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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

New Color in the Boca Rainbow: Nebbiolo Novaresi

We talk about Le Piane often. New arrivals from Le Piane are just exciting, and we regularly stock more than one offering from this jewel of a winery. Nebbiolo is the driver of style and quality at Le Piane, but as is traditional in the Boca region, Le Piane always blends Nebbiolo with other grapes... until now. Last week we tried Le Piane's first pure Nebbiolo, and we were smitten. Just 10 cases of this beauty made it to MA, and we acted quickly to secure a few of them.

Le Piane Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo 2020 - $24

This just arrived last week, and when first opened was a little nervy and shrill, but it opened up nicely over a few hours... aromas of cherry juice and stone, raspberry, redcurrants, airy bee pollen and herbs, a little rose hips and mint... tannins are grippy and firm, but I get the sense that this will soften over the next few months, the acidity is vibrant but nicely integrated, there's a gorgeous inner perfume of flowers and herbs... long on tannins and fresh tart red fruits. Fabulous Nebbiolo, this will be better in a few weeks when it is rested.

Like I said above, we regularly carry multiple wines from Le Piane. It is a tiny winery, and we feel very privileged to be able to represent so much of what they do in our little corner of the wine world. Check out the old faves below:

Le Piane Boca 2016 - $73

85% Nebbiolo & 15% Vespolina. We have just 2 bottles left of this 2016, and can't get more. Someone should jump on these...

Le Piane Boca 2017 - $73

85% Nebbiolo & 15% Vespolina. It would be easy to say that the 2017 is not as good as the 2016, but at this stage in the game it's really splitting hairs. It'll be a decade or two before we can really say which is better, as they are both spectacular wines today.

Le Piane 'Le Piane' 2017 - $38 (reg. $45)

This is the one Le Piane red that is not Nebbiolo based, rather a blend of Croatina (95%) and Vespolina (5%). When Christoph, owner of Le Piane, did a tasting for Craft and Cru, way back in early 2020, this was the most popular wine of the day. It has a darker and softer personality than the ethereal, sometimes edgy, Nebbiolo wines. For my own purposes, I'm definitely in the Nebbiolo camp, but I love this wine, and I love introducing people to it. We recently got a deal on the 2017 vintage, and you might consider taking advantage...

Le Piane 'Mimmo' 2018 - $28

70% Nebbiolo, 25% Croatina, 5% Vespolina. Very much a Nebbiolo, bright and high-toned, aromas of fresh berries leap from the glass alongside so many airy herbal, floral and earthy notes. Firmly dry, tangy and nervy, grippy and tannic, maybe a bit rough for some palates, but there's character galore, and this wine has found many fans.

Le Piane 'Maggiorina' 2020 - $19

(my note from last October) Wild on the nose: black plum, cherries, raspberry, chamomile, mint, thyme, white pepper, licorice.... juicy, incisive, a little grippy, full of energy on the palate. Long on herbal, floral, and crunchy fruit notes. This will get more interesting over the next few years, might be worth saving a decade. This wine seems to get better and better every year.

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