In Piedmont, a mile makes a world of difference. Nebbiolo can shapeshift from one village to the next—taking the form of a gentle Ghemme or a bucking Barolo. The incredible diversity of soils, terrain, and climates of northern Italy’s foothills makes for a microcosm of wines both amazingly ageable and super fresh.
Barolo and Barbaresco are certainly the king and queen of Piedmont—and these regions have made the Nebbiolo grape into royalty. These wines are entirely approachable and ready to drink when they’re released, but if you can hold off opening them for 10-15 years you’ll be rewarded with marvelous notes of rose petals and underbrush. While Barolo is bold with rigid tannins, Barbaresco is considered the more feminine, accessible version of the two.
And for ready-to-drink wines from Piedmont, turn to wines from the Barolo region that are simply labeled “Nebbiolo”—or as some call them, “baby Barolos”. Similar high-quality wines with the charms of Barolo and Barbaresco can be found in Langhe, Alba, and Roero.
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