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The Society's Exhibition Langhe Nebbiolo 2018

Red Wine from Italy - NW Italy (Piedmont)
One of the stars of the Wine Champions tasting this year, this new Exhibition wine is made entirely from Barbaresco-certified vineyards, but from younger vines. It was its glorious bright cherry, raspberry and rose-petal perfume that first drew unanimous nods and collective enthusiasm, while its firm but fresh palate offers lively liquorice-like notes. Elegant and extremely impressive for the price.
Price: £13.95 Bottle
Price: £167.00 Case of 12
In Stock
Code: IT31401

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Very full and rich
  • Nebbiolo
  • 15% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2024
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

North West Italy

The most renowned of the north western wine regions of Italy is Piemonte, and it is arguable that it is the most renowned of all Italy’s wine producing regions. Home to Barolo and Barbaresco, both made solely from the nebbiolo grape that performs particularly well on the slopes around the town of Alba, Piemonte produces some of the most famous, and increasingly sought after, wines in the World. These are wines that manage to harmonise power and finesse, harnessing the abundant tannins of nebbiolo to richness and concentration but, in good examples, never tipping over into heaviness. They have all the components necessary to make wines that can age for many years and achieve a silky elegance that reminds many of the finest Burgundies. The climate is largely continental with a little influence from the Mediterranean over the hills helping to maintain the long, warm autumns that nebbiolo needs to reach full ripeness on the limestone, clay and sandy soils not far from the Alps to the...
The most renowned of the north western wine regions of Italy is Piemonte, and it is arguable that it is the most renowned of all Italy’s wine producing regions. Home to Barolo and Barbaresco, both made solely from the nebbiolo grape that performs particularly well on the slopes around the town of Alba, Piemonte produces some of the most famous, and increasingly sought after, wines in the World. These are wines that manage to harmonise power and finesse, harnessing the abundant tannins of nebbiolo to richness and concentration but, in good examples, never tipping over into heaviness. They have all the components necessary to make wines that can age for many years and achieve a silky elegance that reminds many of the finest Burgundies. The climate is largely continental with a little influence from the Mediterranean over the hills helping to maintain the long, warm autumns that nebbiolo needs to reach full ripeness on the limestone, clay and sandy soils not far from the Alps to the north.

Besides nebbiolo the Piemontese also make wines from varieties that give them something to drink while the Barolos and Barbarescos mature gracefully in vat and bottle. Dolcetto (little sweet one in Italian) and barbera are the principal varieties, best known for producing fruity, lively reds to match the foods of the region but which are also now being taken more seriously and given the treatment that can turn them into something far more refined and structured through lower yields, better sites and oak ageing. Beside them growers persist with the lesser known but just as fascinating freisa, rouchet, grignolino, brachetto, pelaverga, bonarda, croatina and vespolina, and the white varieties cortese and arneis. Lastly, but these days not necessarily least, Moscato d’Asti and Brachetto d’Acqui are two wines that, when made well, can be a delight – frothy, sweet and fragrant bubblies of low alcohol and gentle fizz for enjoying with a range of desserts when lightness of touch is called for or for drinking in the garden on a warm Summers’ evening.

North of Piemonte is the Valle d’Aosta, the smallest wine region in Italy squeezed into a valley abutting the Alps almost in the shadow of Mont Blanc and reaching out to the French border. Here, on steep Alpine slopes, varieties like petite rouge, fumin, malvoisie and petite arvine sit alongside a few plantings of chardonnay and make characterful wines with a mountain freshness that goes delightfully with the local cuisine. Slightly to the east a scramble of small appellations such as Gattinara, Ghemme and Lessona produce perfumed and fine boned variations on nebbiolo, here known as spanna and sometimes blended with other local varieties, that were once more famous than Barolo.

In the north-east of the region on the border with Switzerland Valtellina Superiore also majors in nebbiolo of excellence, this time within the region of Lombardy. Head south from Valtellina Superiore to the hills around Lago d’Iseo and the méthode traditionelle sparkling wines of Franciacorta are made from pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot bianco grapes. Throughout Lombardy still wines are made from an assortment of varieties in several different appellations without any making a stand as the focal point of regional production. Perhaps the closest to achieving such recognition, besides the increasingly well-known Franciacorta, is Lugana just south of Lake Garda where turbiano (aka verdicchio) can produce some excellent, fragrant whites on a flat glacial plain where the lake acts as a moderator of temperatures, cooling the air with its breezes.

Liguria, famed more for its picturesque and exclusive Riviera resorts than its wines, runs in a strip from the French frontier to the border with Tuscany. Vineyards are small and fragmented due to the rugged terrain as the Ligurian Appenines finally curl and dip towards the sea and because of this Liguria’s production is tiny, if interesting. Vermentino, rossese, sangiovese and dolcetto are all grown but the most famous wine, oft seen by the tourists who consume most of it, is Cinque Terre made from bosco with either vermentino or albarola blended in.

Finally, the wines of Colli Piacentini, Oltrepo Pavese and Gutturnio close to the city of Piacenza on the edge of the Emilia-Romagna, if chosen carefully, can provide much pleasure with wines made from barbera, bonarda and a number of international varieties. However, much of the crop and the wines made here are destined for spumante producers or blenders based elsewhere.
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Rizzi

The wines of Barbaresco are made from the same grape as Barolo, nebbiolo, but tend to be softer, more fragrant and immediately appealing, more ‘feminine’ than the sterner more ‘masculine’ virtues of the latter. Barbaresco is only a third the size of its neighbour Barolo, with only three communes, Barbaresco, Neive and Treiso. In a recent comparative tasting of wines of Barbaresco the wines of Rizzi were notable for their fruit and perfume.

The Dellapiano family have lived here since the 19th century but it was the grandfather who first bought land and the father who was first to bottle his own wine seriously. The family know their land extremely well and have a highly intelligent attitude to winemaking to make the most of their grapes.

Rizzi, named after one of the crus, is owned by Enrico Dellapiano and sister Jole, who own 35 hectares of vines on slopes both sides of the hill on top of which their winery sits. 15 hectares are planted with nebbiolo and their holdings lie in all three Barbaresco zones, including the four crus of Rizzi, Pajorè, Manzola and Nervo.
2018 vintage reviews

joannasimon.com

If you're about to move on because you think that Nebbiolo isn't a summer wine, please give me a moment. It's true that the grape famous for Barolo and Barbaresco has a savoury, autumnal...
If you're about to move on because you think that Nebbiolo isn't a summer wine, please give me a moment. It's true that the grape famous for Barolo and Barbaresco has a savoury, autumnal side to its flavour and goes well with lots of autumn foods - game, mushrooms, truffles – but that's only part of the story. It also has a wonderful fragrance – ethereal and haunting, as so often described – and in the Langhe hills it has notable elegance, as it does in the small Alto Piemonte DOC(G)s, such as Gattinara, Lessona and Ghemme. Or the best bottles do. Which brings me to this new wine in The Wine Society's superior own-label Exhibition range, a winningly accessible but authentic Nebbiolo that smells of roses and sweet red berries brushed with kirsch, liquorice, herbs and woodsmoke and finished with an oak-polished texture that's as far removed from the scarring, swarthy tannins of old-fashioned Barolo as it could be. It's aged in large oak for a year, for texture not flavour, and is made from young vines within Barbaresco by Enrico Dellapiano of Rizzi. At this time of year, serve it cool with foods such as aubergine, mushrooms, red wine risotto, bresaola, tagliata, quail, osso buco or a chunk of aged Parmesan. I'd be happy to try it with a tuna steak too.
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- Joanna Simon 

The Daily Telegraph

The Wine Society has just launched its annual Wine Champions campaign, talking about the wines that have performed best in a series of blind tastings conducted by its buyers. This nebbiolo, made from...
The Wine Society has just launched its annual Wine Champions campaign, talking about the wines that have performed best in a series of blind tastings conducted by its buyers. This nebbiolo, made from younger vines in Barbaresco vineyards, is a star – fragrant and easy-going. -
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Victoria Moore

JancisRobinson.com

Buyer Sarah Knowles MW, who admits to being in love with the winemaker, asks us to regard this as Barbaresco Lite. Glowing ruby. A little light on the nose but then the fine tannins and light...
Buyer Sarah Knowles MW, who admits to being in love with the winemaker, asks us to regard this as Barbaresco Lite. Glowing ruby. A little light on the nose but then the fine tannins and light tarriness kick in. The palate is definitely more interesting than the nose. A good introduction to the variety at a seriously good price. Quite potent! Very good value.
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16/20

The Guardian

Big reds for high summer: In general, you can rely on anything over 14.5% falling into the full-bodied category, though, that said, I tasted [this wine] the other day, which is 15%, and you’d never ...
Big reds for high summer: In general, you can rely on anything over 14.5% falling into the full-bodied category, though, that said, I tasted [this wine] the other day, which is 15%, and you’d never have known it. (Even so, it’s a great buy if you’re looking for an affordable Barolo drinkalike.)
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- Fiona Beckett

The Observer

… manna from heaven for fans of Barolo (or Barbaresco, the home of the wine’s producer, Rizzi)

- David Williams

The Sunday Times

A fine introduction to the nebbiolo grape, which is often compared to pinot noir and whose most famous expression is Barolo. It’s a complex wine for the price, with touches of apple, rose, black...
A fine introduction to the nebbiolo grape, which is often compared to pinot noir and whose most famous expression is Barolo. It’s a complex wine for the price, with touches of apple, rose, black tea and cherry.
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- Will Lyons

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