mentions Nino Negri's Valtellina): isn't the rosso from Nino Negri available over there? The 2016 is only 12% and quite light (but enjoyable). It costs only NOK 150 (£13.70?) over here and should be cheaper in the UK.
  25. In my experience, Freisa from the Langhe region leans to the lighter side. Among others, I've had several Burlotto Langhe Freisas that fit the bill. About $20 in these parts.

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