Open your arms to peace, love, and Nebbiolo.
We fell in love with Nebbiolo after working on wines like The Distance and Pizzaboy, and last year upped our game by hiring two Italians from the homeland to our winemaking team to ensure we did right by this variety. Shout outs to Matteo and Fra.
Nebbiolo hails from the Piedmont region in Northern Italy and most commonly hangs out in Barolo and Barbaresco wines. But you can't read this book by its cover. While Nebbiolo wines appear pale and muted, they produce full-bodied, intense flavors with ferrrrrrocious tannins. And that's why time can be Nebbiolo's best friend. Barrel aging helps tame those wild tannins, and for our hippie friend here, we had another trick up our bell bottoms.
If you're not yet hip to the "Solera" practice, moon child, it's time to check it. This system of aging wine is all about blending vintages to create a commune of flavors and textures, and is used to create an average age in sherry and port. In 2017, we picked and pressed our first batch of Nebbiolo with a goal of adding new Nebbiolo to it from each year for five straight years. So after each harvest season, we added, and added, until we had nearly three full barrels of Nebbiolo from different blocks in Clements Hills and all walks of life.
Not only were we curious about how this amalgamation would turn out, we were interested in how the varying degrees of oxidation would hone this famously powerful and tannic grape.
And now, nearly six years later, we have our answer. It's far out. Draped in Nebbiolo's famously pale brick hue, the aromatics on this wine are all about flower power. Rose, violets, and lavender flow out of the glass leading to groovy flavors of cherries, plum, licorice, leather, and herb (not that kind, you hippie). The Solera process did its thing, creating prominent, but softened tannins while preserving acidity. Get this wine in a love session with some marbly meats or some savory mushrooms (again, not that kind), and you'll be ready to start a new summer of love.
In the end, our Italian comrades taught us that you can't tell Nebbiolo to cut its hair and get a real job. You just gotta let Nebbiolo be Nebbiolo. So we created a kibbutz of for Nebbiolo from different regions and ages to come together and frolic. Embrace it all. Which reminded us of an old store sign we once saw up in Mendocino: Hippies Always Welcome. Amen to that.