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Brian K Miller

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Drinking Langhe Nebbiolo Young

by Brian K Miller » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:28 pm

Based on a recommendation from the wine guy at a quite nice chain of delis in San Francisco (A.G. Ferrari), I decided to buy a modestly priced Nebbiolo from Langhe. 2004 Monchiero Carbone "Regret." The young man was Piemontese, so hopefully it will be good (although the Anglified "brand name" makes me a little worried :? )

So...I know Barolos and Barbarescos need a LOT of time in the cellar. Can Nebbiolo de Langhe be drunk as a young wine, though? I will of course decant it. I had a Roero Superiore Nebbiolo from 2000 that was delicious and very drinkable young, but this new wine is much younger.

So...the work Christmas potluck party is coming up. My boss enjoys fierce tannins a lot :o . Can I bring this one, decant it, and have an enjoyable young Nebbiolo? I like tannins, too, so it might be an interesting contrast with the range of softer, more fruit friendly wines I am planning to bring (I'm a mediocre cook, so I offered to supply the wine to the party)

Or, should this one be stored for five years or so?
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Ian Sutton

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Re: Drinking Langhe Nebbiolo Young

by Ian Sutton » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:53 pm

Brian
Whilst it depends on the producer, in general Langhe Nebbiolo's aren't as forbidding as their bigger bro's.

I reckon a decant would be a fair idea, but in general I'd drink Langhe Nebbiolo's in their first 6 years and I've yet to encounter one with fierce tannins. A 2004 should be fine to drink, and whilst a decant will probably help it, no need to do a decant hours in advance as you might plan for a Barbaresco or Barolo.

You do see a few brand names written in English around in Italy, some of them are quite funny, especially the thought of Italians using an English name for cachet :shock:

One of the funniest is "Were dreams now is just wine" (by Jermann?).

No laughing at the Italians use of English from me though, as they manage to suppress their laughs when I go into a Butchers and ask for a half dozen free-range grapes or choose the baked peach for main course.

regards

Ian
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Bill Buitenhuys

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Re: Drinking Langhe Nebbiolo Young

by Bill Buitenhuys » Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:38 pm

I had the '03 version of this wine, Brian, and it was pretty big and fruit-forward. It certainly carried nebbiolo aromas and some serious tannins but there was quite a bit of sweetness to the fruit. That could have been the vintage talking though.
I'd have no issue with opening up a young Langhe like that and giving it a try.
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Rahsaan

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Re: Drinking Langhe Nebbiolo Young

by Rahsaan » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:56 pm

If you're in the Bay Area you can probably find this Oliver McCrum import. I bought mine at Paul Marcus wines in Rockridge Oakland.

Young Langhe Nebbiolo that is great right now.

2004 Germano Ettore Langhe Nebbiolo Serralunga d’Alba
This is dark, hard, and gravelly, so you know from whence it came. But, it also has soft florals and with air the fruit is lovely, juicy, perky and fresh. This is a great nebbiolo for drinking now, yet it also has a deep serious mineral precision that commands respect. Great fun at $20.
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Oliver McCrum

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Re: Drinking Langhe Nebbiolo Young

by Oliver McCrum » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:07 pm

Their website says the Regret was aged for six months in small cooperage, and that it can be appreciated 'from the first year,' so I'd say give it a go.

Langhe Nebbiolo ranges a lot in structure and style, but I like to drink wines like that from 0-5 yrs., sort of like Rosso di Montalcino. The most serious examples could go longer, but I'd err on the side of drinking wine too young.

Regret could well be Piedmontese, too; it looks odd in English.
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Ian Sutton

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Re: Drinking Langhe Nebbiolo Young

by Ian Sutton » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:54 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote:Regret could well be Piedmontese, too; it looks odd in English.

Indeed there is much common French linkage with the Piemontese dialects (and of course to English).
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Oliver McCrum

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Re: Drinking Langhe Nebbiolo Young

by Oliver McCrum » Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:22 pm

Much that is common, and much that is not. I have OK French and good Italian but once they get going in Piedmontese I'm lost. Not to mention that vocabulary and pronounciation change from one village to the next. On the other hand 'good wine' sounds the same in Chateauneuf as it does in Monforte ('bong ving'/'ving bong')

I see he uses the dialect name for Brachetto (Birbet), so it's just a guess that Regret is also dialect (Gaja named a wine Darmagi, which means 'what a pity,' so maybe it's a Gaja joke).
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Dave Erickson

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Re: Drinking Langhe Nebbiolo Young

by Dave Erickson » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:01 pm

Vajra's 2005 Langhe Rosso, a blend of nebbiolo, dolcetto, freisa, and probably something else, is not just approachable but downright friendly. Pinot-noir like body, lots of bright red fruit.
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Doug House

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Re: Drinking Langhe Nebbiolo Young

by Doug House » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:23 am

Like others, I agree Langhe Nebbiolo can drink well young, especially from ripe years like 2001 and 2003. A couple of Nebbiolos I've enjoyed recently are Vietti's 2003 Perbaco NdL and the 2001 Azienda Agricola Varaldo Langhe Nebbiolo. The Vietti (which I sell) was developed specifically for the restaurant trade and is designed to be drunk young. It shows pretty dark and simple fruit and very definite oak influence and, therefore, might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I've realy enjoyed it this year. And, at $19, you don't have to think real hard about popping one!

The Varaldo (which I don't sell) is a a good deal more formidable and has much stronger acids and tannins than the Vietti. My note from March:

Young nose, a bit scattered, but the beginings of some interesting things. Good shock of acid leading to very ripe, round, even plump red fruit with some tar, earth, and leather notes. Quite ripe, sweet and full and still a little clipped on the finish by the tannin. Not nearly the class or grace of a real Barbaresco and probably too ripe and round for many, but at $25 and nice, juicy, ripe glass of northern Italian wine for me.

I plan to drink any 2003 Vietti Perbacos that survive the next month or so by mid-2007. The Varaldos I think will improve over the next 3-5 years, but I'm going to drink them as I'm moved to.
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