A Piemonte Tasting Without Barolo and Barbaresco

You are probably wondering why you would have a Piemonte tasting without Barolo and Barbaresco?  Well, that is a good question. But there are other wines of distinction besides these two in Piemonte.

We were at Moore Brothers one of our favorite wine shops, and at one of their weekend tastings.  They’re located in Industry City in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn, NY  and they had  decided this would be a fun theme to explore the other wines of Piemonte.  Admittedly it was raining cats and dogs that day, but what could be better than tasting wine on a very rainy Saturday afternoon?

The first wine was an Alta Lange Rosanna Extra Brut Ettore Germano. It’s a delicious sparkling wine from a great producer. The grape is Nebbiolo so right there it starts off with a positive, at least for me! The wine ferments 80% steel and 20% used barrels for about 6 months. The wine is bottled and after 18 months on the lees, the bottles are disgorged and topped up with the same wine, no dosage is used.

It has a pleasant fragrant nose with red berries shining through. The wine notes indicate you can drink this wine through 2025 and complement it with any cuisine you can imagine.

Next, was a Grignolino d’Asti from Gianni Doglia 2022

Grignolino, I learned, are very small berries with a lot of pits in each berry. This gives it a good bit of tannin from the pits (or seeds). Given that tannins, I suspect that you could lay this wine down for several years and see how it matures.

It is a complex wine even though the lighter red color of the wine would lead one to believe otherwise. If you like Nebbiolo and want to see how Piemonte terroir can influence another varietal, you will not be disappointed trying this one. And, if you get a chance to try a Grignolino from California (Heitz makes a very good one) you’ll be surprised at how different the grape shows in warmer California weather (and terroir), where you will find a fuller more rounded wine than you would see from the grape in Piemonte.

The Coste della Sesia Rosso Uvaggio from Proprietà Sperino 2019 was almost all Nebbiolo. It has a small amount of Vespolina which I’ve heard of (don’t know much about it), but I was not familiar with and a grape Croatina. I discovered this is a local varietal that has been in Italy for a while.

This is a Nebbiolo that you want to keep several years to get its full potential and could easily go for 10 to 15 years if you have the time. I’d give it at least 3 -5 more years as I thought it tasted pretty young in its current state.

The Dolcetto from Dogliani D.O.C.G. Superiore Maioli Anna Maria Abbona 2021 was delicious and ready to drink now. It had a fragrant nose and would go well with most Italian foods.

I have been told that the best Dolcetto is from the Dogliani area of Piemonte. So, this is a safe bet if you are looking for an Italian red that hits the right notes for flavor and your pocketbook. You can keep this for 3 – 4 years and not be disappointed.

The final “wine” – Roero Mosto Parzialmente Fosso Della Rosa Giovanni Almondo 2023 technically it is NOT a wine. Because it is very low alcohol content, (5%), it can’t officially be called a wine. It’s a frizzante with wonderful fragrance and a delicious “desserty” flavor and finish. You may just want to drink this like soda with a little bit of alcohol in it or drink it with prosciutto and melon.

It was raining when we got there, and it was still raining when we left, but it was definitely a pleasant way to spend some time on a rainy day!