Now I have to admit that I enjoy tasting and writing about wines, but the wines that I get from my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan, may keep you scrambling to find some of these wines. Since they curate every wine that they carry and they go out of their way to not compete with chains, department stores, grocery stores, party stores and gas stations; their mix is far superior and not any more expensive. They are always looking for bargains to pass onto their customers and to their club members. I recently tried two wines from the Langhe region in the Piedmont area of Italy and using the Nebbiolo grape, the star varietal of the area. Langhe Nebbiolo is considered by many to be a secondary version of Barolo and Barbaresco. The rules are lax comparing to the first versions, and while fifteen percent of indigenous grapes varieties are permitted, most are pure Nebbiolo. Winemaking processes tend to be shorter compared to the first versions as well and a lot of time offering a price value, if one can find this designation.
The first wine that I tasted was Guido Porro “Camilu” Langhe Nebbiolo DOC 2020 from Azienda Agricola Guido Porro. The winery is now in the fourth generation and it is six hectares in size and they produce about twenty-five-thousand bottles in several categories. This wine comes from a vineyard that is about a third of a hectare in size, and the vines are ten to twenty years of age on limestone and clay soil. Six to seven months in large tonneau casks for aging. A bright garnet-red colored wine which offered cherries, roses and spices. On the palate notes of rich concentrated black cherries and spices, perfect acidity and tight tannins with a nice medium count finish of terroir.
The second wine was Michele Chiarlo “Il Principe” Langhe Nebbiolo DOC 2018. Michele Chiarlo is a producer in Piedmont and specializes in Barolo, Barbaresco, Asti and Gavi. The winery was established in 1956 with vintages of Barbera and Moscato from Asti, and the first Barolo in 1958. While the winery is young, he is of the fourth generation of Piedmontese winemakers. This wine has fruit that is from their Barbaresco vineyards that is adjacent to vineyards of Roero, named after the Roero family, who were powerful bankers in the Middle Ages and the soil is marked by its bluish-gray calcareous-clay marl and loose sandy earth. Manually harvested, the fruit spent ten days of maceration, Initial Fermentation, and Malolactic Fermentation in Stainless Steel and then was aged in wood for about eleven months and then some time in the bottle, before release. A pretty bright garnet red-colored wine with notes of red fruit, violets and spices. On the palate tones of rich black cherries and spices with fine tannins, balanced with great acidity and a nice medium count of fruit and terroir. This was a real keeper and I had to get some for the cellar.