What a beautiful and immediately accessible version of Nebbiolo! From one of the reference-point estates of the Roero region of Italy's Piemonte, Almondo's Arneis gets all of the press and deservedly so. We stock that too, but the estate's 2020 Roero Nebbiolo merits just as much critical acclaim.
Radiant, beautifully aromatic, and softer and less tannic than its neighbors in Barolo and Barbaresco, this is Nebbiolo you can take home and drink tonight. I did just that last Friday, and I've got to say this is one of my favorite red wines in the store at the moment. Keep reading if you are a fan of classic, classy, and highly-rated Piemonte reds.
2020 Giovanni Almondo Roero Nebbiolo
93-94 points Yours Truly, 92 points Antonio Galloni - Vinous Media
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Selected and direct-imported by the intrepid Jay Murrie of Piedmont Wine Imports, this is another stellar find in authentic and traditionally-made Italian wine. While the Almondo Family has a deeply-rooted history in the region dating to the 14th century, their attitude towards winemaking is anything but antiquated. They embrace modern technology in the vineyard and the cellar, but they also have a firm respect for the traditions of Italy's Piemonte region.
Roero is a relatively small DOCG wine district located in the hills of the Piemonte, north of Barolo and west of Barbaresco. The area takes its name from the Roero family, powerful bankers who were extremely influential here in the Middle Ages. While the area is best-known for its refreshing whites made from Arneis, the region is also responsible for fragrant and ethereal Nebbiolos that are less muscularly structured than the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco.
Just as music does not have to be loud to be great, red wine doesn't have to slap you with tannin and new oak to be wonderful. Almondo's Roero Nebbiolo is proof positive of that, and this is a wine with serious nobility. From a 70-year-old site planted in sandy, calcareous soils, it's a red wine that brings me joy like few others I've tasted this year. Aged for 18 months in huge, non-toasted, Slovenian oak, this is Nebbiolo in its purest form, and I could smell it all day.
Pale ruby and translucent in the glass, this looks like it's going to be a light, washed-out, and simple red wine, but the "Nebbiolo magic" shines bright in this one. Exuding aromas and flavors of spicy cherry, wild strawberry, orange zest, violet, and herb, it hits the palate with energy, verve, and great palate presence. Mr. Galloni loved it too, calling it a "very pretty Nebbiolo" with "sweet dried cherry, tobacco, cedar, mint, dried flowers, orange peel, and incense." He went on to describe it as "airy" and "gracious," saying "all the elements are very nicely balanced." Balanced they are, and this is a wine that drinks well now, but it will age and improve a bit through 2030.
You all know how I get when I get excited about a wine, and this is one that truly engaged my senses in a profound way. To be able to experience the wonderous joys of Nebbiolo, one of the most noble grapes on the planet, for less than $35 is truly remarkable. You know what to do next!
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