New Releases from the Langhe, Roero, Asti & More
BY ANTONIO GALLONI | MAY 31, 2019
Although Barolo, Barbaresco, and, more recently, Alto
Piemonte get the lion’s share of attention, Piedmont has so much to offer
beyond those highly-regarded appellations. Dolcetto, Barbera, Freisa, Timorasso
and a host of other indigenous varieties give consumers myriad options for
discovering the breadth of diversity that makes Piedmont one of the world’s
most dynamic regions.
Marchesi di Grésy’s Martinenga estate in the heart of Barbaresco, with Asili and Rabajà occupying the upper slopes of the hillsides to the left and right respectively
The Wines in This Article
The wines in this article can mostly be divided into several
1) Dolcetto, Barbera, Langhe Nebbiolo from top
Barolo and Barbaresco estates. I have long believed that the most accurate
barometer of where an estate sits on the qualitative hierarchy is its most
humble wine. Readers will find dozens of affordable wines from leading estates.
2) Asti & Monferrato – Barbera reigns supreme
in these gorgeous appellations dotted with striking landscapes and pedigreed
3) Roero – Arneis, Barbera and Roero (Nebbiolo) all
find striking expressions in Roero, which lies across the Tanaro River from
4) Dogliani – Dolcetto is the main variety
cultivated in and around Dogliani. The Dolcettos, which carry the name of the
appellation, are typically darker and more powerful than those found elsewhere
Entry-level wines from top estates in Barolo and Barbaresco are a great way to enjoy the best Piedmont has to offer at accessible prices
In 2017, Piedmont experienced and unusually warm, dry
growing season. The wines all have an extra kick of richness and overall
breadth. Although by no means a classic vintage, 2017 yielded a number of
sumptuous, racy Dolcettos and Barberas. Nebbiolo, which does not thrive in
these conditions, was more challenged, at least at the Langhe Nebbiolo level.
Overall, the 2017 entry-level reds are tasty and approachable, but not quite as
alluring as the 2016s. The 2017 whites seem best suited to near term drinking.
The 2016 growing season was marked by even weather, with no shock events, and a relaxed, easy harvest.
There is an effortless, quality that comes through in all of the wines, at all
levels. Dolcetto and Barbera are both fabulous, while the 2016 Langhe Nebbiolos
will give readers a good idea of what to expect when the 2016 Barolos and
Barbarescos are released in the coming years.
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