The Nebbiolo wines of Piedmont can be pretty fearsome to the uninitiated, with considerable extraction and the acidity to match. But their aromatic beauty and complexity can be something to behold. In a country so focussed on supple and accessible reds from Pinot Noir, aficionados of good Pinot Noirs gravitate to the more sophisticated Barbaresco and Barolo wines easily. That’s once they experience that beauty. How can Piedmont producers make their wines more user-friendly to the newcomer without losing their essence?
A 2009 Terra da Vino ‘Paesi Tuoi’ Barolo showed how. It’s the more traditional rendition from a super large co-operative who are in the modern camp, and want to make wines approachable. This wine was just that. Big, fleshy, brawny, but rounded and soft. Plenty of savoury dark red fruits with earth, leather and tar. Real Nebbiolo in taste. But sweet. Residual sugar sweet, I wouldn’t like to make the call. The first half of the bottle went down quickly. It helped to have venison meatballs. Then the tannins and the honest taste of the ground kicked in for the second half of the bottle. Suddenly, it became the Barolo as expected. Seasoned campaigners SWMBO and the I-Spy Agent saw it the same way too. Bellissimo!