Nebbiolo is the variety used exclusively to produce several famous red wines of Piedmont, the most famous being Barolo and Barbaresco. Other Piedmontese wines made exclusively from or primarily from Nebbiolo include Gattinara, Ghemme and Carema, these last three from northern. or Alto Piemonte.

Nebbiolo is also the grape used in red wines from the Valtellina district of the Lombardy region, to the east of Piedmont. Here the grape is known as Chiavennasca; the most distinct wine here is called Sfursat (or Sforzato).

Nebbiolo is one of the most tannic varieties anywhere; thus Nebbiolo-based wines offer great aging potential. The finest examples of Barolo from the best vintages can be enjoyed at 40-50 years of age.

However, as big as these Nebbiolo wines are, they do have remarkable elegance on the palate, unlike many other big reds from France, California or even other areas in Italy.

While Barolo and Barbaresco are expensive wines, due to their aging potential, other version produced in Piedmont, such as Nebbiolo d'Alba and Langhe Nebbiolo, are much less costly and are more approachable after a few years in the bottle.

Nebbiolo based wines have aromas and flavors of red cherry and strawberry with hints of tar, roses, orange peel and brown spice; they develop balsamic notes with time. Pair them with serious red meats and aged cheeses. (Wine/Grapes)