Piedmont (or Piemonte) wines are made in the northwestern corner of Italy. With the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Alps to the north and west, the Piedmont region enjoys a continental climate. This means cold winters and very warm, dry summers, with dense fog common in the fall. Most of the highly acclaimed Piedmont wines are from the south-central, Alba area, and also from the Asti and Alessandria, slightly farther east and north.
The region’s most lauded wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, come from the Nebbiolo grape, whose ancestral home is Piedmont. The best Barolo and Barbaresco wines are produced in small quantities on a number of mostly south-facing ridges sitting above the October fog (nebbia) in the Langhe hills around Alba (also the country’s white truffle capital). The considerably less expensive reds Dolcetto and Barbera have garnered wide acclaim in export markets in the last ten years--due in part to the elevated price tags of Barolo and Barbaresco.
The growing popularity of Piedmont gastronomy has also contributed to the interest in local wines. The innate acidity and taut structure of Piedmont wines make for an invigorating backdrop to the region’s hearty meat dishes. The wines’ complex earthy/ floral personality also works amicably with the other local star, the truffle. As the worlds of good wine and good food continue to merge, an area known for both is bound to prosper.
In terms of whites, Gavi is the most popular from Piedmont and it’s also the most widely available in the U.S. Gavi is produced almost entirely from the Cortese grape planted in the province of Alessandria, in the region’s extreme south. Gavi di Gavi wines are produced in vineyards bordering the town of Gavi. Most all of these whites are very dry, and feature a mid-level complexity and concentration. The best of them are crisp but they commonly come up short on verve and grip, and are best enjoyed early.
jamessuckling.com, 93 points: A very clean and focused 2012 with ultra-fine tannins that are ripe and polished. Full-bodied, dense and balanced. Wonderful harmony. Drink or hold.
jamessuckling.com, 97 points: A young wine that builds on the palate with plums, spices, cedar and hints of chocolate. Turns to hazelnuts. Full to medium body, but this builds on the palate. Juicy and chewy with caressing tannins. Love the way it...
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 93 points: From Castiglione Falletto, the 2012 Barolo Villero is a fine and elegant wine that reflects the delicate and floral nature of the loose and white soils that characterize the Villero cru. At 22 hectares, this vineyard is...
jamessuckling.com, 98 points: The purity to this wine on the nose is fantastic with rose petals, blackberries and blueberries. Very subtle. Tight and linear thanks to super tannin quality and a long, long finish. It goes on for minutes. What...
jamessuckling.com, 97 points: Very earthy and intense with ripe fruit and hints of bark and mushrooms. Full body, powerful and chewy. Great tannin structure. Better in 2020.
Wine Spectator, 95 points: A hint of oak lends this a spicy component, along with cherry, licorice and tar flavors. Racy and bright, with fine intensity and a long,
tightly wound finish that seems to go on forever. Shows beautiful
Wine Enthusiast, 90 points: Aromas of toast, scorched earth, black plum, espresso and mocha lead the nose on this robust, savory wine. The concentrated palate offers mature black cherry, ripe blackberry, raspberry jam, licorice and black pepper...
Antonio Galloni's Vinous, 95 points: 95+ A gorgeous, totally striking wine, the 2012 Barolo Via Nuova opens with compelling, captivating aromatics. Deep, fleshy and powerful, the 2012 has blossomed beautifully over the last year, suggesting it still has room...
jamessuckling.com, 94 points: This is fantastic with cedar, strawberry, walnut and mineral aromas and flavors. Ultra-fine tannins and a clean finish. Balanced and refined. Why wait? But will be even better in 2018.
jamessuckling.com, 97 points: Pure roses on the nose. Hints of raspberries and lemon rind. So pure. Full body and ultra-fine tannins. Powerful yet so ethereal and soul-touching. A fabulously crafted Cannubi. Better in 2020.
jamessuckling.com, 94 points: Very delicate and aromatic with dried flowers and raspberry, blackberry undertones. Full body, yet balanced and very refined. Love the white pepper and berry aftertaste. Better in 2019.
jamessuckling.com, 97 points: The pure fruit aromas are mind-blowing with meat, fresh flowers, citrus fruit and sliced strawberries. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a fabulous texture. Super subtle fruit and finesse. Wow. Drink in 2020 but so...
Showing 13 of 13 wines
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