2012 Erbaluna Langhe Nebbiolo

February 6, 2015

Name:Langhe Nebbiolo
Type:Red Wine
Producer:Azienda Agricola Erbaluna
Region:Italy / Piemonte/ Barolo / La Morra


As “going organic” is all the rage these days, sometimes it no longer is a very helpful bit of information for determining the true philosophy of any particular winemaker. That’s why it is nice to see Andrea Oberto of a small La Morra cantina Erbaluna giving off that laid-back vibe of a farmer who eschews chemicals and listens to the nature because it feels right to him, not because it is trendy.

We’re not talking about being a purist here – Erbaluna’s operation doesn’t strike me as fanatical. Andrea uses some biodynamic principles here and there, and works with large wood, but maceration times are moderate, and they also meddle in the cellar slightly more (with fining and clarification) than I would prefer.

I’ve tasted full line of Erbaluna wines before and was pleasantly surprised. At that time, however, we were short on time and did not give the wines or Andrea as much time or attention as they deserve. When I saw this Langhe in the winelist it felt like a good idea to retry the wine with plenty of time to spare.

This bottle was popped & poured over lunch. Although transferred into a decanter, most of the evolution was in the glass.

The early nose is tellingly young and vinous, the body is thin(ish), albeit quite elegant; round tannins and very drinkable overall. However, after 40 minutes of air-time the wine mellows our, settling down from its initial piercing youth composure. The nose unfolds and broadens into more serious layers (strawberry, liquorice, rose). Tannins wake up and ask for a couple of hours to become more presentable. Very nice sweet and salty palate which balances clean fruit with some balsamic glaze. Having woken up this wine offers a nice picture of a proper and content Langhe which doesn’t claim excess sophistication and will drink beautifully in 3-5 years.

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