2006 Rovellotti, Ghemme DOCG “Chioso del Pomi” Piedmonte, Italy.
Rovellotti is a new and exciting find for me, I’m very geeky about Nebbiolo, I just love the stuff when it is good and well crafted, so discovering this unique and interesting version was especially gratifying. From the wilds of northern Piedmonte, this Nebbiolo (known as Spanna locally) with a tiny amount of Vespolina added is a lovely and complex wine that shows rich Barolo like character and detailed beauty like this wonderful varietal can, and certainly the Rovellotti is a well crafted wine. It is nice to taste a new release of Nebbiolo from 2006, with this amount of time on it, it is really showing all the typical and classic notes that one hopes for, if this was a real Barolo or Barbaresco no one would blink an eye if it was over $100, this Ghemme is a stunning effort with deep layers, transparent flavors, firm tannins and bright acidity along with mineral and earthy touches, this is lengthy and focused Nebbiolo at the top of it’s game. In case you hadn’t heard of the Ghemme DOCG, it granted DOC in 1969 and finally it’s DOCG in 1997, this tiny area of Piedmonte, in Colli Novaresi, I thought it was in Lambardy, but checking the internet corrected my error! The DOCG requires the wine stay in cask (wood) for 20 months and held in bottle at least 9 months, but needs to be aged 3 full years, like Brunello in Tuscany, before release, and some producers wait even longer. The 2006 Rovellotti Ghemme is classic in hue with orange edges showing around a garnet core in the glass, pretty perfume of tried flowers and herbs rises from the nose leading to a full and vigorous palate of spiced damson plum, balsamic dipped strawberries and black cherry with a touch of raspberry and lots of mineral as well as truffle, soy/iodyne, tar and black salted licorice. There is flashes of mint tea and hints of game as well, but the savory notes never take away from the beautiful fruit, this is elegant and alluring Nebbiolo, drink now and for the coming decade.
($48 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive
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