Friday, January 10, 2014

Know Your Oregon Grapes: Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo: Takes its name from the fog that often blankets the hills in Italy's Laghe area where this grape thrives. The grape is used to make wines such as Barolo, and Barbaresco. These deeply colored wines can be massively tannic in youth with intriguing scents of tar and roses. As they age, the wines take on a characteristic brick-orange hue at the rim of the glass and mature to reveal complex aromas and flavors (fruits, flowers and a bit of spices) quite unique and thrilling. These wines often take years to become approachable as they require age to tame the tannins from the grapes. As part of a global trend begun in the 1990s, younger producers have sought to make their wines more approachable in their youth. These are grown in the Gorge and students at Umpqua Community College planted 400 vines in 2009 and I plan on visiting to see how they are doing.

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