Nebbiolo Vs Pinot Noir

I’m sure that this will be considered by some a troll. But after many years of experimentation, I’ve concluded that generally speaking, Nebbbiolo offers me everything I love about Pinot Noir, and spares me all the things that I dislike about Pinot Noir. Everyone has to follow their own muse, but for me, I’m glad that it is Nebbiolo.

I believe it would be appropriate for you to list your top 3 Pro’s and Con’s of each.


To quote Giorgio Rivetti, “I love Burgundy, but sometimes I just need a wine with balls.”

I, of course, have no opinion of mine own on the subject. [bye.gif]

What do you dislike?

Apparently anything awesome. :wink:

Michael, your thread title is unfortunate and is somewhat argumentative in nature. It is a false premise: there is no “competition” between grape varieties and to imply so is unnecessary. Wine is not about winners and losers.

I am happy that you have decided that you prefer Nebbiolo over Pinot. It is good to know what you like. Nebbiolo makes world class wines as does Pinot Noir. There is plenty of room for both in most cellars. No need to denigrate one grape varietal simply because you prefer another.

As other posters have requested please share with us what are “all the things that I dislike about Pinot Noir



I dont have experience with Burgundy, but i am assuming that you believe that Nebbiolo offers the same flavor and aromatic profile with

1 ) more consistent quality ,
2 ) better QPR’s
3) better aging prospects

or something else?

I can understand the QPR aspect, which is a stretch but might make sense compared to Burgundy. I dont think Nebbiolo wines are easy though.

You may have to elaborate your original post if this thread is going to move forward in any uniform direction [wow.gif]

Certainly you agree that the grapes are often compared, and thus it makes sense to discus their merits vis-a-vis eachother, no?

Mattias, certainly discussing the merits of different grapes is common. That was not the substance of Michaels post. He stated a clear preference (which is a good thing) but decided to so by making a very broad sweeping statement about Pinot Noir which he as yet has not explained. He is the only judge of his own palate and I am happy he has found his sweet spot.

I am curious about what he dislikes about pinot noir…


ver•sus (ˈvɜr səs, -səz)


  1. against (used esp. to join names of parties in a legal case or competing teams or players in a sports contest): Smith versus Jones; Army versus Navy.
  2. as compared to; in contrast with: traveling by plane versus traveling by train. Abbr.: v., vs.
    [1400–50; late Middle English < Latin: towards, i.e., turned so as to face (something), orig. past participle of vertere to turn; see verse]
    Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

My take is that Michael was using the second definition of versus–as compared to, in contrast with-- not the more agressive first defintion. Michael??

Uh, guys… You know that there is PN made outside of Burgundy, right?

Someone page the OP lest he be labeled a troll.

Nebbiolo does offer the Produttori del Barbaresco. That’s a big plus.

Nebbiolo has the combination of power and elegance that I was always seeking with Pinot Noir, but unfortunately too seldom found. Even when Nebbiolo is very ripe, I seldom find it to be flabby. When Nebbiolo is on the lighter side, more often then not, it is still sufficiently full flavored to be enjoyable, something I unfortunately find not to be the case with Pinot Noir. With the string of superb vintages Piedmont has enjoyed, and perhaps due to a more limited worldwide demand, wonderful Nebbiolo is readily available at all price points which when compared to Burgundy of comparable quality can be had for a song. Generally speaking, I find the pleasure/disappointment ratio to be significantly in favor of Nebbiolo, when compared to Pinot Noir.

Yea right [wink.gif]

To turn this in a slightly different direction–I don’t love all or nothing generalizations about wine or much else (though fine with me if others find them useful)–I am more interested in the intersection between the two grapes: specifically Baroli that drinkers on this site would say are more Burgundian (or like Pinot Noir). Don’t get me wrong, I love Barolo, even the big ones, but most of those I had that really worked dated back (at least) to the 90’s (Einaudi Cannubi and Azelia San Rocco both '96 drank last winter immediately come to mind). By contrast, for example, a Sandrone 03 Le Vigne recently cracked was ready to go–delicate, subtle, more roses than tar and not a heavy weight needing at least 5-10 more years. I know people say the wines from La Morra are supposed to be more delicate generally, but I was wondering if anyone on this board had specific experience with Baroli of this type, and if so, might they recommend some.

Without wading into the swamp of which is better, PinotNoir (from Calif) or Nebbiolo (from Piemonte)… though I do have some
strong/definitive opinions on the subject… should anybody be interested (you shouldn’t)… there are quite a bit of similarities
between Pinot & Nebbiolo. Both (supposedly, I’m told), mutate at the drop of the hat in the vnyd and are genetically unstable.
Both have (I think) some amazing/wonderful, though different, aromatics that often have a strong floral/violets character.
The huge difference betwixt the two is their character on the palate.
What I find fascinating is that many of the winemakers in Calif who are passionate about Nebbiolo are also makers of
very good PinotNoir (Pax/Adam/JimClendenen/TommyFogarty/Brunod’Alfonso/BrianHarrington to name some). Some people just can’t
leave a challenge alone. Some of the best Calif Nebbs I’ve had have been dead-ringers for delicate/elegant PinotNoirs.
And, of course, those Calif Nebb producers have been labeled failures by Monktown.

Good to see you here, Josh. We’ll pursue this more in a few weeks.

Not so sure about this: the Speculator always mentions “fighting varietals”. [wink.gif]

It is interesting - to really get a good comparison between the two grapes to try both wines from the same producer to reduce stylistic choices to a minimum. Ideally, that would be same philosophy, similar soil, same/similar vintage, etc. But equitable-relative-to-the-grape climate likely means different climate.

I stuck a CA Neb in as a ringer into a blind Barolo tasting vs. neener 8 Baroli and an excellent Italian ringer. No duds in the mix. A couple people thought it was a Pinot. Though to me it had some overt Neb signatures, but was clearly not Barolo. More comparable to some of the other Italian Neb regions in Piedmont and Lombardy. Clean, with red fruit, complex florality, good minerality and depth, quite enjoyable young, but with the stuffins to age and evolve well.

Unless its called Rhys, I am not interested

I feel like a lot of burgundy lovers like barolo and vice versa. I say have them both. I love both! :smiley: