Want fabulous Nebbiolo without paying Barolo or Barbaresco prices? This wine is your golden ticket.
Producer: La Kiuva
Region: Valle d’Aosta, Italy
Grape(s): Picotendro (local Nebbiolo clone), Gros Vien, Neyret, Cornalin, and Fumin
Tasting Notes: Strawberry, cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, spicy and rustic notes
Pairings: Dark chocolate, anything highlighting truffles, earthiness or funghi - such as risotto, pizza, and pasta dishes, medium intensity cheeses such as Fontina
Price (approximately): $30 (non-reserve option for $20)
Buy: Fujioka’s Wine Times
Ah, Nebbiolo, one of my all-time favorite grape varietals. Although its fame is principally derived from Barolo and Barbaresco (the King and Queen, respectively), Flavors of Italy likes to surprise me with expressions beyond these [expensive] borders. This is one such wine.
For this adventure, we have to lace up our hiking boots and traverse nearly 3,000 feet to Valle d’Aosta DOC in northeastern Italy. The high elevation, rocky soils, and cool climate allows the region’s shining star, Picotendro (the local clone of Nebbiolo) to thrive. Slightly more rustic than the Nebbiolos of the Langhe, the wine opens with earthy aromas and dark fruit. Over time, the wine opens into a beautiful and unique expression of Nebbiolo with raspberry, strawberry, cherry, spicy notes and balanced acidity. At Fujioka’s Wine Times in Honolulu, you can pick up this wine for $20 or their reserve for $30.
Fun history fact: Thomas Jefferson, America’s first Sommelier-in-Chief, was noted amongst the admirers of Nebbiolo da Barolo during his travels through the region in 1785 (although the wine at this time was much different and notably sweeter).