TN: Buncha Nebbiolos (Calif/Italian)...(long/boring)

We tasted tonight (6/19/19) Some Nebbiolos:

  1. G.B.Burlotto DOC: Verduno Pelaverga (14.5%) Marina Burlotto/Verduno 2017: Rather light ncolor; very
    fragrant/perfumed bright floral/violets/strawberry/raspberry light earthy/dusty lovely nose; quite tart
    light very strawberry/floral/violets light earthy/dusty lovely flavor w/ light bright tannins; very long
    strong strawberry/raspberry/floral/violets light earthy finish w/ light tannins; reminds some of Nebb
    w/o the fierce tannins; an ideal vin de soif at a great price. $22.00 (Prima)

  1. Cantine del Castello di Castellengo DOC: Coste della Sesia Nebbiolo (13.5%; L.C2010; www.CentoVigne.It)
    Centovigne 2010
    : Med.light color w/ some bricking; strong classic Nebb/floral/lilacs slight tarry/pungent
    bit tired some aromatic nose; very tart light tarry/Nebb/floral/lilacs rather tired/bitter/dried out
    flavor w/ sharp tired/bitter tannins; med.long somewhat tired some Nebb/tarry/lilacs/floral finish w/
    some drying/bitter tannins; pleasant enough nose but pretty dried out & tired on the palate; surprisingly
    over the hill. $40.00 (EVN)

  1. Gianatti Giorgio DOC: Rosso di Valtellina (95% Chiavennasca/5% Rossola e Pignola; 13%) Montagna/
    Valtellina 2015
    : Med.color; very attractive fragrant floral/lilacs/Nebb slight tarry/earthy quite
    attractive nose; lightly tart quite floral/Nebb/violets very light pungent/tarry bit earthy/dusty rather
    attractive flavor w/ light bit tangy tannins; very long floral/lilacs/violets/Nebb bit earthy finish w/
    light tannins; a pleasant enough expression of Valtelline Nebb but just that; very good price at
    $18.00 (BWS)

  1. Gianatti Giorgio DOCG: Valtellina Superiore Grumello (13%; 8000 btls) Montagna 2013: Med.dark color;
    stronger Nebb/floral/violets more depty light tarry/pungent bit earthy rather attractive nose; fairly
    tart strong floral/lilacs/Nebb bit hard/tannic bit rustic rather earthy/dusty flavor w/ light hard/rough
    tannins; very long fairly Nebb/floral/violets/lilacs bit earthy/dusty light pungent/tarry finish w/ light
    hard/bit tired tannins; not as pretty as #3 and harder/more rustic & more interesting but showing a bit
    tired and don’t see this going anywhere. $26.10 (BWS)

  1. Dirupi Ole DOC: Rosso di Valtellina (13.5%; GuilianaImports/Boulder) 2016: Light color; very light floral/
    Nebb/lilacs somewhat earthy bit unclean somewhat interesting nose; very light pleasant bit fragrant Nebb/
    floral/lilacs somewhat earthy bit vapid/unclean flavor w/ very light bitey tannins; med.long rather light
    Nebb/floral/lilacs bit unclean earthy finish w/ light bitey tannins followed by a dreadful wet dog fur/
    mousey aftertaste that ruins this wine; quite light/vapid expression of Valtelline Nebb and way overpriced
    at $32.00 (BWM)

  1. Siro Buzzetti Terrazzi Alti DOCG: Valtellina Superiore Sassella (13%; 3152 btls;
    Castione Andevenno 2014
    : Med.color; bit funky/unclean some floral/Nebb/lilacs very slight tarry/pungent
    rather earthy nose; bit tart some tannic/hard rather funky/unclean/earthy light floral/Nebb/lilacs flavor
    w/ light hard/chewey tannins; long somewhat earthy/rustic bit unclean/funky light floral/Nebb finish w/
    light hard tannins w/ a bit of wet dog fur far in the backtaste; a disappointing rather rustic bit unclean
    Nebb. $32.40 (BWS)

  1. MatteoCorreggia DOCG: Roero (13.5%; 100% Nebbiolo; Canale 2010: Rather dark color;
    strong fragrant Nebb/floral/lilacs rather grapey some earthy/dusty light pencilly/oak rather modern Nebb
    fairly attractive nose; fairly tart strong grapey/Nebb/floral/lilacs bit earthy slight pencilly/oak flavor
    w/ light gentle tannins; very long some grapey floral/Nebb/lilacs slight pencilly/oak slight herbal/pungent
    finish w/ light ripe tannins; very clearly a modern style of Piemonte Nebb; this is how JoeyWagner would
    make Nebbiolo if he could; not very classic Piemontese Nebb. $32.00 (SFW&S)

7a. Corino DOCG: Barolo Vecchie Vigne (14.5%) Giovino Corino/LaMorra 1998: Larry’s mystery wine: Very dark
color; some toasty/pencilly/oak somewhat grapey/fragrant/Nebb/floral/lilacs slight herbal rather atypical
Barolo bit complex nose; lightly tart bit toasty/oak rather grapey/floral/Nebb/lilacs slight herbal/earthy
bit complex flavor w/ light hard/gritty tannins; very long somewhat grapey fairly floral/Nebb/lilacs bit
earthy slight complex finish w/ light gritty tannins; shows no signs of its 20 yrs of age; has a grapey
character that suggests a modern-style Barolo producer; a bit atypical Barolo but I rather liked the wine
for its own merits. $60.00 (vLA)

  1. WindGap Nebbiolo LunaMattaVnyd/PasoRobles (14 1/2%; 18 brls/420 cs; #1122) Forestville 2009: Med.light colr
    w/ light bricking; rather fragrant/perfumed Nebb/floral/lilacs slight tarry bit tired fairly classic mature
    Nebb nose; quite tart light floral/Nebb/lilacs bit earthy slightly tired flavor w/ ample hard/fierce tannins;
    very long light floral/lilacs/Nebb slight tarry bit earthy finish w/ ample rugged tannins; a fairily classic
    mature Nebb that’s showing a bit of its age; very hard rugged tannins that age is not going to resolve
    probably. $50.00

  1. WindGap Nebbiolo LunaMattaVnyd/PasoRobles (13.9%; Aged: very old Fr.oak for 55 mo; U/U; 5 brls/135 cs)
    : Fairly light color; light pencilly/oak very fragrant/floral bit licorice/floral/Nebb/lilacs/spicy
    slight volatile/EA quite attractive nose; less tart some volatile/EA rather floral/lilacs/Nebb bit grapey
    rather light-weight flavor w/ brisk bit gritty tannins; very long some volatile/EA rather floral/Nebb/
    lilacs/licorice slight pencilly/oak bit complex finish w/ modest gritty/tangy tannins; a definite volatility
    that gives a very strong lift to the floral Nebb character; don’t see that the tannins will ever resolve
    on this wine either. $50.00

  1. Harrington Nebbiolo PasoRobles (Berardo+LunaMatta vnyds; 14.2%) 2012:Med.dark color w/ slight bricking;
    fairly strong floral/Nebb/violets/spicy light pungent/licorice/tarry light pencilly/oak quite attractive
    nose; fairly tart rather floral/lilacs/Nebb light pencilly/oak slight earthy bit complex flavor w/ modest
    bitey tannins; very long strong floral/lilacs/Nebb/spicy light pencilly/oak slight licorice/pungent finish
    w/ some bitey tannins; fairly strong expression of Nebb fruit but the tannins are still pretty hard/bitey.

  1. Harrington Nebbiolo LunaMataVnyd/PasoRobles (14.1%; 57 cs) 2015: Med.light color; bit quieter very pretty/
    floral/Nebb/lilacs/violets slight earthy bit pencilly/oak fragrant lovely nose; bit less tart rather
    floral/lilacs/Nebb/violets slight earthy somewhat smoother/richer but less intense flavor w/ modest
    lighter tannins; very long fairly strong floral/Nebb/violets slight pencilly/oak slight pungent finish w/
    light smoother tannins; a bit softer/smoother but not as strong floral Nebb and not the hard tannins;
    quite an attractive expression of Nebb & my favorite of these all. $30.00

  1. Idlewild Nebbiolo FoxHillVnyd/MendoCnty (13.5%) 2014: Med.light color; lovely fragrant floral/Nebb/lilacs/
    violets slight earthy slight pencilly/oak rather spicy quite attractive nose; some tart/tangy rather
    floral/Nebb/lilacs slight pencilly/oak slight earthy fairly spicy flavor w/ light slightly bitey tannins;
    very long fairly strong floral/Nebb slight pencilly/oak bit earthy finish w/ light tannins; speaks strongly
    of Nebb and a quite attractive Calif rendition of Nebb. $50.00

  1. Idlewild Nebbiolo FoxHillVnyd/MendoCnty (13.9%) 2015: Light color; less fragrant/stron Nebb/floral/more
    lilacs/violets bit quieter more earthy/dusty very attractive nose; bit less tart more rich/lush some
    floral/Nebb/lilacs slight root beer/spicy light pencilly/oak quite pleasant flavor w/ light bit bitey
    tannins; very long some floral/Nebb/lilacs/violets light pencilly/oak bit earthy/dusty slight spicy/
    root beer bit complex finish w/ light brisk tannins; a bit more quieter/restrained/elegant than the '14
    but quite a lovely Nebb. $50.00

  1. Toccata Nebbiolo LosAlamosVnyd/SBC (14.5%) LouisLucas/RoyceLewellen Winemaker: MeganMcGrath Gates 2009:
    Light color; not as fragrant/floral and a bit more pungent/tarry some Nebb/floral/lilacs slight pencilly/oak
    more classic Nebb quite attractive nose; more tart/tangy some pungent/tarry lighter bright/floral/Nebb/lilacs
    slight pencilly/old oak slight herbal very bright/floral flavor w/ light tangy tannins; very long/lingering
    bright floral/Nebb/lilacs some tarry/pungent light vanilla/oak bit complex finish w/ light tannins; a bit
    more pungent/licorice/tarry but more classic Nebb fruit; quite an attractive drinkable Nebb. $30.00

  1. Toccata Nebbiolo LosAlamosVnyd/SBC (14.0) 2010: Med.light color; very classic Nebb very floral/Nebb/lilacs
    very light pencilly/oak very picy cherry/raspberry very bright bit complex nose; qute tart/tangy bright/floral/
    Nebb/lilacs bit pencilly/oak very light pungent/tarry flavor w/ light tangy tannins; very long/lingering bright
    Nebb/floral/lilacs/cherry/raspberry very slight tarry light pencilly/oak bit complex finish w/ light tannins;
    a bit more like the '08 in style; quite a pretty Nebb. $28.00

  1. Toccata Nebbiolo LosAlamosVnyd/SBC (14.5%) 2008: Med.light color; lovely very fragrant Nebb/floral/lilacs/
    violets/cherry slight pungent/metallic/licorice/welding shop bit vanilla/oak rather complex nose; fairly
    tart quite floral/Nebb/lilacs bit candied/black cherry some pungent/licorice/burning metal rather spicy
    quite attractive flavor w/ light bit tangy tannins; very long bit vanilla/oak floral/Nebb/lilacs/cherry
    slight pungent/licorice finish w/ light tangy tannins; lots of bright cherry/floral Nebb fruit but not the
    earthiness & unlike any Italian Nebbs I can think of; a light bright very fragrant/pretty unusual expression
    of Nebb. $28.00

  1. Vurei di Massimo Martinelli DOC: Langhe Nebbiolo (14%; Angioletta De Giorgis/Bricco Mollea/
    Vicoforte 2017
    : Med.dark color; somewhat floral/Nebb/lilacs perfumed some earthy/dusty fairly big fruit/grapey
    rather attractive nose; quite tart/tangy big fruit/Nebb/floral/lilacs some earthy/dusty bit pungent/tarry somewhat
    rustic/hard flavor w/ ample hard/tangy tannins; very long hard/tannic big fruit/Nebb/floral/lilacs rather earthy/
    dusty finish w/ ample hard tannins; lots of big fruit for a Langhe Nebb and almost like a Dolcetto in style and
    pretty hard/tannic/rustic on the palate. $24.00 (PrimaIlC)

More tittlewarp from TheBloodyPulpit:

  1. Pelaverga: Pelaverga is a variety native to the Piemonte. Mostly found around the town of Verduno.
    There are apparently two varieties w/ this name. Pelaverga (Grosso) is grown further south of Verduno,
    whilst PelavergaPiccolo is more in that area. The grapes are apparently separate varieties and not related. The
    grape makes lightish wines, rather like Schiava or Pinot, sometimes Nebbiolo. LeviDalton has a good article
    on the grape: (A Glass of Pelaverga | The Art of Eating Magazine). The Castello di Verduno Pelaverga, imported by
    OliverMcCrum is probably the best of the 8 or so I’ve had. With the interest in glou/glou wines, vin de Soif
    wines in Calif; this would be an ideal variety for that genre of wines. Obviously a grape they oughta be
    planting all up&down the coast of Calif.

  1. This was actually a pretty disappointing showing for the Italian Nebbiolos. I was expecting more, especially
    from the Valtelline. That ethereal Nebbiolo perfume that makes Nebbiolo such a great grape just wasn’t there
    in most of them.The Correggia was my favorite, followed by the Corino.

  1. Calif Nebbs: I was expecting a bit more from the WindGap Nebbs. When we held our very first NEB#1 event about
    2008, we held it at PaxMahle’s winery in the old apple barn in Forestville. There was all of five of us in
    attendance (AdamLee/PaxMale & his asst winemaker/EmilioCastelli/myself). Afterwards, most of us adjourned
    to Emilio’s for mushroom risotto and more Nebbiolos. It was a very inauspucious founding of NEB.
    I liked both the Harrington & Idlewild Nebbiolos. They both display the fragrant floral character of
    Nebb w/o the hard/fierce tannins Nebb can oft express.

  1. LouisLucas: Toccata is the label LouisLucas of Lucus & Lewellen wnry uses for the Italian varietals. Louis is
    one of the true pioneers of winegrowing in SantaBarbara. In 1970, he founded TepesquetVnyds up in FoxenCanyon
    when almost no grapes were planted in SBCnty. It’s located up on the eastern benchland in FoxenCnyn about
    where Cambria is, just south of BienNacido. Louis was pretty much flying blind when he planted Tepesquet. The
    standard sellers: Chard/PinotNoir/Cabernet/Riesling. Those early wines, sold under the Tepesquet label, were
    inexpensive and pretty tasty for the $$‘s. The first really great Tepesquet wine I ever tasted was a Chard made
    by GinoZepponi at ZD. Very fragrant/floral expression of Chard, almost R-like in character. One of the first
    wines to open up my eyes to the potential to greatness of SBCnty. DarrellCorti scoffed at the wine when I gifted
    him a btl from Gino. Shows how much Darrell knows!!
    Those early Tepesquet Cabernets pretty much was the first nail in the coffin that SBCnty can’t make good
    Cabernets. The final nail in that coffin was planted 10 yrs later by BrooksFirestone. So for many yrs, SBCnty
    had a reputation for thin/weedy/vegetal Cabs. It wasn’t until yrs later, led by FredBrander, that, if grown in
    the warmer Eastern stretchs of SantaYnez, like HappyCanyon, that SBCnty could make great Cabernets.
    The Toccata Nebbs are rather unique to Calif. I once pretty much dismissed them as too light and frivolous.
    But I’ve grown to like them quite a bit, especially after tasting these older ones. They are quite pretty
    expressions of Nebb, unlike most others found in Calif. They speak strongly of Nebb, but in a fashion unique
    to Calif. I had had these Nebbs sitting in my tasting stash for a number of yrs, reluctant to haul them out
    because I knew I was not going to like them. I was wrong. These are quite attractive renditions of Nebb…
    maybe Calif’s expression of Langhe Nebb. But make no mistake…they’re not Barolo. Stylistically, they’re more
    akin to the GDVjara JC Claret Langhe Nebb or the above Pelevegra.
    Louis also pioneered grape growing in the EdnaVlly and in the Shandon area of PasoRobles. Most of Louis’
    Italian varieties are planted in his LosAlamos vnyd, just on the East side of the tiny village of LosAlamos,
    the other, less famous, LosAlamos. He also makes one of the very few Freisa’s in Calif, along w/ BryanHarrington
    and, at one time, RandallGrahm.
    Louis is a true pioneer who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for SBCnty winegrowing. His wines are
    not big/extracted/profound wines and they don’t get huge scores from Monktown attourneys (doubt that he has ever
    had a Toccata or L&L wine). But they are very good drinking wines that offer up a lot of real pleasure. Definitely
    worth checking out. Louis has been a very active participant in our NEB gatherings over the yrs. One of the
    finest gentlemen in the wine biz, I must say.

Great notes on a variety I need to learn more about. There is no doubt that the variety can do pretty well throughout California, but it sounds like patience is going to be required.


Tom, thanks for the detailed notes on such a variety of nebbiolo. Disappointing that the Valtellina wines didn’t show better, you never know.

I really like both the 14 and 15 Idlewild Nebbiolo. I prefer the 15 just a bit as I love the length and persistence of the aroma, flavor and finish. Just think it needs a bit more time.

The 98 Corino note makes me want to try one.


Yeah, Tom. These were some new Valtelline producers for me (save the Dirupi…which I had low expectations for), but I was expecting more
from them. Still, mostly better than the NinoNegri ones.
We’re doing more Nebbs this Wed. A bunch of the Castellis. From the Valtelline, we’ll do SandroFay & Prevostini, which are reliably good.

Good shout out to Louis Lucas. Always like his wines. He makes some interesting Pinot. Disappointing notes on the Italian Nebbiolos. They were too young to be dried out.


I was in Santa Cruz last week and stopped by Thomas Fogarty winery. They had a nebbiolo, 2015 Walkers Nebbiolo, that on the nose I would swear was a Barolo. After tasting it, it was clearly not a barolo but was a really good wine. His Pinots and Chardonnay were also fantastic.

Have you had any Fogarty? They’re been around since 1981 so I assume you’ve been following them since the beginning. [cheers.gif]


We did a NEB technical session there. The next year they brought some barrel samples from their first harvest from the Gist Vyd. (They’d already been making some from a small rather cool spot below the winery.) Very impressive. I’ve seen the extensive work they’ve done at both sites. I’d expect their Nebs to finish among the top few of any California tasting.

Yup, Dave…Tommy Fogarty, both Sr & Jr, have been active supporters of NEB and hosted NEB#4 or so some yrs ago. Though they’ve not been to the last two.
Theirs is a pretty rugged mtn Nebb that I like a lot. I think the SantaCruzMtns is a good area for Nebb. But KevinHarvey’s research suggested otherwise and he planted up in MendoCnty. It’ll be interesting when his Nebb comes out.
I have, of course, followed the Fogarty wines from the very start. They are, across the board, excellent. They don’t get, I feel, the recognition they deserve for being one of the premier producers in the SCMtns.

For a guy who complains a lot about nebbiolo tannins, I’m surprised how often you come back for palate punishment, Tom. neener

Interesting that you liked the two most modern. Both use barriques, and Corino uses roto-fermenters for very short periods on the skins – just 5 to 7 days: - Corino La Morra Vini

The Ascona Vyd., which is near Gist, also had Neb. They had the same problems as Kevin, ripenng about every third year, and gave up on it. I did get a taste of a mighty impressive barrel sample from a good year. The Neb technical sessions, especially that one at Domenico, covered the unique challenges of the grape and how people addressed them. We had some quite good ones from cooler sites. I have zero doubt both those sites could produce top notch Nebs, and the current Ascona vineyard manager agrees. (Highly recommend you pick up the Martella Sangio and SB from there, btw.)

Thanks for the tasting notes Tom!!!

I was actually looking for a Barolo from 1996, but came across a box of 1998s instead. There were several Corinos in there, so I chose one where I had more than one bottle. Tom thought it was quite atypical of Barolo, but I didn’t. Maybe I’m just more used to modern-style Barolos. I liked it, though it didn’t ascend to greatness. Lots more time left, though no reason to wait at this point. Good now, maybe better in the future, will never be like Giacosa, that’s for sure.