Piero Benevelli Langhe Nebbiolo 2020
Piero Benevelli and son Massimo run this boutique winery in Monforte d'Alba growing the classic slate of Langhe varietals; Dolcetto, Barbera, Freisa and Nebbiolo. Around half of their 8 or so hectares are planted to Nebbiolo and most of that Ravera, one of the best vineyards in the village. These are powerful Barolo with some of the big tannins of neighboring Serralunga d'Alba but the richness and drinkability of the wines of Barolo proper and Bussia a bit further north in the commune. While Barolo looks like a better value with each passing day compared to the price of comparable red Burgundy for instance, even at $75+, "baby" Barolo like this gorgeous young Nebbiolo are a real steal.
The Benevellis practice traditional farming and winemaking which means low yields, everything done by hand, no chemicals etc. This Nebbiolo is made from young vines planted in the vineyards where the fruit from their Barolo is grown, something all the top producers do rather than sourcing Nebbiolo from vineyards sometimes outside the Barolo DOCG growing area altogether. Rather than a month long maceration on the skins and 4-5 years aging before release like the Barolo, the fruit for this wine is crushed and undergoes a relatively quick 72 hour cold soak and a shorter fermentation of a couple of weeks. Aging over the winter in stainless steel only and bottled before a late summer release. All of this to preserve the fresh qualities of great young Nebbiolo.
Rose petal, ripe red cherry and tobacco on the nose with red fruit, licorice and spice flavors. Soft tannins and bright acidity with a long mineral finish. Very complex wine for the money and very approachable on release. Not much made, just a few cases available.