Wine of the Week – 2005 Palmina Nebbiolo

Palmina was founded by the talented Steve Clifton in 2000. Steve is one part of the Brewer-Clifton team who are responsible for some incredible wines under their own label, but Palmina is his baby, his labor of love so to speak.  He is a big fan of Italian varietals, and Palmina is dedicated solely to the production of wines of this type.  

Nebbiolo is native to the northwestern part of Italy, aka the Piemonte, and it is a difficult grape to grow.  It is a late ripening varietal that is susceptible to a variety of vine diseases and it does best in warm and dry growing conditions which are not always a given.  Nebbiolo needs sufficient warmth to develop the sugars and fruit flavors needed to balance the grape’s naturally high acidity and tannins.  Thus, in cool and/or rainy vintages, the grape can yield very astringent and bitter wines.  Even in perfect vintages, the wines can be very sharp and rugged when young only to develop into gorgeous wines with bottle age.

Everything came together nicely for Steve and his various plantations of Nebbiolo in 2005, and the resulting wine is a stunning example of how this foreign and difficult grape can thrive in California.  Clifton sources fruit from various spots throughout Santa Barbara County, and Vintage 2005 was warm, sunny and dry.  I would guess that upon its release 2 or 3 years ago, this was a pretty austere, tannic wine, but the additional bottle age on this one has yielded a gorgeous wine of substantial complexity and class.

As Robert Parker said, “it tastes Italian”, which at first glance doesn’t seem to be a ringing endorsement, but he went on to say that “no one in California (and probably in the New World) is doing what Steve Clifton has managed to do working with Italian varietals in selected micro-climates in the Santa Barbara area.”  A nose of ripe cherry and wild strawberry meld nicely together with complex notes of rose petal, smoky herbs and exotic cola.  It is the perfect pairing partner for roasted meats or creamy risotto.

Regular Price: $24.99/bottle 

On sale through July 3 at $19.99/bottle

Just 14 bottles in stock! 

The only rule is that you must mention that you saw this in the newsletter or on the website to get the sale price.

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