Benvenuto 2019! What better way to start off the new year than with some of the big boys of Italian wine, barolo and barbaresco. This month our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group is exploring cold winter wines and these are for sure to warm up your soul.
I’ve always been a big fan of wines from Piedmont and it has been some time since we have visited this region and its wonderful wines. It is probably best known for Barolo and Barbaresco, but not everyone has the money to spend on these wines and nor do you need to. There is also barbera and dolcetto along with lesser priced versions of nebbiolo for red grapes. For whites arneis is the most popular and don’t forget sparkling wines from the Alta Langa as well as brachetto d’acqui and moscato d’asti. Of course we have the lesser discovered grapes too including favorita, freisa, ruche and pelaverga to name a few.
Today’s feature is Tenuta Carretta, which was established back in 1467 when the Porrini brothers at the time were granted sharecropping rights for 9 years. They were held under strict terms where the grapes technically still belonged to the lord that owned the land at the time. He also claimed half of the grapes from the hill of Podio (Podium Serrae) for himself, which was the prized land.
After 350 years in 1811 it transferred from Marquis Damiano to the Count of Roero for another 120 years. In 1932 it transferred to the Veglia family of Turin ending in 1985 to the current owners, the Miroglio family including Edoardo and Ivana and their 2 children, Marta and Franco.
The name Tenuta Carretta, according to their website, derives from an Albese noble woman “domina careta” whom was a landowner in Piobesi d’Alba back in 1353. For those that have seen the word Tenuta hundreds of times when looking at wine bottles it basically means a wine estate or holding.
Tenuta Carretta is located in southern Piedmont within the Roero wine district in the town of Piobesi d’Albo, alongside the left bank of the Tanaro river. Their land consists of 35 hectacres (85 acres) in the Roero and 35 hectacres south of the river in the Langhe wine district. These wine districts, the Roero, Langhe along with Monferrato, were claimed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014.
The Roero soils are sandier producing wines of elegance that are softer and fragrant. The Langhe soils in comparison are made of more calcareous marl that produces more austere wines made for better aging.
Both the barolo and barbaresco featured are produced solely on the nebbiolo grape. Per the laws, in order to be labeled barolo or barbesco they must be made from 100% nebbiolo. You can view my previous blog comparing the similarities and differences between barolo and barbaresco.
Nebbiolo is a grape indigenous to the Piedmont wine region of Italy. The name derives from “nebbia” representing the fog that sets into the valley during harvest. This is a grape that matures late into the month of October. It produces wines that are typically bold and powerful with high acid, rich tannins, earthy notes, roses, red fruits and leather. It’s surprisingly rather light colored in the glass too.
Nebbiolo also produces wines that can be ageworthy. The tannins will typically mellow out with age and the wines take on new qualities and develop other flavor components.
You can also find nebbiolo under other names in other wine regions such as Lombardy where it is known as chiavennasca, northern Piedmont in Ghemme and Gattinara where it’s known as spanna or the Valla d’Aosta where it’s known as Donnas.
2012 Tenuta Carretta Barolo Cannubi DOCG: This wine is 100% nebbiolo and hails from the cannubi site within Barolo, one of the most famous and oldest crus of the area. This wine spent 24 months in barrel and 9 months in the bottle. Garnet red with a tinge of orange on the rim. Dry and fuller bodied with lots of cherry, some spice, cocoa and firm tannins. Good length on the finish and drinking very well for a young barolo. ABV 14% SRP $55
Pairing: I enjoyed this wine for Christmas dinner and paired it with this amazing prime rib.
More cold winter wines coming right up with my fellow Italian wine bloggers.
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm gives us Pure Comfort~~Pasta with a Bottle of Aglianico.
- Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog prepares A Surf and Turf Feast with Donnachiara Wines.
- Jill of L'Occasion posts For Table And Cellar: Warm Up With Italian Wine.
- David of Cooking Chat serves up Healthy Bolognese Sauce with a Tuscan Sangiovese.
- Jane of Always Ravenous pairs Italian Meatballs with Donnachiara Wines.
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator offers 4 Montepulciano Paired with Osso Bucco Warms Up Winter Italian Style plus #ItalianFWT plans for 2019.
- Nicole of Somm's Table is Cooking to the Wine: Fontanafredda Barolo and Braised Short Ribs with Mushrooms.
- Katarina of Grapevine Adventures encourages us to Get Cosy By The Fire With Italian Wine.
- Lynn of Savor the Harvest writes about Italian Wine To Warm Your Soul.
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla pairs a 2014 Camilla Barolo + Filet Mignon in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce.