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Italian wine night #3 – this time with pizza!

This wine night featured an unspectacular attempt at pizza (someday I’m going to be proud of my crust), dramatically improved by a delightful, easy-drinking Nebbiolo: 2010 Elio Grasso Langhe Nebbiolo Gavarini (Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC).

The Elio Grasso estate has a productive vineyard holding of 14 hectares. The producer uses only estate-grown grapes from varieties traditionally grown in the Langhe hill country near Alba.

Technical information: Langhe Nebbiolo

Municipality of production: Monforte d’Alba
Grape: Nebbiolo
First vintage: 1987
Number of bottles produced each year: 6,500
Vineyard area under vine: 1.2 hectares
Aspect and height above sea level: south-facing, 350-380 metres
Soil type: moderately loose-packed, limestone-based
Vine training system and planting density: Guyot-trained at 4,500 vines per hectare.
Average age of productive vines: 15 years
Grape yield per hectare at harvest: 60 quintals
Harvest period and method: first 10 days of October, manual harvest. The vinification procedure for Langhe Nebbiolo involves fermentation for 7-8 days in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, with daily pumping over. After malolactic fermentation, the wine stays in stainless steel until bottling in April-May.

Now drink it!

On the nose: Red berries, red cherry, and, I think, rose petals and spice
On the palate: Spicy and floral, with raspberry and cocoa hiding in there somewhere. Soft tannins, and a short but balanced finish.

Enjoyable wine, great with the pizza, would be yummy with a variety of foods. The producer recommends drinking this wine in the first 3-4 years after the vintage. True, it did not taste too young, but I think it could age longer than that.

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