Monday, February 25, 2013

a wild, wild thing

2009 Poderi Colla Nebbiolo d'Alba 2009 | DOC

Man, nebbiolo gets me so excited. So many wines of the world lack consistency. Consistency in style, in quality, in character. There's a huge variation between expensive and cheap pinot noir, between expensive and cheap cabernet sauvignon, between expensive and cheap chardonnay ... and so on. And what bugs me most isn't so much a lack of drinkability, but rather a complete uniformity among cheap wines. Cheap cabernet tastes like cheap syrah tastes like cheap pinot tastes like cheap malbec. And that isn't - or rather shouldn't - be the point of wine. It's easy for this wino, an industry outsider, to say this, but wines should aspire to be much more than just drinkable.

Nebbiolo does this. Barolo and Barbaresco sit high on their thrones, but the crown of Piedmont is dotted with many, many smaller jewels. And the nebbiolo that comes out of these minor regions give great pleasure for the simple fact that they're honest, authentic, and full of character. Even the (relatively) less expensive bottlings show so much of the nebbiolo personality. This one, a simple nebbiolo of Alba, showing incredibly compact and tight, but over 2 days, opens up to become so expressive and perfumed. Earthy red fruits, lithe and tensile on the palate, if all a bit coarse. An unapologetically simple wine that introduces the magic of nebbiolo - its perfume, its rusticity, its structure, and its balance.


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