The fifth edition of Nebbiolo Prima
is on. The event—a comprehensive, invitation-only tasting of new releases from Piedmont’s three nebbiolo-based DOCG appellations—Barolo (2010 and 2008 Riserva), Barbaresco (2011 and 2009 Riserva) and Roero (2011 and 2010 Riserva)—kicked off Sunday night with a press conference in which consortium president Pietro Ratti declared “the health of our appellations is good.” The production of Barolo, he said, has topped 12,000,000 bottles for the first time ever and, while the increase of new vineyard plantings has been frozen (or, at least, severely limited), the surface area of dolcetto and barbera grapes is decreasing as growers shift to nebbiolo.
The tasting began in earnest this morning with a blind-tasting of forty-five 2010 Barolos from smaller villages such as Roddi, Novello and Cherasco and fourteen 2011 Barbarescos from Alba.
First impressions suggest that 2010 was a lovely vintage for Barolo with firm tannins, appealing aromas, ripe fruit and lively acidity, while some of the Barbarescos seemed high in alcohol and a bit overly concentrated. But there are four more days of tasting ahead: we’ll report back as we taste more, and see what some of the producers themselves have to say about the featured vintages.
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