We are so excited to this weekend’s upcoming Twitter chat entitled “Nebbiolo: Beyond the B’s” featuring Nebbiolo in “off the beaten path” regions such as yours truly: ROERO.
We will be logged on (10amCST) chatting with participants and sharing some of our favorite characteristics, but we thought it would be great to also write-up a short primer on the Nebbiolo of Roero DOCG to get in the spirit.
Roero because a DOCG in 2005 so it much younger than its famous “B” counterparts, but the wines are already on par with the highest of the quality. There are just 195 hectares of Nebbiolo registered under the Roero DOCG denomination – small, but mighty! That said, the first records of Nebbiolo in Roero date all the way back to the 14th century!
Roero has a higher percentage of sand than other areas of Piedmont, but the best expressions of Nebbiolo are grown on those which are predominately clay. Still, the high sand content adds elegance to the wines which are suitable for aging, but drinkable after just a couple years. Similarly, it is almost always grown on the hillsides with the best exposure to the sun. Clones in Roero include: lampia, michet and rosé.
Roero has two DOCG designations for Nebbiolo:
- Roero DOCG: 95% Minimum Nebbiolo, 6 months aged in wood, 20 months aging total starting from the 1st of November of the year in which the grapes were harvested. Can be sold after the 1st of July in the second year. 12.5% Minimum alcohol with a minimum acidity of 4.5g/l.
- Roero Riserva DOCG: 95% Minimum Nebbiolo, 6 months aged in wood, 32 total starting from the 1st of November of the year in which the grapes were harvested. Can be sold from the 1st of July in the third year. 12.5% Minimum alcohol with a minimum acidity of 4.5g/l.
All cultivated Nebbiolo must come from the province of Cuneo which is comprised of the territories: Canale, Corneliano d’Alba, Piobesi d’Alba, Vezza d’Alba and part of the following municipalities: Baldissero d’Alba, Castagnito, Castellinaldo, Govone, Guarene, Magliano Alfieri, Montà, Montaldo Roero, Monteu Roero, Monticello d’Alba, Pocapaglia, Priocca, S. Vittoria d’Alba, S. Stefano Roero, Sommariva Perno.
The Roero and Roero Riserva DOCG wines, upon consumption, must comply with the following characteristics: Ruby red or garnet color, fruity nose with hint of wood, and full-bodied, dry, and tannic – but integrated – in the mouth.
Food pairings are often meaty – steak tartare, steak, etc. but can also be root vegetables and pasta dishes.
There are many wonderful producers in the Roero region that are just waiting to be discovered! We look forward to sharing more with participants of the chat on Saturday!