Nebbiolo has been heralded as one of Italy's greatest grape varieties, with Huon Hooke of the Sydney Morning Herald proclaiming it as being above Italy's 100-plus other varieties.
The grape is named after the fog that frequents the valleys of Barolo country in Piedmont, and certainly stands out among many of the other great varieties in the region. Mr Hooke says: "Nebbiolo is the star, the king of wines and the wine of kings, as they like to say around Alba."
Such hype makes tastings of newly released wines in the region quite a special events, with '09 barbaresco, '08 barolo, and barbaresco riserva '07 and barolo riserva '06 all on the table for a sample.
To generalise, 2007 is an excellent vintage, close to top-level, while '08 is very good, and '06 and '09 are merely good. But that being said, there hasn't been a lesser vintage since '02 and '03, and so most wines from the region have a satisfaction guaranteed label on them.
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