Wine Guide
When talking about Italian red wines and their growing regions, it would be impossible not to mention Piedmont. A stone’s throw from the French border, the Piedmont region is found at the foot of the Alps and produces wines of great gusto; both big bodied and superbly perfumed. The main regions are of course Barolo and Barbaresco and the king grape here is undoubtedly Nebbiolo. Some whites, particularly the increasingly fashionable Gavi (made with Cortese grapes) are giving the reds a run for their money. Realising that people wanted wines for cellaring and investment (as well as immediate drinking), many Barolo winemakers made the switch to ageing in French oak barrels. This pushed ageability to around 20 years for some of the highest quality wines. Another change wines of Piemonte has seen is the gradual move from 100% single vineyard to blending; it is not uncommon to find Nebbiolo blended with Barbera, Merlot, Cabernet or even Syrah.

Although often lumped together, Barolo and Barbaresco show great differences. Barolo, the so-called “wine of kings and king of wines” is a great beast of a wine. Bringing the heft of 150 years of history with it, Barolo Riservas require a minimum of five years in wood and bottle before release, are velvety smooth yet surprisingly lean and are probably Italy’s most famous export. Barbaresco, on the other hand, is lighter, earlier to mature (just four years in barrel or botti prior to release) and a bit easier in the glass. Because both regions are so close in proximity, soil topography is very similar. Both have been producing excellent vintages since the late 1990s and bar, 2002, almost every one is a winner. If we had to pick our favourite however it would no doubt be 2010.
Notable producers of Piedmont:
While there is no foolproof formula to say whether investing in Veneto, Tuscan or Piedmont wines (or even the lesser regions) will make your fortune, low yields such as in the notable producers often go hand in hand with skyrocketing prices. Producers such as Gaja, Bruno Giacosa, Giacomo Conterno, and Poderi Aldo Conterno as considered safe investments. Please always ask your dealer for advice prior to making any investment decision.