2020 Poderi Colla, Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC, Piedmonte, Italy.
The Poderi Colla label has really taken off and the latest set of wines, including this fabulously delicious and nicely structured Nebbiolo d’Alba, which I tasted recently were all beautiful and studied efforts that show classic varietal profiles and terroir distinct nuances. I loved each of them and plan to showcase more of them soon, but this 2018 Nebbiolo d’Alba, especially for the price, stands out with a quality level that is really not far off much more expensive Barbaresco and or Barolo offerings, but in a package that can be enjoyed in its youth, this is a vintage that lends itself to early pleasure, as this one shows with its ripe supple tannins and pretty fruit density. This dark garnet and amber/brick edged wine is feline like, satiny muscled, and energetic giving the impression of serious concentration, though alive with layers of red berries, damson plums, currants and blood oranges along with hoisin sauce, tar, mushroom, anise and dried flowers. This year’s Poderi Colla Nebbiolo is a big step up since I last tried this bottling and it looks to be a wine that can aged a few years as well, this one and Colla’s Pian Balbo Dolcetto are wines that I highly recommend for savvy bargain hunters and they are very confident food friendly reds that are full of old world charm, natural acidity and display a delicate earthy or sultry allure that will keep your attention long after the last sip.

The traditional and sustainable Poderi Colla was established by Beppe Colla and family in 1993, after they sold their famous Prunotto winery to the Antinori empire, who wanted to move beyond their Tuscan roots and gain a foothold in Piedmonte. The Poderi Colla estate has three exceptional vineyards that covers about 70 acres, these include the Cascina Drago, where this wine was sourced, along with the Tenuta Dardi Le Rase in Barolo and the Tenuta Roncaglie in Barbaresco. Tino Colla took over the reins here when Beppe passed away in 2019 and this new generation is stepping up and taking this winery to even greater heights, but have continued to hold true to their old school and historic values. The winemaking for Poderi Colla’s Nebbiolo d’Alba is done with mainly traditional techniques, but with one significant twist, which is that it saw a submerged cap maceration and primary fermentation which lasted between 12 and 15 days. The grapes, 100% de-Stemmed, came from upper hillside vines that are set on calcareous limestone and clay soils with lots sand in Colla’s Drago estate, as mentioned above, near San Rocco Seno d’Elvio, close to the Barbaresco zone and not far from Gaja’s legendary crus. After fermentation in stainless steel the wine is gently pressed and racked to old large Slavonian oak Botti where it was aged for between 12 to 18 months and then bottled unfiltered, which allows for clarity of form, freshness and poise in the glass. In the cellar, Poderi Colla treats this Nebbiolo the same way as they do their Bussia Barolo and Roncaglie Barbaresco, and this 2020 is very serious stuff indeed.
($32 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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