There are few grape varieties that most wine lovers would find consensus in deeming truly noble. Yet Nebbiolo, the grape that makes up two of Italy’s most revered and cherished red wines–Barolo and Barbaresco–is surely one of them. The best expressions offer incredible perfume and finesse, yet with considerable tannic grip and serious concentration. Unlike other great varieties (I’m looking at you Pinot Noir and Cabernet), this peculiar variety thrives only in small pockets of its home region, Piedmont. Thought to have been named for the region’s characteristic morning fog (nebbia), most attempts to plant this enchanting grape elsewhere have been unsuccessful in reproducing its Piedmontese magic. The region’s Cascina Pace focuses solely on humble, everyday expressions of this region’s most important grapes. Their Langhe Nebbiolo is a classic expression of what makes this variety exceptional.
Pace’s Langhe Nebbiolo offers up a textbook flavor profile that sets this unique grape apart. In the glass, it pours a copper-tinged red giving up an intense perfume of rose petal, violet, and macerated cherries. On the palate, you’ll find notes of tobacco, blood orange, and dark red fruits. Framed by firm yet supple tannins, this Nebbiolo is delicious with richer fare. Don’t be afraid to pair it up with pizza, either. We like this bottle especially with our recipe for Crispy Chicken Thighs with Walnut Romesco.
Unlike the loftier Barolo and Barbaresco, both of which by law must be aged for several years in oak, Pace’s Langhe expression is aged exclusively in stainless steel tank, preserving the vivacity and freshness of the resulting wine, without sacrificing the characteristics that define this region and this variety. Historically these Nebbiolo-based wines brought with them the duty to cellar them for at least a decade before drinking to soften their naturally brisk, tannic structure. Nowadays, with versions such as this, we can enjoy Nebbiolo on a nightly basis without cellaring or even decanting.