North-West Italy - Varieties, denominations and winemaking - Nebbiolo denominations

4 important questions on North-West Italy - Varieties, denominations and winemaking - Nebbiolo denominations

What are the differences of Barbaresco DOCG vs Barolo DOCG?

  • Vineyards at lower altitude
  • Climate slightly warmer
  • Harvest a week earlier
  • Riper style
  • shorter ageing requirements;
    • 2 years DOCG and 4 years for Riserva
  • 1/3rd of Barolo size
  • The Queen of Piemonte; more feminine wines, less bodied, more aromatic, fruity and perfumed.
  • Still lot of tannins and acidity
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What is similar for Barbaresco DOCG and Barolo DOCG?

  • 100% nebbiolo
  • 56hl/ha yield
  • MGA indication
  • Very good, outstanding quality
  • premium, super premium priced
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What was the traditional winemaking style for Nebbiolo, and how did it evolve in the late 1970s and early 1980s? And currently?

Tradition:
  • Long maceration on skins (3-4 months)
  • Ageing 5-8 years in large old wood to soften tannins

70/80s (Angelo Gaja):
  • deeper colour, softer tannins, less ageing, new oak flavours
  • higher quality and price
Current innovations:
  • Picking grapes with ripe skins and sees (less aggressive tannins)
  • 3-4 weeks maceration
  • Large french/slavonian oak or combination with smaller barriques
  • small proportion new oak
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Beside Barolo and Barbaresco DOCG, which other Nebbiolo DOCs exist?

  • Roero DOCG; north, closer to Milan
  • Gattinara DOCG & Ghemme DOCG; continental climate, higher diurnal range than Barolo -> more acidity, light bodied, intense perfume. Gravelly, volcanic soils.


For early drinking; young vines, shorter maceration and maturation, therefore cheaper.
  • Langhe Nebbiolo
  • Nebbiolo d'Alba
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