Great wine unearthed
2016 Nebbiolo is truly exceptional
When it comes to red wine, it is often said that patience is a virtue, but if Nebbiolo is your preferred drop, then you probably need to be a Saint!
It’s a style which hails from the Piedmont Region in North-Western Italy and is thought to have earned its moniker from the Italian word nebbia which, literally translated, means “fog”. I’m not sure that anyone can conclusively account for the reasoning behind the name, but what is undeniable is the highly tannic nature of the fruit in its youth. It’s only time (and lots of it) in the bottle which seems to ameliorate the intensity of the aroma of the freshly laid bitumen that greets you on the nose with most Nebbiolo I’ve encountered! But it’s a varietal which constructs some of my favourite Italian reds; like Barolo and Barbaresco, though only once they have achieved a bit of bottle age.
The grape itself does particularly well in the Piedmont Region due to the limestone and clay soils in the area. Attempts to grow the grape in other parts of the world have generally seen sub-optimal results, at least until now.
Grandis Unearthed Nebbiolo 2016
I am sure that minds (and palates) will differ, but the Grandis Unearthed Nebbiolo 2016 may very well be an exception to the “patience” rule.
The winery tells us that the unearthed wines are only made in “exceptional years and from single vineyard parcels” in this case, from Moppity Vineyard in the Canberra Hilltops. But the 2016 Unearthed Nebbiolo was just that. Exceptional!
It’s very bright and lively in the glass and I suspect has had less skin contact than some of the traditional Italian styles. The nose is devoid of the bitter tar characters that we often see in the Nebbiolo based wines, and the strawberry and cherry aromas that appear upfront provide a very pretty bouquet. On the palate, the sweet red currents and ripe blueberries find their way to a Ribena-like conclusion, while savoury nuances appear on the finish. I’m sure that the Grandis Unearthed would benefit from time in the cellar, but as I wring the last drop, bottle number 135 (of only 747 made) is now just an empty vessel. It seems that I might have to hurry back to the Wine Emporium at Gasworks at Newstead before the rest of their stock is gone! I may not be blessed with the patience of St Peter, but my palate sure does know a good wine when it finds one!