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It is snowing in the Adelaide Hills as I sit down to pen some ramblings on this month’s wines. To me, snow in the Adelaide Hills means Nebbiolo.
Nebbiolo is my spirit animal. While spirits can flit around the world as they see fit, it is Piemonte in north–west Italy that is universally agreed to be the variety’s home. This cluster of famous wine regions with names like Barolo, Barbaresco and Langhe are, to me, like catnip to a moggy. The Langhe, the hilly area to the south and east of the river Tanaro in northern Italy’s Cuneo province, is the place to head for examples of what I think is that country’s greatest grape variety. I guess you can consider Langhe Nebbiolo as the understudy of Piedmont’s great Barolo and Barbarescos and this particular wine is a great example. The first thing you notice is it is quite lightly coloured, almost Pinot–esque in its hue. There are aromas of red cherry and berry fruits with some raspberry high tones. Hints of spice, leather, herbs and violets also peep through, adding to the wine’s appeal and complexity. In the mouth it has a spacious air, again red and dark cherry and berry fruits with hints of leather, earth, black olive tapenade and spice, which join with delicate floral notes and lighter, liminal suggestions of tobacco and amaro. It’s savoury, stony and just gorgeous to drink with sandy tannins adding gentle support to the fruit. G.B. Burlotto is considered to be one of the region’s great traditional winemakers – old–school wine making that is comforting and deserving of all the plaudits it receives. G.B. Burlotto 2014 Langhe Nebbiolo