2010 Flavio Roddolo Nebbiolo d'Alba

SKU #1343426 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is a terrific wine that could be a Barolo if the vineyards weren't located just outside the appellation lines. The 2010 Nebbiolo d'Alba sees fruit sourced from the vineyards just outside Falvio Roddolo's house and winery outside Monforte d'Alba. Aged in both large oak and in barrique, this expression of Nebbiolo offers extra richness and succulence with dark fruit aromas and background hints of sweet spice. The 2010 vintage delivers a superb sense of balance and power. The wines of Flavio Roddolo offer a unique perspective onto the time-tested traditions that have slowly and steadily put Barolo on the enviable growth trajectory it enjoys today. These are the wines of yesteryear. They are like a blueprint of what Barolo knew it would become before it got there. The winery is carved out of a shabby-looking garage and there are no signs of new technologies, investments or upgrades in sight. Flavio Roddolo runs on the proverbial "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach. Regardless, these are wines well worth your effort, even though tasting at the winery can pose some challenges as I found out this year with less than perfect samples (including the top Barolo). It's my fault for not insisting that we open new bottles if at least for my own peace of mind.  (6/2017)

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Price: $44.99
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- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.


- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.