Above the Fog Line

An in depth look at Nebbiolo

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Nebbiolo takes its name from the Italian word nebbia, meaning fog, the cloudy appearance of the bloom on each grape and the tendency to grow in valleys such as Barolo and Valtellina where fog is a usual suspect. 
 
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LANGHE

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LANGHE NEBBIOLO DOC


The Langhe is a hilly area surrounding the Tanaro River that encompasses the areas of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. The Langhe DOC allows for the variety to be listed on the label as long as it is at least 85% one grape (from a list of allowed grapes.)

REGION: Piemonte

DOC: 1994

GRAPES: Min 85% Nebbiolo

EXPRESSION: Expect a kinder offering of Nebbiolo from this DOC due to more fertile soils, lower altitude, or declassified fruit of young vines in DOCG vineyards. Even so, the wines will only be a small step away from the more highly regarded appellations.











ROERO DOCG

A hilly area north of the Tanaro river and the town of Alba known for well drained, sandy soils.

REGION: Piemonte

DOC: 1985 DOCG 2004

MAX ELEVATION: 400 m (1310ft)

GRAPES: Min 95% Nebbiolo + 5% other native grapes

SUBZONES:153 menzioni geografiche aggiuntive including 19 commune names

AGING: 20 mos (6 of which must be in barrel)

RISERVA: 32 mos (6 of which must be in barrel)

EXPRESSION: In recent years Roero DOCG has begun to elevate its Nebbiolo wines to a level very near that of Barbaresco. Expect more friendly tannins and a more fruit driven style from Roero, however; friendly is relative with Nebbiolo.

 



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BARBARESCO DOCG

100% Nebbiolo grapes coming from the 3 communes, Barbaresco, Trieso, Neive, and parts of Alba south of the Tanaro River.

REGION: Piemonte

DOC: 1966 DOCG 1980

MAX ELEVATION: 550m (1800ft)

GRAPES: Must be 100% Nebbiolo from the 3 communes of Barbaresco

SUBZONES: 66 menzioni geografiche aggiuntive including 11 commune names

AGING: 26 months (9 of which must be in barrel)

RISERVA: 50 mos (9 of which must be in barrel)

EXPRESSION: Barbaresco DOCG, the more calcareous twin of Barolo DOCG, offers an elegant interpretation of Nebbiolo. Elegant, but not silky, offering fresh and dried red fruits, sage, and a savory nature which is very similar to Barolo.



BAROLO DOCG


100% Nebbiolo coming from vineyards in the 11 communes of Barolo: All vineyards of Barolo, Castiglione Faletto and Serralunga d’Alba, and select vineyards of Novello, Monforte d’Alba, Diano d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour, Roddi, Verduno, Cherasco.

REGION: Piemonte

DOC: 1966 DOCG 1980

MAX ELEVATION: 540m (1770ft)

GRAPES: Must be 100% Nebbiolo from the 11 communes of Barolo

SUBZONES: 181 menzioni geografiche aggiuntive including 11 commune names

AGING: 38 months (18 of which must be in barrel)

RISERVA: 62 mos (18 of which must be in barrel)

EXPRESSION: Nebbiolo through the lens of Barolo DOCG is an intense experience. While each individual vineyard must be considered, the overall impression is a wine with a powerful structure, more savory herbs, flowers and earth than fruit, and an unexpected finesse in the finish.

VALTELLINA

Surrounded by the Alps, Valtellina snakes along the right bank of the Adda River almost uninterrupted for 25
miles and is the widest terraced viticulture area in Italy. The southern facing steep slopes and terraces allow the
“Nebbiolo of the Alps” to receive direct sunlight throughout the day in this harsh terrain and high altitude terroir.

ROSSO DI VALTELLINA DOC

The Valtellina is an east-west alpine valley with the Adda River at its center. Steep terraced vineyards line its slopes which make hand harvesting dangerous but necessary.

REGION: Lombardia

DOC: 1968

VINEYARD AREA: 57ha (141 acres)

MAX ELEVATION: 250 to 650 Meters Above Sea Level
(820 – 2,132 ft)

GRAPES: Min 90% Nebbiolo + 10% other native grapes

AGING: 6 mos

EXPRESSION: The beauty of Valtellina is that we now see Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) through the influence of altitude. The cool, alpine climate promotes the red, forest berry fruits and changes the tannins from gripping to kind.


DOCG VALTELLINA SUPERIORE DOCG

The Valtellina Superiore vinyeards and subzones unfold like a snake on the right bank of the Adda River with the town of Sondrio at its center.

REGION: Lombardia

DOC: 1968 DOCG 1998

VINEYARD AREA: 282ha (697 acres)

ELEVATION: 400 to 650 Meters Above Sea Level
(1,312 – 2,132 ft)

GRAPES: Min 90% Nebbiolo + 10% other native grapes

AGING: 24 mos (12 of which must be in barrel)

RISERVA: 36 mos (12 of which must be in barrel)

EXPRESSION: The top vineyard sites of alpine Valtellina soak up the sun and produce Nebbiolo of unexpected intensity. The Superiore and “Cru” wines are near the intensity of Barbaresco and offer the expected complexity of savory herbs, stony earth, and red berries.


SFORZATO DI VALTELLINA DOCG

A wine generally produced outside of the major Subzones from Nebbiolo grapes dried for approximately three and a half months.

REGION: Lombardia

DOC: 1968 DOCG 2003

VINEYARD AREA: 80ha (198 acres)

ELEVATION: 400 to 650 Meters Above Sea Level
(1,312 – 2,132 ft)

GRAPES: Min 90% Nebbiolo + 10% other native grapes

AGING: After harvest, grapes must be dried to achieve a min potential alch of 14% and cannot be vinified until Dec 1

RISERVA: 20 mos (12 of which must be in barrel)

EXPRESSION: Imagine Amarone, but instead of the soft generous Corvina, slide in the edgy, powerful Nebbiolo characteristics. Because the grapes are harvested and then dried, the wines offer dried berry characters alongside of raisin, savory herbs, and coffee/mocha.



MAROGGIA, SASSELLA, GRUMELLO, INFERNO AND VALGELLA

Make up the Sub-Zones of Valtellina Superiore. Each Sub-Zone is known 
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