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.
Vinous, 96 points: The 2008 Barolo La Serra emerges from the glass with dark red fruit tar smoke licorice spices and new leather. Today the 2008 comes across as surprisingly dark and masculine. The high-toned floral notes that are typical...
Wine Spectator, 96 points: Warm and chewy, this red exhibits cedar, sandalwood, tobacco and leather accents enhancing the core of cherry and raspberry. As this plays out on the palate, the wine turns more supple and vibrant, building to the long...
jamessuckling.com, 98 points: Shows an amazing amount of dried roses, cedar and subtle fruits on the nose. Full body with fine tannins that touch every part of your palate. It’s long and wonderful with such polish and finesse. So right now. This is...
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 96 points: The 2008 Sperss is exotic dark and totally seductive. Black cherries mint licorice flowers spices and juniper berries meld together in the glass all supported by firm insistent tannins. Today the Sperss has begun to shut...
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Great site with outstanding variety. I've been looking for the 2003 Chateau Gloria for months with no luck until now. Thanks JJ Buckley!
-A.S., July 2017