• Italy: Piemonte, small part of Lombardy


  • Nothing like a good Barolo to add to a nice dinner. Makes a great gift as well.


  • Decant for up to 3 hours
  • 14-18 °C (60-65 °F)
  • Burgundy wine glass


  • Fatty dishes, spicy Chinese dishes, roasted and buttery vegetables
  • Brie, feta, goat cheese, Parmigiano

Nebbiolo is a grape from Piedmont in Northern Italy which is difficult to grow as it has thin skins and is late ripening the latter contributing to its ability to retain. Nebbiolo loves sunlight which is why it is planted on slopes so it gets enough sun which helps it develop higher sugar levels. Without enough sun and warmth, there is a risk for the grape remaining too acidic and unripe. Nebbiolo produces wines that are high in acidity and tannin which are both qualities that give it great aging potential. The wine usually has a brick-like color and is translucent.

Barolo versus Barbaresco

There are 2 main regions which produce some of the best Nebbiolo wines: Barolo and Barbaresco. Both are situated very close to each other in the Langhe area of Italy and both use the same grape however produce slightly different wines. The main difference comes from the soil. The soil in Barbaresco is more fertile and therefor produces wines with less tannin than those in Barolo. Both soils are rich in lime and clay which contributes to the acidity of the grapes, an important factor in the quality and aging of wine.

Another difference which might be a bit controversial to some, is aging. Barolo wines usually require a minimum aging of 38 months of which 18 in oak while Barbaresco a minimum of 26 months of which 9 in oak. Riserva wine requires 62 months for Barolo and 50 months for Barbaresco of which 18 and 9 months respectively in oak.

To sum up, a Barolo has more tannin and fuller body while Barbaresco is lighter.

  • Excellent vintages: 2014, 2012
  • Exceptional vintages: 2013, 2010, 2008

Other Piemonte Nebbiolo Regions

Nebbiolo Piemonte Wine regions

Langhe (DOC)

  • Easier to find and cheaper than Barolo and Barbaresco
  • Lighter, fresher, fruitier
  • Less aging
  • May include 15% of other grapes like Barbera, Dolcetto

Roero (DOC)

  • Sometimes sold as Nebbiolo d’Alba
  • Fruity and rich
  • Good value for money
  • Riserva requires 32 months of aging
  • 100% Nebbiolo
  • Vintages: 2012, 2011

Gattinara (DOCG)

  • Great value for money, cheaper than Barolo but with great potential
  • Old vintages are also more available at good prices
  • Floral, earthy, can seem aggressive in flavors on its own without food
  • Minimum aging: 3 years, of which 24 months in oak (Riserva 4 years and 3 years in oak)
  • Minimum alcohol level: 12.5% (13% for Riserva)
  • Needs to include minimum 90% Nebbilo grapes

Ghemme (DOCG)

  • Good value for money
  • Floral, earthy, can seem aggressive in flavors on its own without food
  • Minimum aging: 3 years of which 18 months in the barrel (Riserva 46 months and 24 months in the barrel)
  • Minimum alcohol level: 12% (Riserva 12.5%)
  • May include 15% of other grapes

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Barbaresco 2018

  • Country and region: Italy, Piedmont, Barbaresco
  • Producer: Prunotto
  • Blend: Nebbiolo
  • Alcohol content: 13.5%
  • Tasting notes: red fruit, cherries, raspberries, spice, vanilla, french oak, medium to high body with high acidity
barolo, italian wine, red wine, wine, nebbiolo, barolo docg, barolo wine, franco molino, cascina rocca

Barolo Cascina Rocca

Franco Molino, 2017

  • Country and region: Italy, Piemonte, Barolo
  • Producer: Franco Molino Cascina Rocca
  • Blend: Nebbiolo
  • Alcohol content: 14,5%
  • Tasting notes: spicy, earthy, hints of wood, cherries, cinnamon, well balanced with medium to full body