Nebbiolo is predominantly associated with Italy’s Barolo and Barbaresco regions, where this grape produces some of the best wines in the world. But exceptional bottles can be found across Piedmont. These red wines often have flavor notes ranging from rose to licorice, and their assertive tannins make many of them perfect for aging. So while we’re sure these bottles are exceptional now, they’ll only get better with time in the cellar.
Produttori del Barbaresco 2013 Pajè Riserva (Barbaresco); $68, 97 points. Forest berry, chopped mint, clove and new leather aromas take center stage on this elegant, full-bodied red. The savory, smooth palate doles out succulent red cherry, raspberry compote and licorice while vibrant acidity and tightly knit, refined tannins provide balance and support. It has great energy and is loaded with flavor but will be even better with a few more years aging. Drink 2020–2038. Vias Imports. Cellar Selection. —Kerin O’ Keefe
Mascarello Giuseppe e Figlio 2013 Perno Vigna Santo Stefano (Barolo); $112, 97 points. Aromas of underbrush, camphor, new leather and forest berry form the nose. It’s full bodied and firmly structured, offering Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and a hint of exotic incense. Youthfully assertive but noble tannins and vibrant acidity provide the ageworthy backbone. Drink 2025–2035. Polaner Selections. Cellar Selection. —K.O.
Paolo Scavino 2011 Riserva (Barolo); $300, 97 points. Pressed rose, iris, new leather, exotic spice, menthol and a whiff of wild berry come to the forefront on this gorgeous wine. The full-bodied polished palate has a weightless elegance, delivering raspberry compote, crushed cherry, licorice, aromatic herb and a floral note alongside taut velvety tannins. It’s already beautiful but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2021–2031. Skurnik Wines, Inc. Cellar Selection. —K.O.
Proprietà Sperino 2012 Lessona; $75, 96 points. Structured, vibrant and boasting extreme elegance, this radiant Nebbiolo opens with enticing scents of iris, violet and crushed aromatic herb. The chiseled palate has wonderful intensity and precision, delivering red cherry, raspberry compote, star anise and Lessona’s classic salty finish. It’s still young and nervous but impeccably balanced, with taut, refined tannins and firm acidity. Give it time to unwind and fully develop. Drink 2023–2043. Petit Pois. Cellar Selection. —K.O.
La Spinona 2013 Bergera (Barolo); $38, 95 points. Rose, iris, baking spice, menthol, new leather and a whiff of truffle are just some of the enticing scents you’ll find in this fragrant red. The palate is all about finesse and tension, offering wild strawberry, crushed raspberry, star anise and chopped mint framed by taut, refined tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink 2021–2033. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. Cellar Selection. —K.O.
Attilio Ghisolfi 2013 Bussia (Barolo); $70, 95 points. Dark-skinned berry, menthol, new leather, blue flower and baking spice aromas take center stage. On the radiant, full-bodied palate, vibrant acidity lifts red cherry, raspberry compote, star anise, clove and tobacco while youthfully taut, fine-grained tannins provide firm support. Hold on to this for even more complexity once it unwinds and develops. Drink 2023–2038. Quintessential Wines. Cellar Selection. —K.O.
Sandrone 2014 Aleste (Barolo); $170, 95 points. Dried rose, blue flower, aromatic herb, wild berry and a whiff of pipe tobacco are just some of the aromas you’ll find on this stunning red. It’s elegant and structured, delivering raspberry compote, crushed strawberry, cinnamon and star anise framed in bright acidity and firm fine-grained tannins. It has fantastic tension and energy, and promises to age well for years. Drink 2024–2039. Vintus LLC. Cellar Selection. —K.O.
Villa Guelpa 2015 Lessona; $60, 94 points. Alluring scents of dried rose, forest floor, crushed herb, woodland berry and dark spice come together on this fragrant red. The elegantly structured, focused palate delivers red cherry, crushed strawberry and star anise while a savory, almost salty mineral note lingers on the close. It’s balanced, and still young, with youthfully taut, polished tannins and fresh acidity. Drink 2022–2035. T. Edward Wines Ltd. Cellar Selection. —K.O.
Schiavenza 2013 del Comune di Serralunga d’Alba (Barolo); $49, 92 points. Rose petal, new leather, forest floor and balsamic whiffs of menthol take the lead on this youthfully austere red. Linear and vibrant, the full-bodied palate delivers Marasca cherry, orange zest, cinnamon, licorice and an earthy hint of game. Bright acidity and taut tannins provide an age-worthy structure. Fans of classic of Barolo will love this. Drink 2023–2938. David Bowler Wine. Cellar Selection. —K.O.
Published: November 28, 2018