Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Nebbiolo wines of the Langhe and Roero with Demarie

A blogging friend of mine, Valerie from Girls Gotta Drink, that I finally got to meet in person in Verona earlier this year in February, is building her business in Piedmont. She not only does wine tours in Piedmont, but is representing wineries and promoting their products and building their brands and presence throughout the world. I was honored to receive some samples of the Azienda Agricola Demarie winery located in the Piedmont region.

The Demarie winery, owner by Paolo Demarie, is located in Vezza d'Alba, which is part of the Roero district. Their vineyards are spread out across 20 hectacres (50 acres) in the towns of Vezza, Guarene, Castellinaldo and Castagnito. The Demarie winery is run by 3 generations.
Paolo, owner of Azienda Agricola Demarie
Paolo, owner of Azienda Agricola Demarie, by Valerie Quintinilla
Luckily many of the wines I received were focused on the nebbiolo grape, one of my favorites. I have more to share in the upcoming months, but today wanted to highlight two of the Demarie nebbiolo wines and do a comparison of them:
  • 2013 Demarie Langhe Nebbiolo
  • 2012 Demarie Nebbiolo d'Alba
As you all know terroir is one of the major factors in the result of a final wine in addition to the choices made by a winemaker inside the production facilities when it comes to fermentation and aging methods. Piedmont is one of those regions in Italy where terroir is so important, especially in the cru sites of Barolo and Barbaresco, as it produces many different styles of nebbiolo. Nebbiolo expresses itself throughout the rest of Piedmont in many different styles. These two wines are from the Langhe DOC and Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC.

The Langhe DOC
The Langhe DOC encompasses the areas north and south of the town of Alba. Many grape varieties are produced in this area and it's considered the fallback DOC of the DOCG of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Therefore, producers that label with the DOC have less stringent regulations and more flexibility.

The Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC
The Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC on the other hand must be made of 100% nebbiolo. This is a much more affordable wine with many of the typical characteristics of nebbiolo. It's aged only a year in comparison to the DOCG versions aged 2+ years depending upon which DOCG we are talking about. If you've never had a nebbiolo grape this would be a good place to start to experience it before moving on to the some of the big boys of the region.\

Demarie wines of Piedmont2012 Demarie Nebbiolo d'Alba 
Made of 100% nebbiolo grapes.  This wine goes through malolactic fermentation in large slavonian oak casks for 8 months followed by 8 months in the bottle. Deeper ruby red in color with a hint of licorice on the nose. A medium body with dark fruit with more present tannin and balanced acidity. It's recommended by Demarie to be aged up to 5 years. ABV 14.5%.

2013 Demarie Langhe Nebbiolo 
Made of 100% nebbiolo grapes.  A brilliant ruby red, it's a medium bodied wine with juicy red fruit and a mouthwatering acidity. Drying tannin on the finish.  A more delicate wine compared to the Nebbiolo d'Alba.  

Wine pairing with Nebbiolo
From time to time I will write about wines to pair with your meals, but I just as much enjoy sitting there with a bottle of wine and enjoying some delicious appetizers. And of course I'll always look up regional foods to pair with the bottle of wine that I choose to drink that night. Cured meats are always a great pairing in Italy with many of the reds so I chose salami as one of the appetizers that paired well with the 2013 Demarie Langhe Nebbiolo. 
Demarie Langhe Nebbiolo pairing with Salami
I found the Langhe Nebbiolo much more approachable in its youth. The other dish I prepared was bruschetta topped with gorgonzola and walnuts drizzled with honey. Very typical ingredients of the region and paired well with the 2012 Demarie Nebbiolo d'Alba. The Nebbiolo d'Alba's tannins were very present in the wine and I felt the creaminess of the gorgonzola helped to cut through some of that.
Demarie Nebbiolo d'Alba pairing with bruschetta
It's all about playing around with pairings and finding what you like. I hope you get to sample nebbiolo for yourself if you haven't yet. If you have, what are some of your favorite areas of Piedmont for nebbiolo and any favorite pairings?