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Peter Keller shows why Nebbiolo is one of the great grape varieties at Mondovino.

Why Nebbiolo is a great grape variety

One can debate which the greatest grape varieties in the world are superbly. One criterion is indisputable: The aim is to produce noble wines that can mature for years, even decades.
Among the white varieties, I include Chardonnay and Riesling, and with certain reservations also Sauvignon blanc. Among the reds, I definitely go for Pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah - and Nebbiolo. The grape's great potential is best expressed in Piedmont, namely in the Langhe hills, home of the famous Barolo and Barbaresco wines.
This is largely because of the combination of location, climate and soil conditions. The Langhe is a lush hilly landscape, formed many millions of years ago with a soil made up of many layers of different components. These are mainly clay-limestone-marl-sand and tuffstone layers. Calcareous marl soils with varying proportions of sand, shell limestone and clay, as found in the Langhe, create the best conditions for the Nebbiolo grape. These different proportions then also contribute decisively to the differences in taste of wine from the individual sites. Piedmont has a continental climate with clearly defined seasons. The warm days in summer and the cool nights in autumn suit the Nebbiolo, which ripens rather late. The characteristics of the variety are its light colour, its distinctive tannins and its appreciable acidity.
These characteristics mean that wines made from Nebbiolo grapes have a long shelf life - especially as they are matured in large wooden barrels. Certain estates have switched to maturing the grapes in barrels. This is to make them accessible earlier. The great ageing potential and the ability to perfectly reflect its origin make Nebbiolo a great grape variety. Two wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, are responsible for the legendary worldwide reputation of Piedmont's wine culture. But even a "simple" Nebbiolo has its qualities and charm. This is proven by the Nebbiolo Langhe Edition Peter Keller 2020, produced by the exceptional winemaker Giulia Negri. This special bottling is exclusively available at Mondovino.