2016 Principiano Nebbiolo Langhe ‘Le Coste’
Region:Piemonte < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; 40+ year old vines on clay/sandy soil; 10 mos. fermentation and aging in stainless before bottling; unfined/unfiltered with minimal SO2; 13.5% ABV
Winemaker: Ferdinando Principiano
The Principiano estate has been on the map of Serralunga di Alba since 1700, but it wasn’t until 1993 that the family’s farm lands were converted to vineyards, after Ferdinando advised his father to focus on wine production. He wanted to ride the wave of the world’s new love affair with Barolo. At first, they chased scores, making young-drinking, heavily-oaked wines, but after seeing how the wine fell apart within a decade of bottling, Ferdinando decided to focus on making traditional Barolo, abandoning all “modern” tools like pesticides, micro-oxygenation and French barrique. He converted to organic farming and returned to the old-school, low-intervention winemaking style that had been used in Barolo for hundreds of years. And while his Barolos are special, we’re partial to his other wines, like this Nebbiolo, from the Le Coste di Monforte d’Alba and Boscareto vineyards. It’s delicious, vibrant, energetic and totally approachable wine, with all of those gorgeous dusty, rose, herbal, crunchy notes of Nebbiolo without the heft or harsh tannins. Raised in stainless, it’s not going to age for 30 years, but it still would benefit from another year or two for the fruit to go to a more complex place. Drink this with your dinner.